Baba Marimba members are (from left) Mike Ankomeus, Robert “Swami” Peizer, Heidi Wilson, and Mark Holdaway.

Can irresistible rhythms and colorful tunes make you want to jump out of your chair and dance? Find out for yourself when Baba Marimba returns to the Arizona Senior Academy for an 11:30 a.m. performance on Tuesday (Feb. 6).

Baba Marimba is a World Beat band that plays African, Middle Eastern, Cuban, Brazilian, jazz, tango and original music. An audience member described being “transported to a place where every cell in my body smiled and danced delightedly!”

The multi-talented members of Baba Marimba include Heidi Wilson on saxophone, marimba and vocals; Mike Ankomeus on trumpet, marimba, dijeridoo and flute; Mark Holdaway on guitar, marimba and kalimba; and Robert “Swami” Peizer on percussion and marimba. As they play, passages of color flow from one instrument to another while joyful rhythms fill the air.

Wilson has performed with many musical groups in Tucson. She is a composer as well as a dancer, tai chi instructor, and a healing arts practitioner.

Ankomeus is an experienced musician and educator who is dedicated to public service and community development. He is also a member of such varied groups as Finestream Gamelan Ensemble and K-Bass, an Afro-Pop reggae band.

Multi-instrumentalist Holdaway is a master kalimba player whose varied musical styles include traditional and popular African music, Western folk and classical music, and pop and rock.

Peizer was introduced to African drumming and dance over 20 years ago and was taught by musicians from the Middle East, Guinea, the Congo and Trinidad.  He loves adding their rhythms and instruments to World Beat, jazz, hip-hop and folk music.

Baba Marimba’s CD, “Tango de los Muertos,” is available through their website,

Written by Leslie Nitzberg, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Group Brings World Beat Music Back to ASA: February 2018