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"Roland Lavoie, CBC."

“The energy and enthusiasm of jambanja is infectious. They provided a high-energy performance with incredible displays of percussion, music and dance!”

-Roland Lavoie, Oct. 2006, CBC
- CBC / Radio Canada

"Winner of “Favorite World Beat Ensemble or Performer” Award"

“Favorite World-Beat Ensemble or performer: Jambanja, hot off their debut album Mbavarira, don’t feel bad if you don’t know Jambanja by name… yet. Simply bursting with energy, this six-piece marimba and dance ensemble takes traditional songs of Zimbabwe Shona people and fused them with a contemporary electric sound that is both unmistakable and full of life. Throw in some high-stepping dance and some of their own original compositions and you’ve got a group who’ll soon be hard to forget.”

-Monday Magazine, Feb 24 2005
- Monday Magazine, Victoria, BC 2005 “M” Reader’s Choice Awards

"Reference For Jambanja Marimba"

It is my pleasure to recommend to you and your school community, the performing group Jambanja Marimba. This past October (2005), Lake Trail Middle School had the opportunity to stage a presentation by the group and educate our students about aspects of the culture of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.

Jambanja Marimba provided a high-energy assembly with incredible displays of percussion, music and dancing for an audience of over 400 students and parents.

In advance of the presentation, the group provided thorough instructional material which was used by teachers to prepare for the presentation. The learning materials significantly amplified the value of the presentation for the students.

The group was also able to tailor the performance to the needs of our school on short notice.

In short, this is a group you will not regret performing for your school community and is suitable for all ages and grade levels. Do not hesitate to call me if you require further information, and no, I am not on commission!


Jeff Stewart
Principal, Lake Trail Middle School
- Lake Trail Middle School

"Reference for Jambanja Marimba"

This spirited, energetic ensemble visited our school on November 8, 2005. We had heard a lot of glowing references for the group and I'm happy to say that their performance lived up to and exceeded our expectations. For this performance, we partnered with another school so that there were approximately 400 elementary-age students in our gym. Every one of those students was enthusiastically involved during the entire time. Jambanja Marimba is very skilled at captivating and involving students in an active way. Their music is infectious and interests the listener through story-telling. We enjoyed the performance by Jambanja so much that we put a picture of the concert on our school's web-site, including a link to the group. We also purchased a CD which we enjoy playing on Fridays over our P.A. system. The music sets us up for a happy week-end!

I would be happy to recommend Jambanja Marimba to any school principal.

Andy Reddekop
Tsolum Elementary School - Tsolum Elementary School


Mbavarira "Determination" 2004
(over 8000 copies sold)

01 Jambanja "It Will Happen" 7:52*
02 Tsika "Good Manners" 6:36*
03 Set Us Free 7:15*
04 Mawuya Mawuya "Welcome" 5:48
05 Mbavarira "Determination" 3:46
06 Chipo "Gift" 5:52
07 Nyamamusango "Meet In the Forest" 5:20
08 Tadzungarira "We Are Suffering" 6:08
09 Chikundo "Victory" 5:36*
10 Chemwechangu "My Better Half" 5:55*
11 Bangidza "Enlighten" 5:25
12 He Le Le 5:00

Gungwa "Ocean" 2006
Hot off the Press: Not yet officially released...

01 Gungwa "Ocean" 5:44*
02 Kuzunza "To Shake" 6:07*
03 Dande "A Spiritual Place" 6:01
04 To To Tamba "Here We Dance" 7:49*
05 Muka Tiende "Wake Up Lets Go" 7:29
06 Jaivha "Jive" 5:50*
07 Hondo "War" 5:24
08 Shanda "Work" 5:39
09 Hoso "Horse Drum" 3:47
10 Mutenda Mambo "We Thank the King" 6:56
11 Shanje "Jealousy" 3:36
12 Mbavarira "Determination" 6:13

*original compositions by Garadziva Chigamba



With high spirited rhythms, fiery dance, and enticing melodies, Jambanja’s music is deeply rooted in the rich musical and spiritual legacy of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Fusing traditional vocals, marimba, mbira, hosho, drum and dance with contemporary acoustic beat and electric bass and guitar, this six-piece ensemble presents an exciting and irresistibly danceable show enjoyed by all ages.
Composer/Arranger Garadziva Chigamba comes from one of the most respected families of the Shona music tradition. His ability to cut through the boundaries and rules of rhythm has entranced from the novice to the most knowledgeable lover of music and dance. It is this resource that he uses to translate ancient Shona prayer, work, courtship and celebration songs into modern expression.
Reflecting the voices of the Zimbabwean mbira masters before him, Chigamba’s creations speak to what is human within us all—appreciation, praise for success, refusing war, celebrating one’s better half, acceptance and harmony.
Formed in 2002 by Chigamba and his wife Melissa, after they relocated to Canada from Zimbabwe, Jambanja has performed all over the west coast of North America. Leaving burgeoning passions for Zimbabwean music in their wake, the band has helped to weave a dedicated west coast community of marimba enthusiasts into the Shona spirit.
Joined by the talents of Noëlla Crégheur, Ilana Moon, Hughson Welch and Ted Wright, the members of the band have a wide and varied background of musical experience, now collectively bringing their focus deep into studying and sharing the vision that is Jambanja.
The ensemble has performed at festivals, halls, private parties and other venues all over the west coast, as well as at over 100 schools. After opening for Oliver Mtukudzi at the Vogue in Vancouver, the acclaimed Zimbabwean music veteran remarked about the band, “Now that’s the real thing.”
With two CDs and a growing fanbase, Jambanja welcomes all into its exhilarating expression of world sound, driving you to your feet and dancing you beyond your soles.