Takapenga (“We Are Awesome!”) performs Zimbabwean-style marimba around Colorado’s front range. They use a 7-piece marimba orchestra with hand percussion.
Check out a playlist of Takapenga performing outdoors with masks last Fall 2020 on youtube.
Celia is in 9th grade. She started playing marimba in 2012 and this is her second year in Takapenga. She says playing marimba and being a part of Kutandara’s amazing music community has completely changed her life in so many positive ways: by giving her amazing opportunities, allowing her to meet international friends, and creating a container in which to express herself. She also enjoys playing volleyball and doing outdoor activities.
Eliza has been around Zimbabwean music since before she was born! Growing up at Kutandara, she’s had the unique opportunity to travel to Zimbabwe in both 2017 and 2018, participating in an international exchange program at a boarding school outside Harare. She has made lots of great friends through Zimbabwean music, including her younger “sister” Mudiwa and her older “brother” Taffie. In her spare time, she enjoys painting and traveling.
Elyssa has been playing marimba since 2009. She joined Takapenga in 2017. She loves how it brings the people in her group closer together through music. Aside from marimba, Elyssa sings in her school’s choir and wants to learn more mbira. She likes playing at gigs and seeing the audience’s appreciation of marimba music.
Liam has been playing marimba at Kutandara for as long as he can remember. He’s worked hard to become the best player he can be, and is excited to be part of the band Takapenga. In his free time, Liam loves traveling and nature photography.
Malik is a sophmore at Silver Creek High School and even with his crazy schedule he loves to come to Kutandara to play marimba. Malik has been playing marimba since he was 7 and now he is 16…so more than half his life! He loves to go to the studio to make friends and grow as a person.
Perry started playing Zimbabwean music on djembe drums at age 5, transitioning to marimba at age 6. That means he has been playing marimba for over half his life! He really enjoys the complex rhythms. Being a part of the Teen Performance Program keeps his life balanced as the music is vibrant and upbeat and “the perfect remedy to convert an average day to an awesome day.” He appreciates that playing Zimbabwean music gives him a foundation to appreciate the global society in which we live.
Noah is 18 and attending Niwot High School. He has been playing marimba for 12 years. Ever since he picked up some mallets from his mom’s first marimba, he just could not stop playing. Noah really appreciates Zimbabwean music and he loves the storytelling feel to it. It gives him an insight into other people’s lives and he thinks that it is awesome!
Skylar is in 9th grade. This is her second year in Takapenga. She has been playing marimba for 6 years. Skylar enjoys learning music from a different culture which challenges her and brings diversity into her life. She has made many friends being a part of Takapenga, and always has so much fun playing marimba. Skylar also participates in a singing group, school musicals, and plays soccer.