Zimfest logo.png
GenreZimbabwean Music, Film, Culture, Market
Years active1991 to current

The Zimbabwean Music Festival (Zimfest) is an annual celebration of Zimbabwean music and culture held in the USA. The festival is 4-day long and has concerts, workshops, community conversations, a marketplace and other things. Zimfest is considered the largest annual gathering in North America of students, teachers, performers, and fans of Zimbabwean music. The festival's annual budget around 2017 was US $100,000.[1]

Not to be confused with the UK festival with the same name.

About 500 people register for workshops with more attending the concerts. The festival now presents over 100 workshops and over 30 hours of concerts.


The first festival was organized in Seattle in 1991 by a small committee of former students of the late Dr. Dumisani Maraire, the Zimbabwean musician who first introduced marimba and mbira music to the Pacific Northwest. Then, it was called the Northwest Marimba Fest.

Zimfest has been held in Seattle, Eugene, Portland, Victoria, Port Townsend, Seaside (California), Bellingham, Olympia, Tacoma, and Corvallis, as well as Boulder, Colorado and Moscow, Idaho.

In 1999, Zimfest was registered as a non-profit in the USA and officially became Zimfest Association to oversee future festivals.

The festival has expanded from its initial emphasis on marimbas and the musical legacy of Maraire to encompass the diverse aspects of Zimbabwean performing arts and a wider perspective on culture and education.


The stated mission of the Zimbabwean Music Festival is twofold:

  • to provide a venue for the increasingly international community of students, teachers, and performers of Zimbabwean music to come together and share,
  • to foster the growth of that community by reaching out to an ever-wider audience through educational and performance initiatives.

Artists that have performed at Zimfest


Zimfest performance
Zimfest performance
Zimfest Mbira performance
Zimfest Mbira
Zimfest US
Zimfest Drums
Zimfest US Market
Zimfest Mbira playing
Zimfest musician on stage
Zimfest Musician
Zimfest Traditional Dancing
Zimfest US Musician