Aaron Spalding began to playing bass at the age of 8 years old. In his teens he started playing percussion and played with many bands in high school. When he was 22 he discovered Zimbabwean music and started studying it intensely. In 1998 he was one of the founding members of Bliss Gypsys a band that toured and performed all over the USA and Canada for four years. Aaron has recorded CDs with Bliss Gypsys and Rumba Caribe and has been a session musician on many world music CDs over the years.
When invited into Jim's personal space, one can easily see his love of music in the sheer number of instruments with which he surrounds himself and in the way he constantly and reverently holds one in his hands. The music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe spoke loudly to him when he first heard it performed. His initial and continued enthusiasm were shadowed only by his resolve towards learning. Since then, he has studied and played with masters. He has devoted himself to both the preservation and the evolution of this music. With one foot rooted in the history and tradition of the music, the other will walk the path yet seen by the ancestral spirits.
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kyle began playing percussion among a
group of high school friends in 2004. They eventually formed the band 12
Fluid Ounces, and played over 60 shows across the state and recorded
two EPs. After moving to Lafayette in 2009, he met members of Circ
Afrique and eagerly began learning West African djembe. As a graduate
student in cultural anthropology studying hip hop in Peru, Kyle has a
deep appreciation for the world's musical traditions and innovations,
and is excited to be a part of Zimdiana's creative energy.
- Charis Heisey - Charis Heisey is originally a fiddle player, but when she encountered Shona mbira and marimba music, she couldn't help but love it. A member of former Bloomington, Indiana group "The Mbira Queens," Charis enjoys the occasional privilege of visiting Lafayette to spend time in good company and play hosho (gourd shakers) alongside the thunderous marimba beats of Zimdiana.
- Abby Byers - From the very first note, you can plainly see the exuberant energy within Abby Byers that calls her to convey the beauty of Shona music. She expresses this through her body by dancing, singing, and creating percussive textures using magavhu (leg rattles) and hosho. An inspiring performer and teacher, Abby holds knowledge in a variety of instruments, dance forms and vocal styles. She was a member of Sheasby Matiure and the Mbira Queens for 4 years, and more recently performed with Chinyakare- directed by Julia Chigamba. Abby embodies the joy and depth of Shona music while respectfully making it her own.
- Adam Rice - Adam Rice began playing the djembe in 2005. A couple years later, he began providing percussion at local solo artists’ shows. In 2008 he played with Laugh At Linus, a folk-funk-rock band. He also played for two years with The Bailout Revival, a rusty-rock cover band. In 2009 Adam joined CircAfrique, and has had the privilege of learning traditional West African rhythms on a variety of drums. During this time he was introduced to music from Zimbabwe. For the past year Adam has been learning Shona music on the marimba and jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Zimdiana.
- Dave Aldridge - Dave is a Lafayette native, recently back in town for the first time since studying music at IU and working as a cruise ship musician. In the short time since returning he has become a first-call player among local jazz artists, and an in-demand teacher, working with percussion programs at both McCutcheon and Benton Central high-schools. Dave is thrilled at his luck to have hooked up with Zimdiana, and looks forward to spreading Shona music around the region.
- Taylor Davis - Music has always been a huge influence in Taylor's life. He was given
his first drum in 4th grade and within a few months was rocking his
school talent show with "Louie, Louie". He was forever changed. With
music tastes ranging from Del McCoury to the Antibalas, he is always
looking for new music to freshen the soul. This was definitely the case
when introduced to the mbira and shona music. Taylor has been active in
the local music scene since 2005 and is excited to continue his journey