Mutamba, Marova produce Tuku song

HARARE - Prominent arts journalist and Oliver Mtukudzi’ publicist Shepherd Mutamba momentarily dumped his duties and engaged in his master’s trade through co-producing a birthday song for Tuku’s 60th bash.

Mutamba co-produced the song with veteran jazz artiste Filbert Marova. Marova said, “I composed the song and it was co-produced by Shepherd Mutamba. A jazz group from Harare that I lead, BlaQberry recorded the single. We were inspired by Tuku’s exemplary life to produce the melody. It is our way of saying happy birthday to Tuku and thanking him for inspiring us.”

Tuku is turning 60 a feat not attained by most of his musical peers. One can count on less than one hand outstanding mwusicians of Tuku’s age that are still living.

Thomas Mapfumo and Zexie Manatsa are two notable musicians still alive that were hot in the 1970s.

It is rare for an employee to say from the bottom of their heart they truly view their employer as a good citizen.

However, Mutamba poured his heart out praising Tuku.

He said for the past seven years that he worked with Tuku he was inspired by his humility and kind heartedness.

The publicist said, “I have travelled with Tuku and everywhere we go he stays in the same hotel with us and travels in the same flight class with us. He does not separate himself from the people. I think that is his mark of genius. Everywhere we go abroad or in some African country we always find people who greet him fondly making reference to his music and he often responds positively.”

Mutamba who held a number of senior editorial positions at various media houses including ZBC said the birthday single contains aspects of jazz and traditional music fused together to give a fantastic sound to a song for Tuku.

It must have been obviously difficult for Mutamba and Marova to produce a record for the master of song himself but they said, “It is the gesture that counts as most times musicians do not do songs to appreciate each other. With the help of Mutamba who is close to Tuku we hope he will enjoy our present,” said Marova.

Mutamba said he managed to include some titbits on Tuku’s life that are not known to the public, like he is referred as Nzou Refu, an adaptation of his totem implying that he is tall.

Tuku often portrays depth in his appreciation of Zimbabwean culture in his songs and way of living.

His publicist said this will be prevalent in the song to appreciate the seasoned musician.

BlaQberry Jazz group outfit comprises four passionate and energetic musicians who defy categorisation.

They incorporate blues, soul, rock, funk, mhande, kwaito and classical music but with an ever-present jazzy hue. From traditional jazz standards to their original jazz compositions.

Marova said the name “BlaQberry” evokes feelings of passion, succulence, warmth and decadence which aptly describe this incredible quartet comprising of Filbert Marova, Eve Kawadza, Tafadzwa Marova and Mutsawashe Gudlanga.

Given the jazz group’s stated competencies, Tuku’s birthday song is bound to excite. Tuku will listen to the single for the first time on his birthday which falls on the 22nd of September this Saturday.

A public bash is set for this Friday at Glamis Arena, Harare while a private function for the superstar will be held at his Pakare Paye in Norton on Saturday.

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