Masanga Marimba is a high-energy Zimbabwean style marimba band that plays a combination of traditional African music along with Latin and Caribbean tunes such as Guantanamera, Grazing in the Grass, and La Bamba. If you haven't seen a Zimbabwean style marimba band you're in for a treat. Our music is fun, has a big sound, and is family oriented.
Masanga Marimba plays traditional and popular music from Africa and Latin America. The instruments used in this ensemble consist of 7 Zimbabwean marimbas of various sizes along with vocals, drums, percussion, saxophone and trumpet. The word “Masanga” comes from an African word that means the coming together of rivers or roads representing the meeting of African, Latin and American traditions in this group. Masanga Marimba formed in the year 2000 and has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Grand Performances, Skirball Cultural Center, Madrid Theater, and the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. The ensemble also played for the inauguration of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and was honored to be selected to perform for the World Festival of Sacred Music. The group is led by Dr. Ric Alviso, a Cal State Northridge ethnomusicologist, professor of World Music, and the director of the CSUN African Music Ensemble. Professor Alviso studied traditional African music in Senegal, Zimbabwe and Ghana. The members of Masanga have degrees in percussion performance, music composition, music education, jazz performance, art, and ethnomusicology. Masanga is the only marimba ensemble in Southern California that combines Latin and African traditions. Their music is upbeat, danceable, and family-oriented. The sight and sound of Masanga's giant marimbas is unlike anything you've ever seen or heard before.