Maru-a-Pula Marimba Band @ Robeson Performing Arts Center
The award-winning Maru-a-Pula marimba comes from Botswana to the Pacific Northwest to raise funds for AIDS orphan scholarships.
The ten-piece marimba band performs a celebration of music and cultural exchange, raising awareness of a continent's struggles while looking to a future of hope and prosperity.
The MaP Marimba Band has visited the United States twice, both to New York and New England. The 2008 tour was featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and in the Boston Globe. Alport Mhlanga traveled as the distinguished guest of MyLinda King in Portland, OR twice and Professor Ernest Brown of Williams College.
The band released the 17-track studio album Tears of Joy in 2001 and Live at the Forum in 2008. Tears of Joy won the Botswana Music Award for "Best Instrumental Music" in 2002.
Alport Mhlanga introduced marimbas Maru-a-Pula School in 1988. The wooden, calabash resonator gives the marimba its distinctive sound. The marimba band's first performance was in March 1988 in Maitisong. They have since performed in Brazil, Canada, the USA, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Among the band's privileged audience have been: Former Presidents Festus Mogae and Sir Ketumile Masire, President George Bush, and Mpule Kwelagobe, former Miss Universe. They have played at the Grahamstown festival, at a world symposium of scientists in Cape Town, at the 10th anniversary of the South African embassy, at SADC conferences, at community weddings, and at the SOS Children's Village.
Maru-a-Pula consistently ranks as one of the top schools in all of Africa and regularly sends its students to universities across the US and UK. Many of Botswana's leadersministers, businesswomen, doctorsare graduates of Maru-a-Pula.
Botswana has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world and currently has more than 30,000 AIDS orphans. The school now funds 30 full orphan scholarships and hopes to raise the money to fund 60 full scholarships by 2010.
Robeson Performing Arts Center
8815 Seward Park Avenue South, Rainier Beach H.S.
Seattle, WA 98118
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|