Zimfest 2012 Teachers

Alphabetical by last name.

Piwai (more)


An innovative artist with an eclectic blend of jazz, world, traditional folk and reggae, Piwai’s reverberating soulful voice & dynamic stage presence has left audiences pumped up for more mystifying and exotic sounds. She is a singer/songwriter, mbira (thumb piano) player and percussionist, whose ethnic background is heavily rooted in Zimbabwe. Growing up, Piwai was always surrounded by music from her family’s rural home were jiti was a common sound at night. Piwai ...

Erica Azim (more)

Erica Azim

Early in the '70s, Erica Azim was honored to become one of the first Americans invited to study mbira in Zimbabwe. Since then, she has studied and performed with many of Zimbabwe’s top mbira masters at venues ranging from Zimbabwean village ceremonies to the Kennedy Center in Wash. DC, the Fillmore Auditiorium in San Francisco, and many universities. Erica has recorded 3 solo CDs and collaborated on 9 others. She currently teaches regional mbira ...

Jaiaen Beck (more)

Jaiaen Beck

Dr. Abraham Dumisani Maraire introduced Jaiaen Beck to Zimbabwean music, and since 1990 she has worked with many teachers studying Shona music, cosmology, and healing traditions. She has taught traditional, contemporary and original marimba and mbira pieces to people of all ages and included valuable information about the cultural background. In 1993 she began Ancient Ways, a charitable non-profit organization intended to preserve traditional ways of indigenous people. As co-founder of Nhimbe for Progress in ...

Nathan Beck (more)

Nathan Beck

After he graduated from college and joined Boka Marimba in Portland, Oregon, Nathan Beck was taken by the sounds of Zimbabwean music and subsequently spent 18 months traveling and learning the mbira tradition in Zimbabwe. Some of his teachers include Tute Chigamba, Garadziva Chigamba, Garikayi Tirikoti, Wiri Chigonga, Cosmas Magaya, Musekiwa Chingodza, and Forward Kwenda. He's still playing with Boka Marimba and has added Njuzu Mbira and Loveness Wesa & the Bantus to his performing ...

Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa (more)

Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa

Kurai Blessing Mubaiwa was born in 1976 in the village of Mutimbanyoka, in Murewa district, Zimbabwe. As a young child, he began playing mbira with exceptional interest at the age of six. This keen learner watched while his father, uncles and other village elders played mbira in traditional ceremonies, and soon he began his journey as a young child singing, dancing, playing mbira and drums in traditional ceremonies and other village gatherings.

In 1994 Kurai ...

Michael Breez (more)

Michael Breez

Michael Breez, teacher, performer, director and composer has dedicated over 33 years to the study of Shona music from Zimbabwe, Africa. With the guidance and support of his mentor, the late Dr. Abraham Dumisani Maraire, Michael toured the US. Together they performed in Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the early 80’s. In 1991, Michael and his wife Osha, co-founded the Rufaro School of Marimba, and later the professional performing/recording group Musasa Marimba Ensemble. Michael ...

Chigwaya Marimba (more)

 Chigwaya Marimba

Chigwaya Marimba is a band composed of Columbia Gorge area high school students, directed by Karin Tauscher. They regularly wow their audiences with their outstanding musical talent and their fun, high energy performances, delivered with infectious enthusiasm. They recently recorded their first CD, released in August 2011. They play a variety of traditional, mbira-based marimba songs, contemporary tunes, and even a few original pieces, composed by the band. The band’s strong vocals add heart ...

Musekiwa Chingodza (more)

Musekiwa Chingodza

Musekiwa Chingodza was born into a family of great mbira players in Mwangara village, Murewa, Zimbabwe, in 1970. Surrounded by gwenyambira, or great mbira players, he began playing mbira at the age of five and is self-taught. In 1991 Musekiwa was a key member of the band Panjea, founded by Chris Berry. He composed the hit song “Ganda” on Panjea’s Zimbabwean album. He formerly taught mbira at Prince Edward School in Harare for many ...

Leonard Chiyanike (more)

Leonard Chiyanike

Leonard Chiyanike comes from a family of mbira players and first began playing over 40 years ago. Now having earned the title of master mbira player, Leonard complements his music with his beautiful voice. A quiet and humble man, Chiyanike began making mbiras in 1975, and is considered in the international community to be one of the greatest mbira makers alive today. Because Chiyanike grew up living in various parts of Zimbabwe, he is fluent ...

Kite Giedraitis (more)

Kite Giedraitis

Kite Giedraitis has been playing Shona music since 1987 and began teaching in Portland, Oregon, in 1989. He was an original member of Boka Marimba and played with them for three years before traveling for a year in Zimbabwe and three months in Ghana. Kite currently plays with Fools In Paradise, which he founded in 2001. He has taught elementary and middle school students and now focuses on adult marimba instruction. At least 16 bands ...

Marian Grebanier (more)

Marian Grebanier

Marian Grebanier has been actively involved with Shona music since 1986 when, with the help of Dumi Maraire, she started the Boka Marimba project in Portland. She especially enjoys the beautiful, soulful music of the mbira and has studied under many mbira masters over the past 20 years. In 1998, she and Nathan Beck formed Njuzu Mbira which has been performing ever since. Their teachers have included Tute Chigamba, Cosmas Magaya, Fradreck Mujuru, and Erica ...

Trymore Jombo (more)

Trymore Jombo

Trymore began his music career spinning records as Lt. Zorro and went on to study mbira independently. After training as a recording engineer, he met John Mambira and has contributed to Bong Love's success with his mbira lines and back-up vocals. Trymore is also known as “Guchi” which means sweeter than sugar.

Claire Jones (more)

Claire Jones

Claire Jones has been involved with Zimbabwean music since 1976, when she first fell in love with the marimbas and started studying with the late Dumisani Maraire. She performed for several years with Dumi and the Maraire Marimba Ensemble both in the U.S. and in Zimbabwe, and was a founding member of the Seattle marimba groups Kutamba and Musango. While living in Zimbabwe from 1985 to 1990, she played mbira with Mhuri Yekwa Muchena ...

MyLinda King (more)

MyLinda King

MyLinda King played with Portland's Boka Marimba between l989 and l999. During that time, she studied with Dumi Maraire, Ephat Mujuru and MaiChi Nemarundwe. Since l994, MyLinda has been teaching marimba groups in several schools, music camps and at her home in Portland, Oregon. She also gives workshops to local marimba bands and enjoys making hosho for the Zimbabwean music community. In 2008, MyLinda was featured on OPB's Oregon Artbeat.

Daniel Lockley (more)

Daniel Lockley

Daniel Lockley has been playing Zimbabwean marimba and mbira music since he was ten years old. By 2005, he was on the road playing both marimba and bass guitar with Jaka Marimba, performing throughout the Southwest and West Coast with respected Zimbabwean musicians such as David Gweshe and the revolutionary “Queen of Mbira,” Stella Chiweshe. Since then, Daniel has been performing with the Ande Marimba Band, sharing the stage with the likes of Bo Diddley ...

Jacob Mafuleni (more)

Jacob Mafuleni

Jacob Mafuleni, a member of Mbira dzeMuninga, is a multitalented musician who is equally as adept at ngoma,marimba, dance, and guitar as he is with mbira. He is highly sought after as a musician in Zimbabwe, performing with the renowned Chiwoniso Maraire and Vibe Culture, as well as his own band Sweet Calabash. Jacob was previously a member of Mawungira Enharira.

John Mambira (more)

John Mambira

Before forming the Bongo Love band with his brother and friends, John was involved in many forms of art including acting, singing, dancing and playing music. He has worked with both amateur and professional music groups and has taught workshops at many festivals. As the band's leader, he is a phenomenal drummer, marimba player and singer with an amazing vocal range.

Amy Stewart McIntosh (more)

Amy Stewart McIntosh

Amy is Kutandara Center’s program director. Amy began studying African music in 1994 with master instructors both from Zimbabwe and the United States. Amy is adept at many African instruments, but especially loves marimba and hosho (gourd rattles) and plays with style and grace. In 1999 Amy, with her partner Randy McIntosh, founded Kutandara, which fuses ancient African music traditions with Latin, jazz, gospel, classical, and world folk influences. In that same year, they ...

Randy McIntosh (more)

Randy McIntosh

Randy is Kutandara Center’s music director. Randy graduated from Colorado State University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in music, and from the University of Colorado in 1996 with a master’s degree in music composition. Randy’s love of Zimbabwean music inspired him to write and arrange his own Shona-style compositions. Randy is Kutandara Center’s composer and musical visionary.

As Randy completed his Master’s in Music Composition, he was playing ...

Eric Miller (more)

Eric Miller

Eric’s first exposure to Zimbwean-Style Music was at a Boka Marimba show in Portland in 1996, dancing the night away. Eight months later, he joined the band and met Nathan Beck and eventually Marian Grebanier, his first mbira teachers. He played with Boka for 5 years before going off to create the Supadupa Marimba Bros and Pachi Pamwe, which are still active. From 2006-2008, Eric toured the world with Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited ...

Maria Minnaar-Bailey (more)

Maria Minnaar-Bailey

Maria Minnaar-Bailey grew up in rural Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) as a “missionary kid” in the 1960’s, and lived in Zimbabwe until she emigrated to the U.S. in 1984. Her father, Olof Axelsson, was a church musician and teacher who worked with other members of the Ecumenical Arts Association to bring more African music into Zimbabwean churches. At this time, the country was racially segregated and on the brink of civil war. When Axelsson ...

Fradreck Mujuru (more)

Fradreck Mujuru

Fradreck Mujuru, of the Maungwe Clan, was born 31 October 1955, in Dewedzo, Rusape, Zimbabwe. Fradreck is the second child in a family of three boys and one girl. Mujuru grew up at Dambatsoko, his grandfather’s village, after the separation of his parents. The environment was full of traditional rituals and rites because Muchatera Mujuru, Fradreck’s grandfather, was a revered spirit medium. The village was a melting pot for many mbira musicians who ...

Sam Mujuru (more)

Sam Mujuru

Sam Mujuru is part of the Mujuru family of mbira players from Dewedzo, Zimbabwe, and the brother of Fradreck Mujuru. Sam has played mbira for traditional bira ceremonies throughout Zimbabwe, but especially in his familial area, Dambatsoko. Sam plays on the low, mellow, Dambatsoko tuned mbira that is representative of the Mujuru family. Sam enjoys teaching, and is especially curious about how people learn, and tries to accommodate different learning styles as he teaches.

Tendai Muparutsa (more)

Tendai Muparutsa

Tendai Muparutsa is a widely traveled multi-instrumentalist, performer, music educator, ethnomusicologist and bandleader. He has performed in the region of Southern Africa and in North America. Muparutsa has performed with some of the leading groups in Zimbabwe as a session percussionist. Tendai Muparutsa is a trained schoolteacher from Mutare Teachers’ College. He graduated with a Bachelor in Education from the University of Zimbabwe in 2004. In 2008, he graduated from the University of Idaho with ...

Jake Roberts (more)

Jake Roberts

Jake Roberts first started playing marimba fifteen years ago in a class at Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center. Several years later, Jake and his classmates founded Hokoyo Marimba, which has performed in Oregon and elsewhere since 2006. In 2007 Hokoyo released its first album, Chipembere, and in 2010 they released a second, Hokoyo Live. Jake has also studied mbira with Cosmas Magaya, Ambuya Beauler Dyoko, and Musekiwa Chingodza, and has taught classes at Kutsinhira for several ...

Val Rogers (more)

Val Rogers

Val Rogers is a teacher, connector, and passionate organizer working to expand and enrich the community singing experience. After 15 years leading community choirs, Val now teaches regularly at world music camps, festivals, and workshops on the west coast of the US. Val toured professionally in 2007 with the vocal ensemble Northern Harmony, performing and teaching South African and other world vocal music for 10 weeks in Europe. She completed a choral study/performance tour ...

Gary Spalter (more)

Gary Spalter

Like many of us, Gary was hooked to the music the first time he heard it, over 20 years ago. He has played marimbas since 1992 and taught as a teacher for 16 years through the Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center. He enjoys teaching at all levels and has been recognized by many students as a patient and effective teacher. Gary is a founding member of Zambuko, a performing ensemble in Eugene, has played with Shumba ...

Peter Swing (more)

Peter Swing

A student of Dumi Maraire since 1988 and original member (including music director from 1991−1993) of Boka Marimba, Peter has been a key member of Jaka and director of Trillium Marimba ensemble. He works full time building marimbas, teaching at Pauli Swing Studio and a local school in Santa Fe, and as head of the new marimba band, Polyphony Marimba.

Karin Tauscher (more)

Karin Tauscher

Karin Tauscher has had a life-long passion for music and studied voice, guitar, and piano before discovering marimba in the early 1990s. She began studying Zimbabwean music in 1995 and has enjoyed learning from numerous North American and Zimbabwean musicians, including Sheasby Matiure, Musekiwa Chingodza, Cosmas Magaya, Fradreck Mujuru, Tendai Muparutsa, Michael Breez, Nathan Beck, and many others. Karin has been teaching marimba to youth and adults in Washington and Oregon since 1998. Since moving ...

Martha Thom (more)

Martha Thom

Martha Thom is an impeccably skilled traditional dancer, hosho player, and singer. Her energy and skill are hard to match. She began performing in her primary level of school and continued to dance in school performing groups through 1992, when she joined Shingayi Traditional Dance Group in Harare. Martha has taught student groups and private lessons at the College of Music. She joined Chiwoniso and Vibe Culture in 2003 and toured Zimbabwe, South Africa, and ...

Wanda Walker (more)

Wanda Walker

Wanda Walker has taught marimba at Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center in Eugene, Oregon, since 1999, privately since 2002, and at Zimfest since 2003. She performs with Kutsinhira ensembles Jenaguru and Zambuko, as well as Mudzidzi mbira group. Wanda has studied mbira, singing, and marimba with Zimbabwean musicians Cosmas Magaya, Musekiwa Chingodza, Ambuya Beauler Dyoko, Chartwell Dutiro, Sheasby Matiure, Irene Chigamba, and Paul Mataruse, among others. Wanda has arranged several traditional mbira songs for marimba, and ...

Mandy Walker-LaFollette (more)

Mandy Walker-LaFollette

Mandy's parents started teaching her marimba parts when she was about 3; 16 years ago. She has taken classes at Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center for about 11 years, studying with Wanda Walker, Maggie Donahue, and Gary Spalter. Mandy began playing Nyunga Nyunga with Musekiwa Chingodza at age 6 and has since taken lessons on Dza vadzimu with Cosmas Magaya and Ambuya Beauler Dyoko for over 7 years. She also studied marimba with Musekiwa Chingodza ...

Matthew Wasowski (more)

Matthew Wasowski

Matt Wasowski has been teaching music for 12 years as both an elementary school teacher and a private guitar instructor. He has traveled to Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zambia and South Africa to study music, perform and, most recently, to teach. In December and January, he helped launch a guitar program at the Bizung School of Music and Dance in Tamale, Ghana, which provides free, arts-based education for kids through the efforts of the Playing For Change ...

West Ave. Crew (more)

 West Ave. Crew

The West Ave Crew is a trio of friends, band mates, and marimba players based in Boulder, Colorado: Jesse Larson, Austin Fracchia, and Joe Goodhew. The trio plays and teaches together so much, deciding to give themselves a group name just made sense; they are named after the street running adjacent to the Kutandara Center (Western Avenue).

The crew has performed and taught with each other in a number of groups including Tamba!, Musha Marimba ...

Ted Wright (more)

Ted Wright

Ted Wright's love for Shona music began with Marimba Muzuva in 1993. He has been a teacher of marimba, mbira, chipendani and gumboot dancing for many years, and has travelled to Zimbabwe several times, studying and performing with many of Zimbabwe's top traditional musicians. In addition to Muzuva, his musical projects have included the world beat improvisational ensemble Spirit Gate, mbira quartet Choto, and Zimbabwean roots dance bands Zimfusion and Jambanja. Ted organizes ...