Festival Events

Beyond workshops and concerts, there are many other Festival Events going on. Here is a partial list:

Thursday Prefest

Start your festival a day earlier and take advantage of the opportunity to schedule group or private lessons with your favorite Zimfest teacher. A number of teachers have offered to teach private lessons or group workshops at Prefest on August 11, 2011. The following teachers from Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom are available: Caution Shonhai, all members of Mbira dzeMuninga (individually or as a group), all members of Bongo Love (individually or as a group), Forward Kwenda, Lucky Moyo and Patience Chaitezvi.

These teachers from Canada and the U.S. are available: Randy McIntosh, Amy Stewart McIntosh, Kite Giedraitis, Chris Berry, Jaiaen Beck, Wanda Walker, Karin Tauscher, Ruzivo Marimba, Nathan Beck, West Ave. Crew, Jeremy Phillips, Tendai Muparutsa, Claire Jones, Kurai Blessings Mubaiwa, James Mujuru, Jennifer Kyker Bangoura and Erica Azim.

If you or your group would like to schedule a Prefest workshop, contact us at teachers@zimfest.org and we will put you in touch with the teacher(s).

Please note that you and your group are responsible for negotiating the workshop cost, time and payment with your teacher. Zimfest will provide workshop space, including marimbas if needed. We strongly suggest that you and your group schedule your Prefest workshops well in advance (eight weeks recommended) to give Zimfest and the teachers enough time to plan for your personalized workshop. Also, please do not schedule any workshops before 9:00 AM on Prefest day; all workshops must be completed by 4:00 PM that day.

Zimbabwean Dinner

Please join us for dinner on Thursday August 11 for a buffet style Zimbabwean Dinner. The dinner requires a separate ticket per person; it is not part of the cafeteria meal plan from the University. Menu and details are being considered now. Tickets will be available for advanced purchase.

The cornmeal-based dietary staple of Zimbabwe is also the national dish, called sadza. Sadza to the Zimbabweans is like rice to the Chinese, or pasta to Italians. Sadza is made from cornmeal or maize, and eaten with relish. Relish can be any kind of vegetable stew, but nyama, (meat), such as beef or chicken, is common among families who can afford it. Sadza is cooked slowly until thick, like porridge.

In general, wooden plates and spoons are used along with Western utensils. In some rural areas, Zimbabweans eat with their fingers. When eating sadza, Zimbabweans clean their hands, then using their right hand, pinch off a chunk from the bowl and roll it into a ball in their palm. They dip the ball into relish and bite off a piece, then roll it again and continue the process. http://www.foodbycountry.com/Spain-to-Zimbabwe-Cumulative-Index/Zimbabwe.html

Opening Ceremony

The Thursday Evening Concert and Opening Ceremony will be opening the festival with a bang again this year!

Join us at the Zimfest Marketplace Stage on Thursday, August 11 at 7:00 PM for a free event celebrating the official beginning of the festival. Meet our Zimbabwean guests and mingle with friends old and new. Bring your dancing shoes!

Community Time/Village Meeting

Zimfest is more than a yearly event; we are a living and growing community of music-lovers from around the world!

The Zimfest Association has set aside a special time on Sunday morning August 14th (10:00 am–noon) for all of us to gather and consider together topics that are vital to our community. We refer to this time as the Zimfest Village Meeting.

The Village Meeting will include opportunities for cultural exchange, including a panel of Zimbabwean guests. This is also the time for our annual public Zimfest Association "business" meeting, which will include information and discussions about future Zimfest hosts, a report on Zimfest donations to charitable organizations working in Zimbabwe, and a report back about our membership organization. Each year we plan for future Zimfests, including identifying the annual organizing committees. If you are interested in even considering the possibility of joining the fun and excitement of helping organize an annual Zimfest, please don’t wait to contact the Zimfest Association board at board@zimfest.org for more information.

The Village Meeting will be conveniently located in the McNary Dining Center so that participants can join it easily after breakfast, and continue on to lunch right after the meeting. Our hope is that smaller group discussions during lunch will carry forward some of the topics covered during the meeting itself.

The Zimfest 2011 Organizing Committee and Zimfest Association Board of Directors cordially invite all Zimfest participants to join us for this meeting.

Mbira Gathering

The late night mbira gathering is a long tradition and a time for Zimbabweans and other experienced musicians to share a rich tradition with the rest of us. Last year, concerns were raised about the mbira gathering as it was realized that not everyone had the same understanding and expectations. Ideas were generated about how best to both maintain the tradition and uphold the intended spirit of the event.

The mbira gathering is a time to watch, to listen, to dance, as the masters of their craft share this rich tradition with us. We ask that you not use this time for experimenting with a newly learned song or hosho patterns.

While none of us like rules, we have determined that we needed to develop some guidelines that will make the experience of the late night parties more enjoyable and traditional for everyone. These guidelines will be posted at the entrance to the Great Room. Please be respectful of this wonderful and rich experience so we can all enjoy ourselves into the early morning hours.

As a reminder we encourage you to bring food, snacks and beverages to share but please remember: no alcoholic containers are allowed in the great room; personal drink containers are okay.

Thank you so much for your support in making this year's mbira gathering a rich and fulfilling experience for all!


Late Night Mbira Gathering Guidelines

1. This is not a practice session or time for experimenting; experienced mbira players only.

2. No more than three experienced hosho players at a time. Please be respectful and let other experienced players have a turn.

3. No drumming. The drums overwhelm the gentle melodies of the mbira.

4. No electric instruments.

5. No alcohol containers of any type are allowed in the recreation room and entry. Personal drink bottles are allowed.

6. We encourage groups of beginners and intermediate players to gather in nearby locations.

7. Keep conversations and partying away from the mbira playing. The singers, dancers and players appreciate this.

8. This is a ceremonial time. Above all else, please be respectful.