Saturday, May 16, 2009


I feel so fortunate to have seen the works of Kutandara in person! I attended the birthday party of Bruce and Miranda, the husband and daughter of Mardi, the esteemed vocalist in our jazz combo. Miranda is a student of the Kutandara school of Zimbabwean music and expression. A group of Kutandara instructors and students brought their instruments and set up on the back patio. The sound was infectious, even from a block away as I was walking up. Wandering out the back door of the house was like wading into a sea of sound and motion. People of all ages were expressively tapping the bars of marimbas of all sizes with their mallets. A drummer in the back added the sizzle of cymbals and the pulse of the bass drum while horn players mixed in syncopated accent notes. A few storm clouds above threatened rain but I think the energy of the reverberating hardwood drove them off. While I berated myself for forgetting to bring a camera, our jazz trumpeter, Dave, tuned up his horn and stepped between the alto sax and trombone player in the front.

Kutandara is an organization to educate and involve others in musical expression and cultural awareness. They also participate in fundraising to help those living in poverty in Zimbabwe and Mali. Their website is

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