Hotwire Coffee Marimba Ensemble Returns

“NZIRA” means “path” in Shona, the traditional language of Zimbabwe. It is also the name adopted by the nine members of the NZIRA Marimba Ensemble, an enthusiastic group of adults (and one red-headed musical wonderchild named Gracie). The music is from Zimbabwea, originally brought to the US and arranged for marimba by Dumisani Maraire, an ethnomusicologist who came to the UW in the 1960’s and taught the music, and the instrument making. The instruments remind people of large xylophones, made of wood. They are all in the key of “C” and are played by striking the wooden “keys” with mallets. The music is not written so the players must memorize the parts and arrangement for each song.

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