The Instruments

About the Instruments

The instruments we use include: marimbas, hoshos (gourd shakers), mbira, drums, whistles, kudu horn, the audience and vocals.

Soprano Marimba

The marimbas are hand-crafted - the keys are made of padouk, wenge and mahogany. Below each key is a resonating tube which amplifies the music. Each resonator has a buzzer, a vibrating membrane attached to it. This buzz is thought by some to keep evil spirits away, and adds a unique quality to the music.

The mbira is a ancient instrument with a long history of use in traditional ceremonies.

Mbira Dzavedimu

Staggered metal keys are attached to a wooden sound board. Often, the mbira is played inside a deze, a big gourd which provides amplification. Bottle caps are often attached to the instruments to create a buzzing sound. There are a number of mbira types. The one that we most commonly play is the mbira dzavadzimu which has 29 keys - arranged in two rows for the left hand and one row for the right hand. A second type of mbira that we play is the nyunga nyunga - which consist of 15 metal keys arranged in two rows.

Here is a mbira in a deze. Note the stick used to hold the deze in place.

An mbira in a deze

Hosho are traditional Zimbabwean rattles consisting of a pair of gourds with hota (an African lily) seeds. These instruments help keep the beat.

Playing hoshoDjembe

We are incorporating more varied rhythms into our music. Clave, whistles, wood blocks, a kudu horn, and drums all can suppliment or replace the hosho.

For booking or other questions, contact or call Deb 360-756-9230

Band members are: Adrienne, Deb, John, Julie, Maya, Mo and Tedd
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