Instructor of Zimbabwe Marimba and M’bira
A percussionist for 20+ years, Nathan Beck graduated from Lewis & Clark in 1992 with a BS in Sociology/Anthropology and a minor in music. Prior to his studies at LC, Nathan was involved with the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum & Bugle Corps (1986-88).
After graduation, he heard Boka Marimba, a local band that plays contemporary Zimbabwean marimba music, and was completely taken by the sweet melodies and funky rhythms. In a few short months, Nathan was playing with Boka and studying the roots of the Shona music that Boka plays. Nathan has studied Shona music since the early 1990’s including extensive study in Zimbabwe with Cosmas Magaya, Garikayi Tirikoti, and and Tute Chigamba. He has been a member of Boka Marimba since 1992.
Nathan and Marian Grebanier founded the mbira group Njuzu. He has taught at the Zimbabwean Music Festival, Camp Tumbuka, as well as many Portland area schools. Currently, he teaches marimba and mbira at Lewis & Clark College and the Multnomah Arts Center in Portland, OR.