Shamwari Tamba! (“Friends, Dance!”) is a Boulder-based, evolving teen marimba ensemble consisting of high school students ages of 14-18. The teens in this band have all been playing and learning marimba for upwards of eight years at Kutandara. Members have been exposed to many different instructors from many different cultural backgrounds through the Visiting Artist Program at Kutandara and other regional and national music festivals. Shamwari Tamba! plays both traditional and contemporary songs on marimba, as well as original compositions written by their music director Randy McIntosh and teen members. They use a 7-piece marimba orchestra with drum set and percussion.
Here’s one of their videos, playing on the main stage at the evening concert of an international festival for Zimbabwean music enthusiasts in 2015.
Check out more of their videos on youtube.
Allison started playing marimba when she was 7 years old at Kamp Kutandara during the summer. She enjoyed learning African dances, singing, and games, but soon fell in love with the marimbas. She signed up for classes a few years later, followed by both of her music-loving parents who are now in a band at the center as well. The experience has been extraordinary for her, as she develops new musical skills and excellent social connections.
Anna loves playing marimba and having fun with the band when performing or practicing the music. She started playing as a child and has been in a performance band since 2011. She plays both marimba and sings.
Cai is an 11th grader at Boulder High School. He is a violinist, plays baseball, and has played marimba since 2008. Cai is in the process of learning the Shona peoples’ traditonal instrument, the mbira.
marimba, drum set, hosho
Jaden has been playing marimba since when he was 5 years old. In addition to marimba, Jaden loves playing drum kit, hosho, and various other non-marimba instruments. Jaden also loves video games, reading, and solving Rubik’s Cubes. He is currently studying at Front Range Community College to eventually become an an Aerospace Engineer.
marimba, hosho, singing
Noelle has been playing marimba since she was 5 at Kamp Kutandara and has played ever since. Along with marimba, she plays hosho and sings. She is so grateful for the marimba community and the friends she has met playing marimba. Noelle also has strong interest in and talent for photography.
Nola is currently a student at Boulder High. Like many of the other members of Shamwari Tamba, she grew up in the world of marimba at Kutandara Center. She plays marimba, hosho, and mbira with the band. She has also studied classical and jazz piano for 13 years.
Xan has been playing marimba for 7 years, starting to learn in South Africa, and has been in the Teen Performance Program for 5. Xan also plays the clarinet and other instruments. Ever since she was little, she has had a passion for the arts, whether painting, drawing, playing the piano, or dancing. Zimbabwean music was a major discovery for her, and it resonates deeply with her experience of living in Africa. She believes that marimba is one of the most incredible instruments to play, and connecting through music to others is essential in any band, either a marimba band or classical orchestra.