Thursday, April 14, 2011

Zimbabwe Jazz Festival to Feature Women Artists

Female jazz artistes set to thrill city fans

Wednesday, 13 April 2011 22:01
Entertainment Reporter

THIS year's edition of the Harare Jazz Festival to be held at the Rainbow Towers on Saturday will pay tribute to female jazz legends who popularised the genre by giving them a special slot.

The slot will see the likes of Dudu Manhenga, Chiwoniso Maraire, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Patience Musa and Claire Nyakujara taking audiences down memory lane with music from the 1950s, 60s and the 70s.

The artistes will perform two songs each, one from their own music catalogue while the other would be from the golden era of Zimbabwean township music.

"This is a rare once-off production that will add an old skool township jazz feel to the festival. The divas will perform a one-hour combined set in succession and they will be backed by seasoned session musicians Blessing Mparutsa (drums), Inock Piroro (bass), James Buzuzi (lead guitar) and Victor Mparutsa (keyboard)," said an official.

Dudu, Chi, Prudence, Musa and Claire are also billed to share the stage with some visiting renowned artistes from the region as well as from abroad.

The official said they chose the divas for their commitment to the upliftment of music in the country. "The singers were selected after careful thought by Harare Jazz Festival's artistic department for their quality and outstanding performance and commitment to Zimbabwe's music industry.

"The five are the most active Zimbabwean female musicians on the local, regional and international scene.

"While Chiwoniso has carried the national flag high in Europe and America, Dudu has successfully taken her music to the region with performances at prestigious venues and festivals in South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana," said the official. Founded in 1999, the festival will this year attract jazz artistes from South Africa, Nigeria and Italy, among others. It has been over the years been a melting pot of jazz musicians who used the platform to celebrate the development and growth of jazz music in the country.

Run with the blessing of the National Arts Council, the festival is being sponsored by Savanna Tobacco Company, Lion Lager, Coca-Cola Zero, Rainbow Towers, SFM and the Italian Embassy.

The Italian Embassy will for the second year running bring a band from Italy to perform with support from its partners that include Fiat, Rainbow Tourism Group, FBC Holdings, Sontine Travel, Progressive Insurance Brokers, Peroni, Freight World and Ethiopian Airlines.

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