After a two year hiatus Polyphony Marimba is thrilled to re-group with master musicians from Africa and around the USA. Since we formed in 2010 the band has regularly performed across America, this summer 2018 being our fifth tour. We have recorded three albums featuring the traditional music of Zimbabwe as well as original songs, selling several thousand copies here and abroad. 

Peter & Karyna Swing formed this acoustic ensemble in Santa Fe, NM in the spirit of the original format which Peter received from Dumi Maraire in the late 1980’s: seven marimbas from soprano to bass, shakers (called hosho) keeping the beat, and rich vocal harmonies with spiritual and folk themes. From December to March this year Peter has been in Zimbabwe, deepening his understanding of an amazingly rich culture, as well as recruiting players for the ensemble.

Part of our vision is to give tangible employment to those who know the music best. Now for the first time we are excited to sponsor two Zimbabweans, Barnabas Ngalande and Tawanda Mapanda, to tour with us. About  half of our repertoire features very deep traditional songs, to which Barnabas and Tawanda give an unmistakable stamp of authenticity.

Polyphony Marimba is equally devoted to exploring new musical frontiers and we have several brand new compositions to share. These are imbued with the rhythms of southern Africa, but you will also hear the influence of  JS Bach, Nina Simone, The Beatles and the like. Who but westerners can lend depth to Polyphony’s original material? We are so happy to have these incredibly talented young marimba players join us: Jesse Larson from Boulder, CO, David Onstott from Albuquerque, NM, Adam Halpin of Spokane, WA, and DeeDee and Tessa Wells of Joplin, MO.

Polyphony Marimba is dedicated to being as authentic as possible in joining the Zimbabwean musical tradition, as well as adding branches and flowers of our own. We have carefully honed this vision by playing every day on tour, from New York City to Chicago, from St Louis to Austin; from busking on the street to performing in large festivals. It has been a challenging path but the spirit of the music truly compels us, and gives us wings to soar to ever new musical heights.