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 video of Takapenga (the teen band formerly known as Vana Vedu) performing on youtube.
Celia is in 8th grade. She started playing marimba in 2012 and this is her first 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.
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.
Malik is a freshman 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 15…so about half his life! He loves to go to the studio to make friends and grow as a person. Malik joined Takapenga last year and he is still having a blast in the band.
Morgan has been playing marimba since the summer of 2009, when she saw a youth group playing on the Pearl Street Mall, and fell in love with the music. She loves the way the music and the teen performance program bring a wide diversity of people together. Morgan is in her senior year at Boulder High School.
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 17 and attending Niwot High School. He has been playing marimba for 11 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!
Sienna has been playing marimba for 12 years. She got into marimba from her dad when she was 5, and has enjoyed every second since then. She’s learned lots of songs and made plenty of friends through the marimba community.
Skylar is in 8th grade. This is her first year in Takapenga. She has been playing marimba for 5 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.