Press Kit

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KAMBUYU MARIMBA ENSEMBLE

We are a marimba ensemble playing music rooted in the musical traditions of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.  Our ensemble instruments include seven marimbas:  3 sopranos, 2 tenors, 1 baritone and 1 bass.  The marimbas are accompanied by hosho, or gourd rattles, and sometimes drums. We play happy, percussive music—very rhythmic and driving—meant for dancing. In most songs, one of the soprano marimbas plays lead, while the other instruments provide curious, supportive counter-rhythms and chords.  The music is infectious.

This music was brought to the United States during the 1960’s by the Kwanongoma College of Music in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. It’s become very popular in the Pacific Northwest and interest in it has gradually spread across the country.  The songs we play are either influenced by traditional Shona mbira (thumb piano) melodies arranged for marimba, or are more modern compositions written in the traditional music spirit.

Kambuyu is the first performing Shona-style marimba ensemble in central New York.

Kambuyu has been playing together since the winter of 2004.  Our members include educators, scientists, nurses, and business folk (some retired!).

Kambuyu’s initial instruction was from Stanley Sitnik, who has been a member of several popular marimba ensembles in the Seattle area. Stanley is a talented composer as well, and the group has been fortunate to have benefited from his knowledge and expertise.

Kambuyu is grateful for all of our teachers! Jennifer Kyker, Musekiwa Chingodza, Paul Maturuse, and Claire Jones.

Our Name:  “Kambuyu” is a Shona word for “Bugs”. The mallets (“knobs”) used to strike the marimbas remind us of insect antennae.

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A Taste of Kambuyu is a short video of some of our music!

kambuyu movie

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Space Needs:

For the full band, a space of about 14 x 18 feet is required. We also need access to a door close to the performance area, preferably without stairs. The marimbas like to be dry. Weather is always a factor for outside venues.

Equipment Needs:

Generally, the band needs no amplification as the instruments project quite a full sound. For a larger audience or space, a microphones for speaking to the audience and singing with a sound system are sometimes used.

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Cut-and-Paste “Press Release” below

KAMBUYU MARIMBA ENSEMBLE

Kambuyu Marimba plays music with its roots in the traditional Shona songs and rhythms of Zimbabwe.

The ensemble instruments include seven marimbas:  3 sopranos, 2 tenors, 1 baritone and 1 bass.  The marimbas are accompanied by hosho, or gourd rattles, and sometimes drums.

Kambuyu”, a Shona word for “Bugs”, plays happy, percussive music—very rhythmic and driving—meant for dancing.  In most songs, one of the soprano marimbas plays the lead melody, while the other instruments provide curious counter-rhythms and chords.  The music is infectious.

This music was brought to the United States during the 1960’s by the Kwanongoma College of Music in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. It has become very popular in the Pacific Northwest and interest in it is gradually spreading across the country.  The songs Kambuyu plays are either influenced by traditional Shona mbira (thumb piano) melodies arranged for marimba, or are more modern compositions written in the traditional music spirit.  The various marimba parts to each song are typically taught through oral tradition without written notation.

Kambuyu Marimba has been playing together since the winter of 2004.  Members include educators, scientists, nurses, and business folk. Home base is Syracuse, NY.