Yet another exciting solo fest

HARARE - It is that time of the year again when the small town of Norton vibrates to solo guitar sounds from performances by some of the country’s best known musicians.

Taking place at Norton’s Pakare Paye Arts Centre, the annual SPAR Solo Fest Pakare Paye is always a joy to watch as established singers perform solo without supporting bands.

Pakare Paye Arts Centre has become a true concert venue as it boasts two world-class performing stages, one indoors and the other outdoors.

This year’s event will take place outdoors at the gigantic open-stage space capable of holding thousands of revellers.

There is everything for everyone at the festival venue, from neat bars, food restaurants and lodging for guests who want to put over after the performances.

On behalf of the organisers, I would like to welcome all visitors and music acts to this year’s event and hope you will get value for your precious time.

Suzanna Owiyo, from Kenya and Kunle Ayo will grace this year’s showcase and we are happy with their participation as this shows that the festival is growing and meeting special targets.

I also would like to thank all our corporate sponsors. The SPAR Guild of Grocers is the platinum sponsors of the festival, Culture Fund Trust Zimbabwe supports the schools festival and Daily News the media partner.

Tuku Music, Pakare Paye Arts Centre, Jazz 105 and Chipaz Promotions are partners to the festival.

Pakare Paye Arts Centre was founded in 2003 by Mtukudzi and is situated 45 kilometres west of Harare.

Thousands of music lovers are expected to attend the 2012 grand festival which has since its launch in 2006 covered diverse performing arts.

Last year I was fortunate to be among the thousands of fans who attended the day-long festival at which musicians give varying performances from guitar, banjo, mbira, marimba, percussion, dub poetry, comedy to drums. And what delight!

The beauty and excitement of the whole solo concept is that it brings together top music composers who will have to express their singular guitar playing prowess without the backing of a full band.

With the kind support of the Culture Fund Trust Zimbabwe, who partnered Pakare Paye Arts Centre for this year’s festival, we are able to facilitate a day’s arts training session and performances by young talent from the schools in line with the vision to mentor youngsters.

After the workshop today, the pupils showcase their skills and talent from 2-4pm. Admission for today’s performances is entirely free all round.

The main festival takes place tomorrow, with a cover charge for adults while children have free entry.
While the festival is a family day, to the artists it provides a platform for them to individually enhance their confidence as solo performers.

The solo festival concept, a brainchild of Mtukudzi, helps groom solo artists and assures the performers that they can work in solo environs and still provide entertainment and make a living.

The performers include musicians, poets, dancers, instrumentalists, dramatists, comedians, story-tellers and more.

The solo fest is guided by the principle to develop individual talent and grow confidence amongst artists performing solo and reassuring them that they can still entertain fans and earn a living away from bands and groups.

The lineup of local artistes this Saturday include Steve Makoni, Bob Nyabinde, Edith We Utonga, Victor Kunonga, Batsirai Chigama, Clare Nyakujara, Diana Samukange, Munya Mataruse, Donald Kanyuchi, Jah Prayzah, Watson Junior Chidzomba, Allan Chimbetu, Albert Nyathi and many more.


Tuku Music and the Daily News are giving away 20 tickets to 20 lucky readers for tomorrow’s showcase. Simply answer this question: Which are the two music acts from outside Zimbabwe who are performing at this year’s solo fest?

Answers to: or SMS – 0772557470 (today before 2pm)

Winners will be announced in tomorrow’s (Saturday) issue of the Daily News and tickets can be collected at the venue gates (Pakare Paye) in Norton. - Dominic Benhura, Patron

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