Tsitsi Hantuba – Founder and Executive Director
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tsitsi is the daughter of the late Cosmas Magaya, a world-renowned Zimbabwean mbira player, teacher, and cultural ambassador. From a very early age she was exposed to the rich Shona culture, traditions, and music. Unlike the average child growing up in Zimbabwe, mbira was a normal part of Tsitsi’s everyday life.
Tsitsi is dedicated to preserving and sharing the traditional music and culture of Zimbabwe and paying forward the generosity and emotional support provided by others throughout her life.
She is a seasoned certified public accountant with vast experience in both corporate accounting and non-profit accounting. She currently works as an accountant in Arkansas where she lives with her husband and two children.
Jim Pugliese – Artistic/Educational Director
Working in hundreds of schools In NYC, Jim has conducted workshops for thousands of students and teachers, teaching math, cultural studies, and language arts through music and percussion.
In 2005 he was given the opportunity to begin his “Dream” After-School Arts Program. As the brainchild and supervising director of R.A.V.E (Radical Arts Venue and Education Center) the program received three major national awards.
Jim is also an internationally renowned performer and recording artist and has been BMI’s Composer-In Residence and Percussion Instructor at La Guardia High School of Music and Art in NYC for the past twenty years.
Glenn West – Artistic/Development Director
Trained as a violinist/violist and composer, Glenn West has immersed himself in the study of the Shona Mbira of Zimbabwe and traditional Shona musical practices and is currently an instructor of ethnomusicology at the Eastman School of Music.
He has worked with numerous artists including Cosmas Magaya, Chartwell Dutiro, Musekiwa Chingodza, Patience Chaitezvi, among others and has spent time researching and performing in Zimbabwe.
Glenn has also performed and taught across New York State and remotely across the US. In 2018, he gave presentations on the mbira at the China Conservatory in Beijing and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Cecily Crout – Digital Marketing Director
After starting marimba classes in 2012, Cecily very quickly fell in love with traditional Zimbabwean music and culture. Since then she has attended Zimbabwean music workshops and camps every year. She bought her first mbira from Cosmas Magaya at Zimfest in the summer of 2014, and had her first mbira lessons with him soon after.
Cecily has been working in digital marketing for over 20 years. Specializing in SEO, UX, CRO, & web analytics, she values the opportunity to work with & support organizations in education and the arts.