Our current virtual ensemble video project is Shamwari.
Written by Kutandara Artistic Director Randy McIntosh in 1999, Shamwari is the theme song of Kutandara Studios. Meaning “friend, ” “friends,” or “friendship” in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, Shamwari embodies the joy of Zimbabwean marimba music in a way that nearly everyone can participate. Kutandara has for many years pursued a mission of friendship, community, and connection among people, and this is our signature song.
If you’d like to participate in this Virtual Ensemble Video Project, read on!
If you want to play marimba, you’ll first need to choose a part. Use this spreadsheet to select and sign up for a part that will contribute to a balanced ensemble, and then use these videos to learn your part.
If you can’t play marimba but you want to participate, you can:
• learn the Jeruselema Dance Challenge (watch the original or watch this super-clear + easy-to-follow ‘flash mob’), or
• master an ‘At-Home Instrument’ (any household item) in the style of The Tonight Show’s The Roots like this or this or this or this.
If you are playing marimba, you’ll also need to:
• learn the Shamwari Break, and
• learn the Chord Break.
Then, you’ll need to get up to speed on the arrangement of the song, and practice playing it at tempo (118mm).
If you are having trouble getting it up to speed, you can work your way up to the performance tempo by practicing it slowly and smoothly at 104mm and 112mm, and then practicing it faster than it will need to be at 120mm so that 118 mm feels like a breeze!
If you want to double-check your parts and understanding of the arrangement, you can:
- subscribe to Kutandara’s Patreon site to use all of our Shamwari teaching videos;
- pay for a private lesson at our studio or over Zoom; or
- attend a Shamwari workshop (suggested donation $20-$60 each), RSVP required:
• Saturday, January 16 from 9-11 am MST
• Sunday, January 17 from 1-3 pm MST
• Saturday, January 23 from 3-5 pm MST
• Sunday, January 24 from 5-7 pm MST
When you are ready to perform for your video submission, check out these recording instructions. Recording submissions are due by January 31, 2021.
If you need help at any step of the way, please reach out! We want to help you succeed!