Kalimba CU

Kalimba Magic NEWS
Volume 3, Number 1

January 22, 2007

In This Issue:

What's New at Kalimba Magic
Interview With Duncan Sickler
African CD: A Day in the Life of Africa
How Cool is the 8-Note Kalimba?
On Accuracy and the Internet
Kalimba Community

World Wide Mbirathon!

Play on January 26 and 27, 2008


Every year, hundreds of mbira players around the world hold an Mbirathon in January. The idea is to have many people playing for a full 24 hours at different locations around the world, raising money for 135 traditional Shona mbira players. This is Erica Azim's baby - she runs the non-profit organization Mbira.

I would suggest that this effort could also help call attention to the plight of the Zimbabwean people. Shona music from Zimbabwe is one of the pinnacles of African musical complexity, and Zimbabwe is quite possibly the birthplace of the ancestor instrument to mbiras and kalimbas. But Zimbabwe now is the site of great suffering, in large part because of the corrupt, incompetent, and immoral policies of the government. Common people can no longer buy bread or milk because of the astronomical inflation rate. The government just came out with a 10 Million Zimbabwean dollar bill, which is just enough to buy a gallon of milk - at least a few days ago it was. Every day hundreds of refugees cross into neighboring countries such as South Africa, seeking food, work, and safety. Enemies of the Zimbabwean government have been forced to leave their homes and watch as bulldozers demolish everything they own.

We, as kalimba or mbira players, all owe a great debt of gratitude to the ancestors who created and innovated these instruments and this music. What can we do today to pay the interest on that debt? While the kalimba may bring great joy to you and those around you, also remember the suffering which is going on in Zimbabwe, the birth place of the mbira.

- Mark Holdaway
Director, Kalimba Magic

What's New at Kalimba Magic?

Free CD Offer for Newsletter Readers

Hey! In this newsletter, we mention two existing books that are new to Kalimba Magic as well as three books that will be available in the coming months. To the first five people who send me an email containing the authors and approximate names of these five books, I will send a free Two Thumbs Up CD. Enjoy the newsletter!

- Mark

Kalimba Magic is on Last FM

Last FM is a great music site that exposes you to all sorts of new and old music. Basically, it is like an FM station that YOU control. You can learn about lots of bands and musicians, and you can even find out what your friends listen to. And now, you can listen to four of Mark Holdaway's kalimba music CDs on Last FM for free.

Or, if you have your own kalimba recordings, why not put them up on Last FM?

Free Shipping January 21 till February 1, 2008

I was five years old when Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. I remember my father was out of town and my mother stayed up until late in the night watching the news and crying. I asked her why she was crying, and she said, "Because they have killed a great man."

More than any other man who didn't play music, Martin Luther King was a hero to me. I remember my mother telling the story about working on election day in 1972 to get out the vote in a black neighborhood in Dallas, Texas. She had knocked on a hundred doors and her feet were tired. She sat on the curb to rest, when she heard a sound truck go by broadcasting "I have a dream" down the nieghborhood streets. Inspired, with renewed will, she got up and went back to work, though it would make no difference to Nixon's re-election.

To my thinking, that is what Martin Luther King's life was about - working to ensure that the day would arrive when everyone would be able to follow their dreams and make them come true. Thank you, Dr. King, for the truth and love and yearning for justice which burned through your life and into this world, even though they would burn you out in the end. Thank you.

OK, here's a small tribute: if you enter the coupon code MLKing when checking out at the Kalimba Magic internet store, you will receive Free Shipping.

Catania Gourd Kalimbas featured on Mae Dean's blog

You can read about the Catania Gourd kalimbas AND some great video of me playing one of them at Mae Dean's blog. Mae Dean is a friend of Charles Head, my high school chemistry teacher and one of the finest human beings I've met.

Catania 8 and 12-Note Books

Kalimba Magic is happy to have Steve Catania's original books for the 8 and 12-Note kalimbas. These are number-based books, rather than the tablature-based books we write at Kalimba Magic. You write numbers on the tines, with "1" being the lowest note (longest tine), and the numbers alternation from left to right as you go out and up the scale. After that it's "play by the numbers." This system works well for children or adults who are afraid of tablature. My personal take on these books: the 8-Note book is good, because the number (1 through 8) corresponds to the musical intervals of the same number (1 is C, the root, 2 is D, or the 2nd of the scale, etc). However, the 12-Note book doesn't have the same correspondence to music theory (the root is actually number 4 in this scheme). On the other hand, this is the only book at this time for the 12-Note kalimba. And at $6.50, the price is definitely right.

Purchase the Catania 8-note book

Purchase the Catania 12-note book

Feb 10: Native American Flute Concert in Green Valley, AZ

On Feb 10, 2008, from 1pm to 3 pm, world-renowned Native American Flute artist Scott August will give a concert at Quail Creek in Green Valley, AZ. To get the whole Native American Flute community on board (which is very different from the Native American community, oddly enough), there will be an open mic before and after. Also, several vendors, including Kalimba Magic, will have tables to sell flutes, flute accessories, books, CDs, videos, and... kalimbas!

Why is Kalimba Magic at a NAF event? For two reasons. When I wrote the pentatonic kalimba book, I had the NAF community in mind, and several NAF players have purchased the pentatonic kalimba and book. I've also got a CD with Native American Flute player Scott Schaefer and percussionist Eric Zang.

Follow the link for directions and more information about this event.

New Book Coming Soon: Jamming on the Kalimba

It has been a year since the last Kalimba Magic instructional book came out - Duets and Trios for Kalimba. While we have no shortage of ideas (I am working at a low level on material for about 20 different books - I'm counting on doing this for a few more decades), the issue of actually finishing a book is a different matter.

So far, all of my books have relied heavily on kalimba tablature. While the tablature is a concise and precise means of conveying detailed information about what to do, reading it is definitely a "Left Brain" analytical activity. But when I am in the flow of playing kalimba, I am not in that space of stop-and-go reading. Rather, I am swimming in a stream of music.

This next book, Jamming on the Kalimba, is a totally different sort of book. Instead of recording the CD after the book is finished, this package is STARTING with recording a backing CD. The CD will have drums, guitar, bass, keyboard, but no kalimba - because this is the stream of music that YOU will be swimming in. Each track on the CD will teach you different things - perhaps a particular chord, or a simple two chord progression, or an interesting rhythm. The text in the book comes along after the music is all done, and tells you some things that will help you play kalimba along with each track. And, to top it off, the book will come with TWO CDs - one which is just the backing tracks, and the other which shows you what I did on my kalimba to play along, to give you some ideas. But take my music with a grain of salt, because it is YOUR IDEAS and YOUR MUSIC that will make this new package work for you!

Look for the book Jamming on the Kalimba in March.

Kalimba and Karimba License Plates

Deb and I got married on November 22, Thanksgiving Day, at the Pima Friends Meeting House in Tucson AZ.

me and deb

Now its more than just our cars that have the same name:

kalimba and karimba

By the way, Paul Tracey (the younger son of Hugh Tracey) has the KALIMBA license plate in California. He got it when he settled in the LA area after touring around the world for nearly a decade with Wait a Minim in the 1970s. Apparently Maurice White, kalimba player and founding member of Earth Wind and Fire, also applied for the KALIMBA plate at the same time, but the California Motor Vehicle folks sided with Mr. Tracey.

Who owns the KALIMBA plate in your state? Probably nobody, which means that it could be you! If you DO get the KALIMBA plate for Florida or Michigan, send me a photo!

Introducing: Tim Holdaway (my 18 year old son)
Another new face at Kalimba Magic

Tim Holdaway

When I ship kalimbas, books, or CDs to individuals, I almost always include a short handwritten personal note. Sometimes it is just "Dear Sarah, Enjoy! - Mark", but I try to tell you something about THIS kalimba's special properties, or some issue that you need to be aware of, or about my hopes for you and this kalimba. It is sort of an inspiration thing—I write what I am inspired to write. Sometimes I hit the nail right on the head, and sometimes I am off in left field, e.g., telling Mrs Smith how much she will enjoy the kalimba, when she is actually sending it to Fred Jones.

And now some of you folks have seen these notes signed, not by "Mark", but by "Tim Holdaway". Tim is my son. He is attending the University of Arizona, studying philosophy and mathematics, and this Christmas season he was helping me with the kalimba orders. He knows almost as much as I do about setting up kalimbas for shipping. Your kalimba was in good hands with my son Tim.

He is working on recording some new and interesting music on the kalimba - proving that the kalimba is not just for people who were around in the 1960s and 1970s, but it is a vibrant instrument alive and well among the younger generation. Already Tim has shown me some cool tricks for recording and modulating the sound of the kalimba, and I am hoping that he will share what he learns in an article for the Newsletter sometime.

The Tip of the Day Continues

Inteview with Duncan Sickler

After only 6 months, he is forging his own kalimba path

Duncan Sickler

Kalimba Magic: Duncan "Dunk" Sickler was born in Long Branch, NJ in 1947, but makes his home in Orlando, Florida. While he works now as an electrician, for 14 years he made his living playing guitar in country, jazz, and pop bands back in the 70s and 80s. But now, this musician has struck upon a new hobby—playing the 11-note kalimba and explains why in the following interview:

KM: Duncan, How long have you been playing kalimba?

Dunk: I've had a kalimba for six months now.

KM: What kind of kalimba do you have?

Dunk: It's made by Goshen Art School in West Virginia. It 's a 1 and 1/2 octave, 11 note model, solid body.

KM: What sorts of feelings do you get when you play the kalimba?

Dunk: It's sort of hard to explain... maybe it has something to do with the right brain, left brain thing. The right brain controls the left hand and the left brain controls the right hand. I think the act of playing it ties the two sides of your brain together in much the same way that meditation might for some people. They say all great art comes from somewhere deep inside when the right and left brain are working together. I know for me, my best playing happens when I just relax, let go and let the music come up from within. The wonderful thing about this instrument is, once you get the hang of it, this happens automatically when you play one.

KM: How did the kalimba find you?

Dunk: I found it when I was on a "camping vacation" in a little West Virginia arts and crafts store called Tamarack Visitors Center (on I -77, West Virginia Turnpike just off of Exit 45). I heard it being played by someone who was browsing the shelves where they were on display. I waited my turn and picked one up and started plunking it. I had no idea what it was at the time and when my wife asked me what it was I said, "It's some kind of portable wind-chime thingy." It had a pleasant sound, so I bought one. When I sat down with it later I discovered it was diatonically tuned and that means you can play all the "basic chords" on it and cover a boatload of different songs and styles of music.

Mine didn't come with instructions... so I sat down and sketched out where the chords were. Then I memorized the chord shapes and took off from that point.

KM: When you speak of chord - you mean 3 or 4 note versions of the same chords that guitar players use. Do you strum the chords, or pick the notes separately?

Dunk: Yes the same chords you play on guitar or keyboard. Of course you are stuck playing in the key the kalimba is tuned in and the mode you are playing in (you can't flat a third or a seventh either), but... a diatonically tuned kalimba can play the IM, IIm7, IIIm7, IV, V7, VIm, VIIdim chords and a lot more subtle variations on them. Keyboard players and guitarist just repeat the same notes of a 3 or 4 note chords. They sound more full because of that. Having said that, it's really surprising how much music you can make with a kalimba, especially when you start to play across it in a sequential fashion and pick up the octave and grace notes to chords.

Sometimes I play all the notes of a chord together and I arpeggiate and strum them at other times. I try to suit the timing, rhythm and feel of the song. The kalimba will take you a certain direction style-wise on its own and it's really good to go with that flow, music-wise! One really cool thing about a kalimba is that it's a natural born arpeggiator. A beginner on kalimba can play things that an expert keyboard player or guitarist would have trouble ever being able to play at all. It's just native to the instrument!

KM: One of my favorite things is two note chords on the kalimba (or mandolin or guitar, for that matter).

Dunk: Yes, that's another thing that's native to the kalimba! You can play harmonies to lead lines without really trying. This also makes the Kalimba very forgiving as an instrument because if you "miss" a note while playing a song... chances are that it was a harmony note and the listener will supply the right note for the song you are playing in his mind.

KM: How do you use the chordal kalimba in your music?

Dunk: I sing a lot while playing so I use a combination of block chord playing and mix in arpeggio playing, timed to suit the rhythm and feel of the song. Kalimba is also good at supplying strong rhythm patterns along with the chords and melody (so many native abilities!)

KM: Do you have kalimbas in different keys, or have you ever retuned to a different key to make more vocal songs accessible to kalimba accompaniment? (OK, you've only been playing 6 months - I think it took me about 5 years before I started experimenting that way.)

Dunk: I have just one right now. I'm planning on getting a Hugh Tracey as soon as I decide which one I want. I have only tuned mine up a couple of half steps to see what it sounded like with songs in higher keys. Right now it's back down to D. I have experimented with playing songs in dorian mode (the key of E minor on D major kalimba). You know... Eleanor Rigby, Spooky and celtic music I have in E dorian mode). I've worked out where the other modes are but haven't worked anything out in those other keys yet.

KM: What about melodies on the kalimba?

Dunk: I play a combination of chords with melodies woven in with arpeggiation on songs and pretty much stick to chords or arpeggiations and strums while singing with it.

KM: So, where do you feel you've gotten in just six months on the kalimba?

Dunk: The thing I love about this instrument is that it is quite simple for a beginning musician to learn to play but challenging even for a seasoned musician to really master—so it also appeals to accomplished musicians... That ... and it's probably one of the most portable and pleasant sounding instruments in the world! One of my favorite things I do with mine is (I carry mine with me everywhere I go) to have someone ask me, "What's that?" I love to watch the expressions on people's faces when they hear it played! Next to having a dog it's the "next best" way of meeting new friends. There is a kind of universal curiosity and delight when people see and hear one!

KM: These words resonate strongly with my experience - it is easy enough for any beginner to make beautiful sounds, but to really learn how to drive it as you want is not as easy as it looks. And, yes, it is wonderful to turn people onto something they've never seen or imagined.

KM: Where do you think the kalimba will take you, say, in 5 years?

Dunk: Well, I can retire in another year and a half, and we camp a lot and plan to travel. I plan to buy a bunch of these things and write a book to help teach people to play. Maybe I'll sell some of them as we go along. Basically it's great fun to turn people on to them. They virtually sell themselves and they are in an excellent price point so most anyone can afford even high quality models. It's also not a stretch to think I might perform with one.... I like that idea!

KM: Do you see a place beyond which the kalimba is limiting, or do you imagine ever-opening doors in front of you?

Dunk: I would have said you can master a simple instrument like this in no time but of course that's not really true. Each level you rise to opens up more and more branches you could follow and so on. With alternate tunings, playing in other modes and experimenting with other beats, amplifying it and using electronics to modify/enhance the sound, I'd say there is no limit... really! It's a pinnacle tool for musical expression and creation, a way of expressing what is inside of you! I plan on having several models and styles to help keep things fresh and challenging!

KM: I hear you've been "spreading the good news" about the kalimba. You have created your own way of understanding the kalimba and making music on it, and you are sharing that with people around you. How do you do that?

Dunk: Well ... I didn't create it but when I was a professional musician (playing guitar) I learned a simplified way of thinking about music that was developed by session musicians in Nashville. Its called "Nashville Notation". I just applied what I already knew to the kalimba. It really helped to speed up my learning to play it! It might be a way to help others learn easier I don't know... we'll see I guess. (Laughs)

If you are interested in reading how Duncan applies Nashville notation to the kalimba, read on!

To contact Duncan, you can email him at: duncan.sickler("at")ngc.com - or course, you need to replace ("at") with @ - this is a trick so spammers don't collect Duncan's email address from my web page.


African CD: A Day in the Life of Africa

This is the first of a series of articles that will help
you play kalimba along with CDs of African music

A Day In Africa CD

Over the years, I have received a lot of praise for my innovative and accomplished kalimba playing, but I have also dealt with a lot of criticism that I don't play African music on the kalimba. Actually, I play kalimba music that works with whatever it is that I am playing with. So, if I put on a CD of African music, I will play kalimba music that fits with the African music.

First, a big warning. Essentially any CD of "African" music that you purchase today will be very far from traditional. The African scales and tunings have largely been bulldozed by western scales. The guitar has replaced the kalimba as the second-most-popular instrument in Africa (the drum is still number one). So, most African music will have a large component of western music in it. The groundbreaking recordings Hugh Tracey made between 50 and 80 years ago were designed to capture real African music before western influences irretrievably altered the traditional music. You can, or course, purchase CDs of Hugh Tracey's best recordings from the 1950s at the International Library of African Music. That said, there are many aspects of popular African music today which are still genuinely African. Its just that Africa is a different place today than it was 100 years ago—and African culture is a blend of many things, including Bob Marley, Beatles, and hip-hop from LA.

Now, here is the challenge: each month, I will share a different CD of African music, as well as hints for how you can play along with the music. The idea for this came indirectly from Michael Sussman. He was really intrigued by the idea of playing kalimba with his reggae band, but he didn't know how it would work out, so he didn't purchase a kalimba. But in our emails, Michael turned me onto the music of Dobet Gnahoré, a singer/songwriter from Ivory Coast. I told him that I had been playing along with her CD on various kalimbas. Well, in the end, I got Michael to buy a kalimba, but only after he heard what I had been playing on kalimba with Dobet's music.

And then it occurred to me: this is how I am going to get more African music in my bones, and educate the kalimba community at the same time.

The main issue to deal with when you are confronted with any new song you want to play along with on your kalimba is: key. What key is your kalimba in, and what key is the song in? If you are playing with real musicians, you might be able to get them to change their key so that the kalimba works with the song. However, CDs don't change for anyone. If you are lucky, the kalimba will be in the same key as the song, and you won't have to find out anything—it will just work, and you will know it right away. And, as Deb says, "Luck counts." But if you aren't lucky, you'll need to know a bit about music to find out the keys. The Hugh Tracey kalimbas come tuned to some specific key and have paperwork to indicate the key and what notes are there. The key of the kalimba is not necessarily the lowest note.

But today the process has gotten a lot easier, at least on one CD each month. Today, we will start with a great compilation CD called A Day in the Life of Africa. I got this from my public library in Tucson, along with its companion book, a coffee table tome with photographs by about 100 professional photographers who all took photos in Africa on Feb 28, 2002. This book calls awareness to the affect that AIDS continues to have on African people. It's a great book to borrow and look at to get a better understanding of what life is like across Africa, and it's a great CD to buy —with legendary musicians such as Habib Koite, Sam Mangwana, and Cesaria Evora, this is a great introduction to African music. And when you purchase this CD (not from me—but Amazon.com and [gulp] Walmart carry it), you will be able to pull out your kalimba and jam with the songs. Here is what you need to know:

As to what notes, rhythms, or melodies you should play—feel free to explore. When you do something that works, remember it, because in African music the chord progressions are often repetitive—that riff will come around again, and if you can repeat what you just did, it should work again. If you didn't like a particular note, stay away from it for a while. The kalimba and the music will teach you. Good luck and have fun.

Stay tuned in the coming months as we explore the music of Habib Koite, Oliver Mtukutzi, Thomas Mapfumo, Dobet Gnahoré, as well as how you can use your kalimbas to have fun playing along.


How Cool is the 8-Note Kalimba?

A New Song from Sharon Eaton on an F-tuned 8-Note Kalimba

Sharon Eaton, co-creator (with Randy Eaton ) of KTabS, the Kalimba Tablature Software, has been playing with a Hugh Tracey 8-Note kalimba. Instead of tuning to the key of C as is usually, she has tuned the B to a Bflat - which puts the kalimba in the key of F. With this tuning, the notes from lowest to highest, cover the intervals 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - so instead of doubling the root, or 1, at the bottom and the top, the root is in the middle, and the 5th is doubled at the bottom and top. This permits you to play different melodies than you can get in the standard tuning.

F tuning for 8 note kalimba

Sharon says: I am totally captivated with the 8 note kalimba. Since my favorite thing is to just sit and play hymns by ear, this kalimba is perfect for me. Even with my eyes closed I can pick out the notes much more precisely than with other kalimbas. I like the challenge of making pretty glissandos and chords even with the wider tine spacing. The fact that you can do so much with something that looks so ridiculously simple makes the 8 note an extra special kalimba. Attached is a song called Close to Home I wrote for it:

I love to play that little tune. The trickiest part is the CAFC chord-- there is a real art to hitting that one, as I'm sure you know. This is the kind of music I always wanted to play on the Treble, but I could never quite get my brain around the complexity of it all. With the Treble I am prone to writing songs too hard for me to play, but the 8 note seems to be right at my mental ability level. I know in my head that it is missing a lot of what the other models have to offer, but somehow I don't feel like I am giving up anything when I play it. Instead, I feel like I am applying what I learned with the other models. And its simplicity makes me feel like I'm at rest. I'm sure you get the idea... The Alto and Treble kalimbas are bigger than me (which is not a bad thing), and the 8 note kalimba IS me.

Kalimba Magic: Sharon, thank you so much for sharing your song. I am also amazed at how much you can get out of a simple 8-note kalimba! You can contact Sharon at: ktabs("at")theirhouse.org, of course changing ("at") into @.

By the way, Sharon has a 50 song kalimba hymnal in the works for the Treble kalimba. I've reviewed the arrangements, and this is a good piece of work. The hymns start out easy and have progressively fuller arrangements, which are beautifully done. The hymnal is not yet ready for public consumption, but I encourage you to contact Sharon to encourage her if you are interested in this kind of music.


On Accuracy and the Internet

At Kalimba Magic, we take accuracy seriously

begin[rant]: When I googled "Kalimba" on Jan 1, 2008, I was surprised by two things: First, "Kalimba Magic" has made it to the top of the web site listings—we have the number one kalimba web site according to Google. (I think 18 months ago we were like number 500 on Google.) But above the web site listings are images of the kalimba. Top center is a glaring error: the supposed notes of the Hugh Tracey treble and alto kalimbas, as shown on a prestigious school's music dictionary web site, are incorrect.

The incorrect kalimba range listed on 
Virginia Tech’s website

If you know anything about the Treble kalimba, you know that it has 17 tines. If you know anything about the Alto kalimba, you know it has 15 tines. Somehow these guys got the notes backwards, and their graphic claims that the Treble has only 15 notes, and the Alto has 17 notes. Further, they make a huge blunder by putting the Alto notes an octave below the Treble notes. If you have both the Alto and Treble kalimbas, you know that most of the notes overlap—the Alto has two notes that go lower than the Treble, and the Treble has four notes that go above the Alto, but the other 13 notes are common to both instruments. And last, the use of the term "Celeste" is not correct, as "Celeste" applies to the board mounting style. There are "Celeste Alto kalimbas", "Celeste Treble kalimbas", and "Celeste Pentatonic kalimbas", which are all tuned differently.

Part of our marketing effort at Kalimba Magic has been to see what information other people have been putting on the web, so I have known about this error for over two years, and have communicated repeatedly to the folks who run this website about this error. However, they have done nothing to fix the error (even when I twice provided replacement graphics), and now that error has risen right to the very top and is right in front for everyone to see. Google doesn't have time to care about this level of detail—they deal with algorithms—how many people looked at this image or how many websites link to that image. But isn't it a little scary that erroneous information can get top billing?

I invite you to view my wikipedia article on the kalimba, (also on the first page of search results for "kalimba"), which has the correct notes for the Treble and Alto kalimbas.

Let me tell you about the web vultures: the so-called search engine optimizers, or "SEOs", out there. In the last year, I have been contacted by about eight different companies claiming that, with their assistance, I would have the top-ranked kalimba web site. They (people sitting in offices in New York or St. Louis or Los Angeles who have never even seen a kalimba in person, but who knew a lot about how search engine algorithms work) would write "expert content" that would trick the search engines into picking my website as the most relevant response to a search on "kalimba". For only $200 or $400 a month (I forget what they wanted), I could get a "free ride." Well, I certainly hope one of you folks reading this article is working for one of those companies. Yes, Kalimba Magic IS the number one ranked Kalimba Site—but I did it the old fashioned way—by creating interesting, original, and relevant content. This is my job, and I take it seriously. The Newsletters and the Tips of the Day, and the Kalimba Community are key factors that make Kalimba Magic what it is—interesting and relevant new content that just happens to use the word "kalimba" in an information-rich context.

And while I'm at it: a year ago, National Geographic's organization Novica was selling kalimbas made in Indonesia, claiming that the kalimba was a traditional Indonesian instrument. And I still find kalimbas on the web that are made in Pakistan but are claimed to be musical instruments from Africa. Yes, people just make up what they want in order to sell things. At Kalimba Magic, we are sticklers for accuracy. We believe that the best way to sell our kalimbas is by being as informative and accurate in our descriptions as we can. We have set a high standard for the truth, and that standard is the same whether you are talking with us on the phone, communicating with us on email, talking with us in person, reading our web content, or reading our instructional books.

Yes, there are things in the world that are messed up—and admittedly, the ones I've ranted about here are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things. But it is our responsibility to put out some things into this world that are good, beautiful, right, and true. You know the list in your own heart, you don't need me to tell you about it, but from time to time we all need some cheerleaders to remind us that it really is up to us! end[rant]


The Kalimba Community

Far and Wide

Kalimbas on Tiles

Kalimba Down Under

David Gale and his Kalimba group have just performed at the The 23rd Illawarra Folk Festival, held at the Bulli Showground from 17 to 20 January 2008

Kalimba Samples

Rory Dow has provided samples of the Hugh Tracey kalimba in several formats.

I myself am not a sampler kind of guy - I think there is something fundamental about the physical nature of the kalimba that makes kalimba music sound the way it does. But I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Ricky Edwards, a Great Kalimba Player

I just heard from Ricky Edwards, a kalimba player that you might be hearing more from in the future.

Great Kalimba Video from All Over

I've gotten a lot of comments about all the YouTube kalimba videos we've been linking to, so here are a few more. We're rationing them out so they'll last.


May this be a wonderful new year for you - the best to you in your work to make your dreams come true!

Mark Holdaway


If you have any questions, or if you have suggestions for future newsletter topics or Tip Of The Day ideas, please share them with me! -Mark

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