Nov. 28, 2014

Vol. 9, Num. 3

Kalimba Magic NEWS

Contest: Your Favorite Kalimba?
Vote for one of these entrants!

We asked the world: "What is your favorite kalimba and why?" and we got some good submissions. Please check out these stories (listed alphabetically by author), and VOTE for the person whose favorite kalimba story resonates most with you.


My old, worn Alto Kalimba!! ...or is it my Treble Kalimba?
by Lynette Deamer

Lynette Deamer

My favorite kalimba at the moment is my old worn in alto. I have recently retuned it to the key of C and am having a great time learning the new material. I love my Treble D kalimba too, but it seems that I go back to my old familiar friend and its mellow sound. I got the poor thing on eBay all beat and untuned and fixed it up. The tines are worn and the paint coming off, but she has character. Though I am getting a chromatic, I am sure I will always play my old alto when I need the comfort of an old friend. One can never have enough kalimbas, but I do think there is always that one that tugs at your heart.

VOTE for Lynetts's Favorite Kalimba on FB


My Blonde Kalimba in Maurice White Tuning
by Gina R Johnson

Gina R Johnson

My favorite kalimba IS, no doubt, the second one I purchased (I have 4 of them now and 2 karimbas). I call it my "blonde" kalimba because of the absolutely gorgeous color of the wood and I also LOVE the tuning. Brother Mark came up with it and calls it the "Maurice White" tuning, and for me, it's HEAVEN to play.

My kalimba is MORE than a mere wooden box with tines on IS my connection to thousands of years of history. For the past 5 years, I have been in the midst of intensely studying the origins of my heritage as a person of Afrikan descent, and owning this kalimba is a HUGE part of that. It is another connection with WHO and WHAT I am. This precious instrument represents a powerful aspect of Mama Afrika for me.

As I began collecting them, I told my son that if anything happened to me, they were to be and to remain family heirlooms. They will be his, and I told him to pass them on to his own children when they come along and that they be taught about themselves through the kalimba's "voice", for its history is THEIRS.

Every time I hold a kalimba and play it, at various points, chills run through my body...the thought that my instruments were made BY HAND and imported here from Zimbabwe, and there was a brother or sister who lovingly worked on them and put them together...there's NOTHING like the feeling and the rich scent of the wood from which they are made. Woah! It sends me flying and at the same time, it gives me grounding and balance. At other times, I'm not playing the kalimba, it's playing ME. It's a spiritual experience I wouldn't trade for ANYTHING else life affords. Peace and blessings.

VOTE for Gina's Favorite Kalimba


My Hugh Tracey Box Pentatonic
Evelyn Ward de Roo

Evelyn Ward de Roo

My favourite kalimba is the Hugh Tracey box pentatonic 11-note kalimba in G minor tuning. It's my 'go to' instrument. It is the perfect accompaniment for my voice. I carry it in my suitcase just in case an opportunity arises. And for my own personal soulful moments.

VOTE for Evelyn's Favorite Kalimba

Playing kalimba and singing in my backyard.

[Note from Mark: Each entry mentioned the tuning their favorite kalimba is in, and each tuning was something other than the original tuning the instrument came in. In other words, each of these people made the kalimba their own with their special tuning.]

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