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 in their large group format, and a 5-piece marimba orchestra with drum set and mbira in their small group format.
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.
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 a 10th 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.
Charlie has been playing marimba since 2004 and started playing at the age of 5. Over the years, he has expanded his musical capabilities to include mbira, drum kit, and western percussion instruments such as classical marimba and vibraphone. Charlie loves to connect with others through a shared passion for music.
Danielle has been playing marimba since she was 7. She spent the 2015-2016 school year abroad in Belgium, and “missed marimba more than she missed most things.” Danielle feels that choosing to start marimba was the best decision she’s every made, has been amazingly rewarding, and is so happy she has been able to play for all the years she has.
marimba, drum set
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, mbira, trombone
Julia began playing marimba at school in 3rd grade. After falling in love with the music, she started taking classes at Kutandara Center. She is now 17 years old, a senior in high school, and has been in Shamwari Tamba since 2012. Aside from marimba, Julia enjoys photography and playing trombone and euphonium.
marimba, mbira, ukelele
Kayliesha been playing marimba since she was 8 years old and has been in a performance band since 2011. She loves the sense of community marimba brings her. Besides marimba, Kaylie enjoys hiking, skiing, and horseback riding. In addition to marimba, Kaylie has also picked up the mbira, ukulele, hand drums, and singing.
marimba, fiddle, singing
Meghan has been playing marimba for 5 years and is now a junior at Boulder High. As well as marimba, she enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and playing the violin. She has been playing classical violin and fiddle since she was 5 and plays in the Boulder High orchestra.
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 12 years.