Boka Marimba CGOA

Boka Marimba, pictured above, plays at Valley Christian Sept. 12 at 2 p.m., part of a new series of world music presented by Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association.                                                    

HOOD RIVER — The sound of African marimba is coming to the Gorge, along with the music of Mexico, Eastern Europe, Japan and other far-flung locations, as the Columbia Gorge Orchestra Association presents Music from the Global Village, a new monthly music series.

Artistic Director Mark Steighner said the idea for the series, which features world music ensembles from the Gorge and Portland, came from teaching an online Zoom class this past year.

“People enjoyed the diversity of world music, and I thought it would be interesting to showcase live performances of ‘non-western’ music,” he said.

First up is a concert by Boka Marimba, an eight member dance band that plays positive-energy music from Zimbabwe and southeastern Africa. According to the group’s bio, “The music is in the Shona style: Melodic themes and variations layered in polyrhythmic, cyclical patterns. People, on hearing this music for the first time, have described the feeling as one of coming home. Some speak of dancing for the first time in their lives, or for the first time ever outside the privacy of their living room. Listeners of all ages respond with enthusiasm and delight.”

The band’s instrumentation consists of seven marimbas (two sopranos, an alto, two tenors, baritone and bass), gourd shakers, vocals and drums. The songs are sung in the Shona language. Current members are Aisha Beck, Claudia Sneathen, Eric Berkley, Jonah Buttman, Gorge resident Karin Tauscher, MyLinda King, Nathan Beck and Parker Ediger.

The hour-long concert is Sunday, Sept. 12 at Hood River Valley Christian Church and begins at 2 p.m. No tickets are required, but donations are encouraged and accepted.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all audience members will be required to wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Additional information is available at or by emailing Steighner at