Zimfest Is Family


Since the first Zimfest in 1991, people have been coming together to share and propagate Zimbabwean music and culture. With the exception of a paid festival coordinator, all of the planning and running of these events has been accomplished with volunteer energy. That’s 29 years’ worth!

What makes Zimfest tick is its people

Behind the scenes is the Zimfest Association Board for policy and financial matters. The Organizing Committee does the heavy lifting of pulling off a festival every year.

We’d like to present a photo essay honoring the many multi-generational family connections that are at the core of Zimfest, and we’re calling this ongoing project


  • Larry and Angela

  • Larry Israel was part of the ad hoc Seattle group that organized the first Zimfest in 1991, then called Northwest Marimbafest. He has remained involved with many organizing and tech committees since then, served on the ZA Board for a decade starting in 2001, and has been the Zimfest webmaster for many years.

    Angela Marie has long been an active marimba player in Santa Cruz and joined up with now-husband Larry to form the core of the Zimfest organizing committee for the 2001 festival in Monterey Bay, the only one to have taken place in California. A former Zimfest Association Board president and member for more than a decade, she still volunteers onsite every year. We call her our Decorations Queen.

  • Mark and Marilyn

  • Marilyn Kolodziejczyk served on the ZA Board from 2003 – 2012 and has made invaluable contributions in obtaining visas for Zimbabwean guests for Kutsinhira as well as Zimfest. Her husband Mark Cohen served as Zimfest photographer for many years.

  • Mark, adoptive brother Musekiwa Chingodza, Bud

  • Their son Bud Cohen is a familiar face in Eugene-based marimba ensembles and a dependable Zimfest stagehand and concerts volunteer. His heading-up of the meal production and serving at the 2006 Zimfest at the Oregon Country Fair site has become the stuff of legend.

  • Rachel and Michael

  • Michael Beardsworth, longtime Hokoyo marimba player, has been Zimfest Concert producer since 2014. Wife and friend since childhood Rachel Edson has been doing graphics work and Festival Guide layout for Zimfest since 2016.