Most of you have found out about the amazing experiences kalimbas provide through social media advertisements. You may be woo'd by our whimsical tunes being played while watching the soothing waves hit the sand & think, "Wow, that thing looks so cool."
In a way, Mr. Hugh Tracey experienced that same love at first sight! Hugh Tracey was an ethnomusicologist who spent a lot of time in Africa. Early in his time spent there, Mr. Tracey found these "thumb pianos" and instantly fell in love with them. He was amazed at how their shapes and sizes differed depending on where he went, and he thought they would be very popular in the States due to their simple style of playing and beautiful notes.
Around the end of the 1950's, Mr. Tracey developed a company named African Musical Instruments. He began making kalimbas with this company & shipping them out internationally. Kalimba popularity was further increased when Hugh's sons, Andrew and Paul, played kalimba in the musical named "Wait a minim!" which toured 3 countries before making its way to Broadway in New York City!