Zimfest 2018 Overview

Zimfest 2018 will be held August 9-12 at Western Oregon University. We are pleased 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!

Applications for Zimfest closed on February 28, 2018. Applicants are now being informed of the status of their applications. Registration for all Zimfest participants will open May 1, 2018.

Introducing a Star-Studded Zimfest Lineup

Jacob Mafuleni and Martha Thom

Jacob Mafuleni and Martha Thom

Our featured group at Zimfest 2018 is the Mafuleni Family Band, consisting of old friends Jacob Mafuleni and Martha Thom touring with their 17 year-old son Abel Mafuleni for the first time. Jacob and Martha, back after a five-year absence, continue to delight audiences with deeply-textured arrangements for marimba, mbira and drums, powered by traditional dance and singing. Abel has become an extraordinary mbira, marimba, drum, and dance teacher in his own right. The trio is sponsored by the Matanho Project.

Other Zimbabweans joining us at Zimfest to teach and/or perform for the first time include:

  • Inspiring vocalist and choir director Tsungai Tsikirai, based in the UK
  • Award-winning instrumentalist and choir leader Tafadzwa Matiure, following in his father’s (Dr. Sheasby Matiure) footsteps
  • Nyunga nyunga specialist Barnabas Ngalande and marimba virtuoso Tawanda Mapanda, both sponsored by Polyphony
  • Dancer/instrumentalist Napoleon Jambwa, currently living in Capetown
  • Gwenyambira Alois Mutinhiri, coming from Zimbabwe.

We also welcome back popular gwenyambira and teacher Musekiwa Chingodza (based in Zimbabwe); Kwanongoma graduate and marimba expert Michael Sibanda (South Africa); marimba specialist Patience Musandirire (Zimbabwe) and the multi-talented vocalist and dancer Lucky Moyo (traveling from England). As always at this point in time, visas and travel plans are still pending for most of these artists.

Last, but certainly not least, we extend a hearty welcome to Zimfest 2018 to the following North American-based Zimbabwean teachers and performers: Rujeko Dumbutshena; Tapiwa Kapurura; Zivanai Masango; Paul Mataruse; Chakaipa Mhembere; Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa; the Muchineripi family band Chihera; Evelyn Mukwedeya; Samuel Mukwedeya; and Moyo ‘Rainos’ Mutamba.

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

Feel free to download the Zimfest 2018 Save the Date card, designed by graphics artist Rachel Edson. The Music Dancing Across Borders theme inspired her graphic depicting Zimbabwean musicians and dancers in a circle – suggesting a spiral with no beginning and no end.

Festival Archives

Details of Zimfest 2016 (and other past festivals) are available in the festival archives:

Zimfest 2016 Archive