Zimfest News Blog

Zimfest Online 2nd Viewing Period

Dear Zimfest community,

Reminding you that Monday, Sept 28, is the last day you can register for and view the first three Zimfest Online recordings. Tuesday Sept 29 is the beginning of the three-week viewing period for the next four Zimfest Online sessions, ending October 19.  

  • Linos Wengara Magaya with Tim Lloyd – The Role of the Mbira Within Shona Spiritual Culture

  • Jeff Brahe – Fundamentals of African Rhythm: Triplet (12/8) Version

  • Tanga Pasi (Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya) – Tanga Pasi from Zimbabwe to Germany

  • Zivanai Masango – Mvenge Mvenge Dance Party with Zi

The first two are presentations, and registrants this month have let us know they have appreciated being able to view and the study the material at their leisure. The final two, Tanga Pasi and Zi’s Mvenge Mvenge dance party, are concert sessions – enjoy dancing with Zi and Helen! 

Check out complete descriptions of all the sessions along with presenter biographies on the Zimfest Online page. Once you register for a recording (donation requested), you will be able to view it at any time you wish during the three-week period it is available.

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Zimfest Live recordings access

Greetings Zimfest community,

Our first series of live Zimfest Online educational and performance sessions has concluded. For those of you who missed one or more, we are providing on-demand access to the video recordings on a donation basis. There will be 3 viewing periods with a different set of videos available during each three-week period. Registration is open now for the first three videos available to view from September 8 – 28:

  • Tapiwa Kapurura – Culture as Social Glue in a Challenged Community

  • Claire Jones – Mbira in Zimbabwean Popular Music: An Historical Perspective

  • Tendai Muparutsa – World Music Ensemble: Directing a College Marimba Band – A Williams College Experience

Check out complete descriptions of all the sessions along with presenter biographies on the Zimfest Online page. Once you register for a recording, you will be able to view it at any time you wish during the three-week period it is available.

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Good Vibes Concert Sept 5 and more

Hello  Zimfesters,

We are pleased to call your attention to Taffie Matiure’s GoodVibes Concert, a fundraiser to establish a mbira school for children in the Ruwa Community in Zimbabwe. The live broadcast will be held on September 5, 2020 on Taffie’s Youtube page starting at 12pm PT/ 3pm EST/ 20 CAT. The event is co-sponsored by Zimbuya.com, and during the broadcast a link to their website donations page will be shared. 

 

The Zimfest Online live presentations are over for now, but for those of you who missed one or more, we will be providing online access to the video recordings. Be on the lookout for Zimfest Online Registration to open by September 8 for recordings of the first three presentations in June. 

Enjoy the summer days! 

Zimfest Online crew

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August Zimfest Online

Dear Zimfest community,

Two final live presentations wrap up our Zimfest Online festival season this month! Both take place on Saturdays at 5 p.m. PDT. 

  • Aug 22: (Dr.) Claire Jones presents A Social and Acoustic History of the Kwanongoma Marimba in Zimbabwe. Claire’s dynamic look at 50 years of marimbas in Zimbabwe invites your participation. Can you name these tunes?
  • Aug 29: (Dr.) Tedd Judd presents Wrapping the Western Mind, Body, Soul, and Community Around Zimbabwean Music. Ever wondered how we make melodic sense of streams of notes coming from players’ thumbs and hands? – there is a scientific basis to this (follow the science)!  Tedd gets into reasons why many Americans have a difficult time hearing the complex rhythms of marimba and mbira music, but how approaching it like Zimbabweans do is so enriching. 

Please be aware that if you sign up for a session and cannot attend, you can be given access to view the recording. Write to online{at}zimfest{dot}org for assistance.

Continue staying safe and finding ways to connect musically and otherwise!

Zimfest Online Engagement Crew

 

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May, June, July Board Meeting Minutes

Minutes from the May 17th, June 14th, and July 12th meetings of the Zimfest Association board of directors have been posted.

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Zimfest Online August 9 – 29, 2020

Hello Zimfest Folks,

Our Zimfest weekend concert sessions with Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya (July 31), and Zivanai Masango and Helen Masvikeni (August 1) were wonderful, and Dr. Jennifer Kyker continues her teaching of Musekiwa’s mbira version of “Kari Mugomba” with a singing lesson August 9 (today, at 5 PM!). We have registration ready with three more original Zimfest Online presentations for this month. They will take place on Saturday afternoons at 5 PM PDT.

  • Aug 15: Reed College student Anesu Ndoro on “Animality & Humanity: Zimbabwe’s Folktales As Avenues For Social Reflection”
  • Aug 22: Dr. Claire Jones on “A Social and Acoustic History of the Kwanongoma Marimba in Zimbabwe”
  • Aug 29: Dr. Tedd Judd on “Wrapping the Western Mind, Body, Soul, and Community Around Zimbabwean Music”

Register now, we hope to see you online! In September we will advertise opportunities to view the recordings of our most popular Zimfest Online presentations on a donation basis.

Zimfest Online Task Force

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Volunteer Needed: Digital Media Curator

Dear Zimfest community,

This year, as the Festival has transitioned to an online-only format, the value of digital media to our community has become more evident than ever. Zimfest has a large catalog of existing media, which we would love to make available to our community with proper curation. Additionally, we need to improve our processes for handing these media into the future.

To this end the Board and Zimfest Tech Committee are putting out a call for interested volunteers who can help us lead in this area.

These digitally-minded volunteers would lead Zimfest’s media presence (video, audio, image, etc.) by:

  • Cataloging Zimfest’s existing collection of digital assets
  • Working with the Board and Tech Committee to edit, curate, and make these assets available to the public
  • Establishing processes for collecting, organizing, editing, and presenting these assets into the future

Helping here is a terrific way to put your skills and interests to use for a great cause. We also welcome volunteers who may wish to shadow a lead Media Coordinator! On top of the incredible music, this an opportunity to learn more about digital rights and music licensing, so that artists receive credit for their creations.

If you’re interested or would like more information, please reach out to us at !

Thank you,
Alex Weeks
Zimfest Board President

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Don’t Miss Zimfest Online Events This Weekend!

Greetings all,

Zimfest weekend is almost upon us! To make up for the COVID-19 cancellation of the physical festival, we have scheduled online activities throughout the weekend. Please join us by registering (donate whatever you can afford!) through Zimfest Online for:

  • July 31 – Tanga Pasi from Zimbabwe to GermanySinini and Pamela Ngwenya present a hybrid live/taped concert. 
  •  August 1 – Mvenge Mvenge Dance Party with Zivanai Masango!
  • August 2 – Mbira lesson with Musekiwa Chingodza/Dr. Jennifer Kyker by proxy. (Companion singing lesson to follow on Aug 9.)

We have a few more Zimfest Online presentations to schedule during the month of August, and there has been a request to change the time for these presentations from 1 PM to 5 PM PST. Please let us know in the comments section below whether or not that would work for you.

We had a great Conversation/Interview with Lucky Moyo last Saturday! The recording is available for free on the Zimfest YouTube channel as well as the Overview page. Those who wish to donate can do so on Lucky’s (UK) Facebook page.  Alternatively, to support organizations like Bana BeNgwana Trust, you can donate to Kutsinhira’s Zimbabwe Community Development Program.   ZCDP supports community development, health and educational efforts in Zimbabwe like BeNgwana Trust’s building and borehole projects. 

Thank you for your support of Zimbabwean artists and development projects!

 

Zimfest Online

 

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Zimfest Online for July 30 – Aug 2

Greetings friends,

If the fast-approaching dates of July 30 – August 2 sound familiar, it is because that is the weekend when Zimfest 2020 (Live) was to have taken place! We are responding to the hunger for real music (and not just talking about music) by scheduling three virtual concert and mbira events, described in full on the Zimfest Online page. Registration is now open for these sessions.

  •  July 31 – Tanga Pasi:  Sinini and Pamela Ngwenya, based in Germany, present a hybrid live/taped concert. Check out a YouTube video here
  •  August 1 – Mvenge Mvenge Dance Party with Zivanai Masango!
  • August 2 – Mbira lesson with Musekiwa Chingodza/Dr. Jennifer Kyker by proxy. (Companion singing lesson to follow on Aug 9.)

Don’t forget the Free Zoom interview/conversation between Claire Jones and long-time Zimfest teacher and advisor Lucky Moyo July 25 at 1 p.m. PDT (9 p.m.UK time). Lucky will talk about how he came to cultural activism and his ongoing project Bana BeNgwana Development Trust. More details can be found on Facebook. The event will be on Zoom, and a link will be posted here and on Facebook two hours before the event.

Claire Jones
Zimfest Coordinator

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Sekuru Cosmas Magaya 1953-2020

Joining with mbira students and enthusiasts around the world, Zimfest deeply mourns the loss of Sekuru Cosmas Magaya, who was laid to rest at Magaya village in Mhondoro, Zimbabwe, on the 13th of July 2020.  He was one of the last of the revered senior generation of gwenyambiras, loved by all who knew him, and an important teacher to many of us in the Zimfest community.  His mbira playing was both powerful and profoundly rooted in his spiritual traditions.

Sekuru Magaya played an integral role in the research of ethnomusicologist Paul Berliner’s award-winning book The Soul of Mbira (1978), through which he first became known worldwide. After that book’s publication, he taught and performed countless times internationally in Europe and the US. His long-anticipated book collaborations with Paul Berliner, The Art of Mbira: Musical Inheritance and Legacy (2020)  and Mbira’s Restless Dance are being published this year by the University of Chicago Press, to enthusiastic acclaim.

Sekuru Magaya participated in 11 Zimbabwean Music Festivals beginning in 1998, as a teacher, performer, and respected elder who led opening ceremonies and served as a shining example for Zimbabweans new to U.S. touring.  He was a true and open-hearted cultural ambassador.

To support Sekuru Magaya’s family during this time, Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center in Eugene, Oregon, has established a memorial fund in his name. To learn more and donate to this fund, please follow this link

 

Zororai murugare – Rest in Peace 

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Upcoming on Zimfest Online

Greetings Zimfest community,

  • Register now for July Zimfest Online presentations:  Linos Wengara Magaya on “The Role of Mbira within Shona Spiritual Culture” (July 11) and Jeff Brahe on “Fundamentals of African Rhythm” (July 18).
  • Free – Zoom interview/conversation between Claire Jones and long-time Zimfest teacher and advisor Lucky Moyo is now confirmed for July 25 at 1 p.m. PDT (9 p.m.UK time). Lucky will talk about how he came to cultural activism and his ongoing project Bana BeNgwana Development Trust; more details can be found on Facebook. The event will be on Zoom, and a link will be posted here  and on Facebook two hours before the event. If you cannot make it, don’t worry, a recording will be made for Zimfest’s homepage and Youtube channel.
  • Zimfest 2020 was to have taken place the weekend of July 31-August 2. Stay tuned for special Zimfest Online events that weekend including a dance party featuring Zivanai Masango and Helen Masvikeni!
  • Last but not least, we salute several more of our faithful Zimfest volunteers in the latest edition of Zimfest is Family

   

All Black Lives Matter!

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Zimfest Online in July

Happy (belated) solstice Zimfesters!

  • Our Zimfest Online presentations during June have gone well. Registration is now open for new offerings in July after we take a brief break for the 4th of July. 
  • We are happy to host Linos Wengara Magaya as a virtual presenter along with his bandmate Tim Lloyd on July 11. Based in the UK, their Zimbaremabwe band had to cancel their first US tour this year. See the Overview page for a photo and brief biographical info.
  • Zimfest Coordinator Claire Jones will host an interview with long-time friend Lucky Moyo on July 25th. This conversation is the second in in a series of interviews with individuals and non-profits working in Zimbabwe, made available for free as a public service by Zimfest. The exact time and specifics will be announced here and on Facebook.
  • And don’t forget the “Black Freedom Concert”  featuring Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited streaming live on Facebook from Eugene, OR on Friday, June 26, 2020: Live Stream by Studio 541 Productions on Facebook.

Stay Safe
Claire Jones, Zimfest Coordinator


Music Dancing Across Borders

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