Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival

On August 1 and 2, 1600 participants from all corners of South Africa as well as Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland will be gathering at the annual Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival, which will take place at the beautiful St Benedict’s College, Harcus Road, Bedfordview, Gauteng.
Over 250 performances featuring some of Africa’s top marimba and steelpan bands will be featured in non-stop competitions over the two days. These competitions will be adjudicated by six top class experts in not only marimbas and steelpans but also in music and music education.

The adjudicators will also be featured in a number of Fringe events and will be giving lectures and demonstrations, performances, master classes and fun music activities for the whole family.

Amongst the judges are:

  • Andy Narell, a patron of the festival, who hails from France and is one of the world’s top solo steelpan performers. He will be giving two solo performances.
  • Mark Stone, who comes from the USA, an expert on world percussion will be conducting lectures and demonstrations on the Daga Gyil, the marimba of Ghana. This is a must for anyone interested in African music.
  • South Africa’s multi-talented world-class songbird, Sibongile Khumalo will be conducting two master classes in voice at the Festival. This is a rare opportunity for all those singers out there to meet her and be heard by one of the greatest and most versatile talents South Africa has ever produced!
  • Danno Petersen, the 12-year-old “drummer wunderkind” from the Cape now living in Gauteng. Dynamic Danno is the youngest University student in Africa. He has also been the youngest worldwide Yamaha endorses drummer for the past eight years! At the Festival he will be featured at the massed marimba and steelpan event as well as in a number of workshops and performances where adults and children alike can enjoy his performances and will also have the opportunity to ask him questions.

Also featured in the Fringe Events Programme are gumboot, Sotho, Tswana, Greek, Indian and Afrikaans dance workshops. Organisers also have graded djembe drumming and marimba workshops given by leading teachers from Gauteng.

South Africa’s steelpan master, Dave Reynolds, will be giving walk-in steelpan classes and many other experts will be giving talks and workshops on subjects as diverse as boom whackers and games to play in the classroom.

Highlights at the main festival venue include: the massed marimba and steelpan event, the interactive djembe drumming event and 250 marimba and steelpan competition performances. There is something for everyone including a flea market with wonderful food and arts and crafts.

Tickets are R30 for adults and R20 for children six years and older at the gate. Workshops cost an additional R30 per workshop. Alternatively pay R60 per day for adults and children which includes all the workshops. A full weekend pass may be pre-booked online at

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