Zimfest 2018 Overview

Music Dancing Across Borders

Zimfest 2018 was held August 9-12 at Western Oregon University. We were pleased to return to the festival-friendly WOU campus in the town of Monmouth, Oregon, nearly equidistant from Portland and Eugene.

Abel Mafuleni

Abel Mafuleni

Zimfest 2018 Post-Festival Participant Survey »

We were pleased to debut our new Zimfest registration system, the product of 16 months of research and development by our hard-working Zimfest Technical Team. Many thanks to them, and also to Alex Weeks and Jake Roberts as co-creators of the now-retired system which served us well since 2010.

You’ll want to review the Concert Schedule and Performers page. Plan to relax on the broad grassy lawn and enjoy the music from the afternoon concert stage as you shop for special treasures at the African Marketplace.

Explore the varied workshop offerings under the Workshops menu; you can view them as a filterable List or in Grid or Table views to take in the schedule at a glance. Biographical information on all teachers — North Americans as well as Zimbabweans — is available on the Workshop Teachers page.

The Zimfest Organizing Committee was proud of the program we put together for 2018, which you can check out in the Festival Events and Festival Schedule pages. The Cultural Appropriation panel on Saturday morning August 11 was an important, free community event. In order for all Zimfest participants to be able to attend, we did not schedule any workshops at the same time. But this does not mean there are fewer workshops than in previous years; what it means is that there are more workshops on Friday and Sunday! The lesson here is come early on Friday and/or stay late on Sunday!

Tsungai Tsikirai

Tsungai Tsikirai

Introducing a Star-Studded Zimfest Lineup

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

  • 17 year-old marimba band-leader and nyunga nyunga, drum, and dance teacher Abel Mafuleni
  • 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
  • Dancer/instrumentalist Napoleon Jambwa, currently living in Capetown
  • Gwenyambira Alois Mutinhiri, coming from Zimbabwe.

We also welcomed 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).

Last, but certainly not least, we extended 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, Evelyn Mukwedeya, and Moyo ‘Rainos’ Mutamba.

Napoleon Jambwa

Napoleon Jambwa

Unfortunately, visas were denied for Zimbabweans Jacob Mafuleni and Martha Thom. Visa applications for Barnabas Ngalande and Tawanda Mapanda were abandoned for this year because they ran out of time.

Zimfest 2018 – Music Dancing Across Borders

Feel free to download the Zimfest 2018 Save the Date card, designed by graphic 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.