Iramba is the name of the place (a beautiful plateau in central Tanzania) where my father grew up. It is the language (kinyiramba) of my people. In Dar es Salaam, and in the villages, I notice the inventiveness and care with which people solve problems. Adaptive reuse and improvisation are hallmarks of communities in many parts of the world where systemic marginalization has made resources scarce. Limited materials necessitate developing novel solutions. I’m informed by the inventiveness I’ve seen under less than ideal circumstances. The goal of my work and process is to aspire to an expansive, eclectic, almost musical approach to problem solving.
— kitundu

Iramba Studio is the commercial side of Kitundu's long established art practice. We endeavor to create thoughtful, inventive, and surprising public and private works that nurture a sense of wonder. We are fortunate to have awe inspiring and deeply capable people to call upon as resources in our work.

Walter Kitundu - Principal Artist and Founder

Kitundu is a sound artist and installation artist, instrument builder, photographer, performer, and environmental designer. He is the inventor of a family of Phonoharps, multi-stringed instruments made from record players that rely on the turntable’s sensitivity to vibration. He has created hand-built record players powered by the wind and rain, fire and earthquakes, birds, light, and the force of ocean waves. In 2008 Kitundu received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work in this field.

Walter has received public art commissions, residencies, and professorships at the California College of Arts and Northwestern University. He has performed and been in residence at art centers and science museums internationally. He has collaborated with the renowned Kronos Quartet, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello, the electronic music duo Matmos, and the legendary Marshall Allen - in venues from Carnegie Hall to a high school library in Egilstaadir, Iceland.

He has taught Sculpture in the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University. He was previously the Senior Design Developer for the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium. In this capacity he designed and built environments for learning, developed and facilitated activities, and provided general artistic direction. He was also a Lead Teacher and Educational Research Associate in after-school programs in local community centers.

RESUME available here

Robin Sukhadia - Iramba Project Manager

Robin currently serves as Director of Development and Communications for artworxLA, a 23 year old arts and music education non profit serving at risk high school youth across Los Angeles County. Prior to joining artworxLA, he worked as a Senior Account Director for the Flavor Group Creative Agency, where he led global marketing efforts for UNIQLO, Red Bull, SanDisk, and Toyota. In 2010, he led a global marketing campaign joining Tiesto, the world’s biggest DJ, with SanDisk, earning the campaign a Billboard Magazine nomination for best Artist + Brand partnership. For over ten years, Robin has traveled internationally as International Grants Program Director, on behalf of Project Ahimsa, an organization committed to empowering impoverished youth through music education.

Robin is a disciple of the great tabla maestro, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. in 2011, he completed a Senior Research Fulbright Fellowship in India, where he developed 6 music education programs across India and Nepal, each serving children in some of the poorest regions and communities of south Asia. He has lectured and developed innovative music education programs centered on Bollywood and south Asian culture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, The GRAMMY Museum, and at Carnegie Hall.

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Janis Lane-Ewart - Iramba Development Advisor

Janis Lane-Ewart hails from Chicago, Illinois and began her career as an arts administrator in 1977.  Her work with nonprofit organizations led her to Minneapolis, MN in 1989, where she currently resides. Janis has an extensive background as an arts administrator and consultant working with local, regional and nationally based arts organizations. As such, her specific areas of expertise include operational management of nonprofits; local, state, national, and private foundation fundraising; major donor campaigns; strategic planning; project development and initiation; and a strong background in financial acumen.

Janis has provided services to nonprofit organizations such as Arts Presenters and the Rhythm & Blues Foundation (Washington, DC); Little Black Pearl, Jazz Institute of Chicago, the Association for the  Advancement of Creative Musicians, and Muntu Dance Theatre (Chicago, IL); KMOJ-FM Radio, COMPAS, A Place For Writers, The Phillips & Powderhorn Cultural Wellness Center, KFAI Fresh Air Radio, (Minneapolis and St. Paul) where she recently completed nearly 12 years of service as its Executive Director, and KBEM Jazz88.

Janis is also active in community service, having served, locally, on the boards of the Midtown Greenway Coalition, Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association, Community Shares of Minnesota and COMPAS; Ananya Dance Theatre, Midtown Global Market; regionally as Immediate Past Treasurer of the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (Ampers); and, nationally as Immediate Past Treasurer and C.E.O. of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and Network Affiliate Representative on the Pacifica National Foundation Board. She remains active as a volunteer programmer, producer and news reporter at KFAI, Fresh Air Radio.

Ned Khan - Iramba Technical Advisor

Born in Connecticut, Kahn majored in botany and environmental science at the University of Connecticut where he received a BA in Environmental Sciences, before working at the Exploratorium from 1982 until 1996. Physicist Frank Oppenheimer, the museum’s brilliant and eccentric founder (and the younger brother of J. Robert Oppenheimer), became his mentor. Kahn has received numerous awards for his work.  He won a MacArthur Foundation genius grant fellowship in 2003, and the National Design Award for environmental design in 2005.  Kahn’s public art commissions span the globe. Read a thoughtful and more representative overview of Ned and his work HERE.