Oct International Jazz and World Music Festival unfolds

HARARE - As October unfolds, Zimbabwean artistes are gearing up to receive visitors from Italy and South Africa, for the October International Jazz and World Music Festival from October 17-21 in the capital.

From our southern neighbours come Zulu maskanda/jazz guitarist Bheki Khoza, Tumi & The Volume with hip-hop/jazz crossovers, and platinum-selling afro-pop artiste Ntando Bangani, in collaboration with Zimbabwe’s Victor Kunonga, Chiwoniso Maraire and Alexio Kawara respectively.

The showcase includes a wonderful array of other gifted homegrown artistes including Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and Netsayi Chigwendere, among others.

Penny Yon, Pamberi Trust administrator said: “The festival courtesy of the Embassy of Italy welcomes Down Time Quintet, Giovanni Falzone Quintet who will be performing with Dudu Manhenga, Rute Mbangwa, John Pfumojena and Hope Masike.

“Italian dance company Artemis Danza will perform with Tumbuka and the ‘Drum Café’ during the festival," said Yon.

The Festival rolls out in several venues across the capital, the Book Café, Celebration Centre and Italian Club, with appearances by some of the Italian groups at the Sanganayi Travel Expo (with BlaQberry Jazz) and Mega2.

Saturday, October 20 afternoon Book Café ‘Jazz Showcase’ brings out the very latest talent on the local jazz scene, along with favourite seasoned jazz singers and instrumentalists, in a four-hour feast from 3-7pm.

For young musicians of Zimbabwe a music workshop and schools programme moves into gear with workshops at Book Café, Celebration Centre, and the Murehwa Cultural Centre.

“The October International Jazz and World Music Festival promises to be an explosive music feast with a rainbow of genres reaching across borders, contributing through jazz to a rich pool of world music, and celebrating of freedom of expression,” said Yon.

She said the rich and wide reach of the festival has been made possible by a partnership of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, the Embassy of Italy and Pamberi Trust, in cooperation with the venues and sponsors keen to be linked with artistic excellence and support of the arts.

“During the festival Book Café extends a Very Important Patron (VIP) offer for corporate and private customers in support of the jazz genre, which includes entry and prime seating, a delectable three-course dinner with wines and an up-close-and-personal view of the artistes on stage,” Yon added.

The programme at the Book Café during the festival includes: Wednesday, October 17: (Bheki Khoza and Victor Kunonga) . South Africa’s virtuoso maskanda/jazz guitar maestro, the revered Bheki Khoza, takes the stage in a rare jazz/world music collaboration with one of Zimbabwe’s top mbira-influenced recording artists, the one and only Victor Kunonga.

Thursday, October 18: (Prudence Katomeni, Hope Masike and Down time Quintet  — Italy).

Darling of the jazz stage, Prudence never fails to delight audiences with her dynamic jazz performances; the show opens with modern young mbira princess Hope Masike and exciting musical crossovers into jazz, and features a guest performance by Down Time Quintet, one of Italy’s foremost and most exciting jazz ensembles — “pure passion to accumulate diverse musical experiences under the well-known name of jazz.”
Friday, October 19:  ( Chiwoniso Maraire and Tumi & the Volume).  Zimbabwe’s own acclaimed mbira star Chiwoniso Maraire in a rare stage collaboration with South Africa’s world renowned jazz/hip-hop trailblazers, the fabulous Tumi & The Volume, a vivid and exciting collaboration that began at Rwanda’s Kigali Up Festival in July. Support act: Zim’s critically-acclaimed innovators of mbira and world music: Netsayi Chigwendere and the Zimbabwe Electro-Acoustic Supply Authority.

Saturday October 20, an afternoon gathering of favourite jazz artistes and emerging talent on the local jazz stage.

Saturday evening: (Ntando Bangani with Alexio Kawara).  This is Zimbabwean debut for the immense South African singer/songwriter and recording star Bangani who created an international storm with his smash hit Dali Wami. His debut album sold a million copies and three more since have kept him high in the South African charts, the multi-award winning Ntando, who headlined at South Africa’s Cape Town Jazz Festival, collaborates live on stage with Zimbabwe’s own massive talent and fast-rising star Alexio Kawara. - Entertainment Writer

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