Zimfest 2018 will be held August 9-12, 2018 at Western Oregon University. We are happy to return to the festival-friendly WOU campus in the town of Monmouth, Oregon, nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene. We hope to see you there!
Keep an eye on this website for an announcement in January 2018 that online applications are open. All performers and teachers who wish to be considered for the 2018 festival must submit online applications at that time.
Zimfest will not be held during 2017. For an explanation, read the blog post Zimfest Year Off in 2017.
There will be no staff on duty throughout 2017.
Zimfest 2016 was held August 11-14 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth. The WOU campus, just west of Salem, provided an attractive and comfortable site for our 25th Zimfest in North America. We were happy to return the festival to Oregon, in a location nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene. The Monmouth area, in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, is also a great point of departure for day trips exploring the beautiful Willamette Valley or heading west to the Oregon coast.
Details of Zimfest 2016 (and other past festivals) are available in the festival archives:
Zimbabweans joining us at Zimfest 2016 to teach and/or perform for the first time included: the Edmonton-based group Mbira Renaissance, led by Chakanaka Zinyemba; marimba specialist Simba Kamuriwo; dancer/mbira/hosho player Clayton Master; and cultural educators Victoria and Tapiwa Kapurura. Traveling from abroad to be with us are popular mbira virtuoso and teacher Musekiwa Chingodza (coming from Zimbabwe); Kwanongoma graduate and marimba expert Michael Sibanda (based in South Africa); and the multi-talented vocalist and dancer Lucky Moyo (traveling from England).
After an absence of several years we were ecstatic to welcome back to the Zimfest fold the Chinyakare Ensemble, led by the incomparable Julia Chigamba. Say hello again to Chigamba family members Augusten Basa, Gerald Basa, Kanukai Chigamba and Ronnie Daliyo; and the equally talented non-Zimbabwean Chinyakare members Cathy Crystal, Casey Daliyo, Moeketsi Gibe, Russell Landers, DeLisa Nealy, and Sarah Noll. Last, but certainly not least, we extended a hearty welcome to Zimfest 2016 to the following North American-based Zimbabwean teachers and performers: Clayton Pasi Gunguwo; Mandla Kaunda; Zivanai Masango; Paul Mataruse; Chakaipa Mhembere; Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa, the Muchineripi family band Chihera; Samuel Mukwedeya; and Moyo Rainos Mutamba,
Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!
Zimfest 2016 celebrated the theme “Sing-Dance-Play! Tambai Tambai! Dlala-Dlala!” In Zimbabwe you only need one word to say “Play (music)” or “Dance” or “Play (have fun)”: Tambai if you speak chiShona, or Dlala in isiNdebele. What could be more appropriate to describe the three-and-a-half days of Zimbabwean-inflected music, dance, song, culture and fun that is the Zimbabwean Music Festival? Come sing-dance-play with us August 11-14. Tambai! Dlala!
The Zimfest 2016 Poster
Many thanks to Zimfest 2016 graphics artist Rachel Edson for her hard work and creative efforts. Her poster creation was inspired by the colorful geometric designs painted on houses by Ndebele women of southwestern Zimbabwe and South Africa.