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August 13 to 15-ZimFest

ZimFest is all about celebrating the music and culture of Zimbabwe with many wonderful friends and teachers, including many master Zimbabwean musicians. I look forward to learning, sharing, and maybe even performing a little, since Kutandara is appearing on the Sunday night concert. I will have a RhythmWalk informational booth right between the Village Health Project and Nhimbe for Progress tables, two of the wonderful organizations for whom I'm proud to be raising money and awareness. The Reed College campus is the perfect setting for this amazing event. And I look forward to spending more time in Portland, one of my favorite cities.

April 21-Santa Fe Benefit Concert

Many thanks to so many friends and supporters in Santa Fe who sent me off on our way to California and raised nearly $400 for our struggling friends in Zimbabwe. Special thanks to my dear friend, Carrie Ronneau, who conceived of and organized the entire event, getting the word out to the Shona community on such short notice, and arranging an amazing spread of food donations. Thanks also to the Swings, and in particular, Peter's Wednesday night class for donating their time and space, as well as providing such great music. It was so great to hang out and jam with current and former members of Ande, Tatenda, Trillium, Kumusha and Common Thread - such a profound sense of community and the perfect way to start off on our travels...

April 16-Boulder RhythmWalk Benefit Concert

Wow! This night could not have gone better. About 350 people attended to help raise almost $7800! The silent auction alone brought in over $2500. I am still overwhelmed by the whole event. Such an incredible energy, so much love and support - I am truly fortunate to have such an amazing community behind me on this big adventure. We'll not forget this night when we're faced with tough days on the trail.

Many thanks to all, but especially to those who volunteered their time to help make the night such a success. There are too many to list, but I have to single out Carla Starck for helping me organize the silent auction and volunteer staff. And Robin Truesdale for video documentation, Gary Toth and Richard Hart for sound, Lenny for recording and lighting, and of course the bands: Low Flying Knobs, Jaka and Kutandara, as well as our special musical guest, Mary Huckins of Dakota Blonde. And thanks to all of those individuals and businesses that contibuted food, drink and silent auction items to this very special, unforgetable event. Thanks also to A Spice of Life Events Center for providing a significant discount on what turned out to be the perfect space and for letting us all stay late and dance the night away...

April 6-Coal Creek Elementary School
Educational Shows for 4th and 5th Graders

I really enjoyed my time with the fourth and fifth graders at Coal Creek Elementary in Louisville, Colorado. I did three shows, two classes at a time, in the cafeteria, sharing a little show and tell about my hiking gear and playing some Shona music. I talked about simplifying my life down to the bare essentials that fit into my backpack, and we thought about how this is still quite luxurious compared to how many people in Zimbabwe must live. We also talked about things like starvation, what it means to be an orphan and even AIDS. All the groups were such attentive audiences as I played mbira and sang along, and especially as I performed a western marimba version of my new piece, RhythmWalk. Special thanks to Miss Mac (Sara McIntosh) and Robin Truesdale for their help in organizing this special day. Thanks also to all the teachers and staff for the warm welcome I received. And a BIG THANK YOU to all the students I met who donated over to RhythmWalk for Zimbabwe the funds they raised during a recent used cell phone drive!

April 3-Oberlin Alumni Benefit House Concert

This was a wonderful evening of fine potluck desserts and an ecclectic mix of music performed on western marimba, mbira and chipendani. It was nice to meet about a dozen fellow Oberlin alumni, and plenty of other new faces, too. Less than thirty were in attendance, but we were able to raise almost $400 toward RhythmWalk for Zimbabwe's causes. Many thanks to Jillian and David Waldman for welcoming us all into their beautiful home, and to Robin and Charley Truesdale and Ellen Hertzman for helping with the organization. Thanks also to Brechen Santeramo and Amy Stewart for greatly enhancing the performances with their musical talents. And I have to acknowledge my dear friend Lynn Smith for allowing me to practice on her beautiful marimba for two years and more recently give several performances to help promote my endeavor. Lynn and Melissa Crocker even joined Brechen, Amy and myself for a special 5-on-1 western marimba version of the Shona classic Mutiwambuya!

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Please contact me with any questions, or send me information if you know of an organization or individual that would like to support RhythmRIDE for Zimbabwe:
Loren Mach
P.O. Box 249
Eldorado Springs, CO 80025
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Rhythm Walk for Zimbabwe
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