Dudu's jazzy gospel offering

HARARE - Celebrated Zimbabwe Jazz songstress Dudu Manhenga has come up with a praise and worship album that celebrates God’s positive impact in the Bulawayo-born musician’s life.

The album titled For You, which is the songstress’s fifth, will be launched next week on Wednesday in Harare at the Book Café.

Manhenga, famed for her song Mvura told the Daily News yesterday that next week’s launch is meant for the musician’s business and media partners.

“We are going to have a series of launches but for this one we have targeted distributors and retailers to increase the circulation of our music,” said Dudu.

“Traditionally we have always had two launches one in Harare and another one in Bulawayo, but this time around we will tour the rest of the country and allow most of our fans to get an appreciation of our music.

“We had been getting feedback on social networking sites where our fans were complaining that they were not getting our music and I feel a series of launches will do the trick,” she said.

Dudu, who is convinced her forthcoming album will elevate her music career to new heights, insists she hasn’t deserted jazz.

“For You is a jazz album; it’s the content that is different this time. I am very excited about it because musically we have taken it a notch higher.

“I feel I managed to exploit the full capacity of what my voice is capable of. It has strong vocal strength.”

The 11-track album features guest guitarist Norman Masamba and several upcoming musicians.

“Some of my favourite songs on the album include Mahala which talks about the conversation between Jesus and me, Rutiziro which praises God for being my refuge — a place that I always run to,” said the Colour Blu leader.

Dudu has been a professional musician since she was 16. She started out as a backing vocalist for several top artistes including Oliver Mtukudzi, Steve Dyer, Louis Mhlanga, Tanga Wekwa Sando and Dumi Ngulube, while studying at the Zimbabwe College of Music in Harare.

In 2001 she formed the group Color Blu together with her husband Blessing Muparutsa.

They released their debut nine-track afro-jazz fusion album Out of the Blu in 2003, which was well-received by the market.

The debut album contained hits like Mvura, Bengimthandile and MaDlamini.

Jula, her 2007 album solidified her status as a serious jazz talent in the process giving her music a unique identity. - Tarisai Machakaire

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