Melting pot of beats |

Melting pot of beats

If you love upbeat African and Latin American music, Friday at Miners Foundry is the place to be. Masanga will be playing seven Guatemalan and Zimbabwean marimbas, plus drums, percussion, saxophone, trumpet and vocals.

What are marimbas? A tuned percussion instrument that has bars which are struck with mallets. They originated in Africa hundreds of years ago and were imported to South America in the sixteenth century.

Sharing the joy of the evening, the all ages audience will be invited to participate. First the children then everyone learning an entire song on the spot, including words, marimba, drumming and dancing.

The 10-person Masanga Marimba Ensemble was formed eight years ago; it’s name means the coming together of two rivers as in the melding of two musical traditions. Dr. Ric Alviso, a Cal State Northridge ethnomusicologist, professor of World Music, and the director of the CSUN African Music Ensemble, leads the group; he learned traditional Mexican music in his family and studied African music in Senegal and Zimbabwe for two years.

To see a clip of them playing, go to

Joining Masanga are Chigamba and Ronnie Daliyo from Zimbabwe. They are part of the group Chinyakare, which you also can see online at

Know & Go

What: Masanga Marimba Ensemble

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where:Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring St., Nevada City

Admission: $10 at the door, all ages.

Information:; 265-5040

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