Zimfest 2013

June 27-30 — Pacific Lutheran University — Tacoma, WA

Eric Miller

Eric Miller became interested in Zimbabwean Music when he moved to Portland, Oregon in 1996 and first heard Boka Marimba. At first, he would just dance away the night but after a year, he auditioned and started playing in the band. In Boka, he met Nathan Beck who introduced him to the mbira, and Marian Grebanier, who gave him a solid foundation in the traditional Shona mbira repertoire. Julia Chigamba, a Zimbabwean singer and dancer moved to Portland in 1998 and Eric began performing with her as well. He played with Boka for 5 years until it became apparent that it was time to create his own group. In 2003, Eric formed Pachi Pamwe with Matt Gordon on guitar/bass and began fusing his own lyrics and style with that of the traditional mbira repertoire. Eric finally went to Zimbabwe for 3.5 months in 2005 to experience the culture, study some mbira, and give back to the people. While there he met and played trumpet with Bongo Love and Dudu Manhenga. In 2006, he recorded with Zimbabwean Legend Thomas Mapfumo and in 2007 began touring internationally with Mapfumo's band, playing mbira and trumpet. Eric has been making his living in Portland since 2003 teaching marimba in schools and out of that he formed a youth band called Supadupa Marimba Bros. He has studied with every traditional mbira player to come through town but has mostly learned from deeply listening to recordings. Eric loves, respects, and plays traditional mbira music but also feels the need to express himself and does so by composing his own songs and singing in his mother tongue.

Name Sessions Enrollment
Zvichapera
Marimba: Teens, Adults; Intermediate
Session 7 (Sun 1:00 PM) 8/8 students
Chigwindiri
Marimba: Teens, Adults; Advanced Beginner
Session 6 (Sat 3:30 PM) 9/9 students
Eric Miller