Jazz united at Book Cafe

HARARE - Book Café will join the world in celebrating the second International Jazz Day with a concert featuring some of Zimbabwe’s top and budding jazz artistes on Saturday afternoon.

Commemorations of jazz on an internationally recognised day began in 2011 following the proclamation of April 30 as the International Jazz Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

The afternoon jazz concert dubbed Jazz United will feature the likable Dudu Manhenga, Pablo Nakappa and friends, Filbert Marova and Blaqberry muziq, Eve Kawadza and The other Four fronted by Clare Nyakujara.

The main highlight of the jazz afternoon is likely to be the performance of an all-star ensemble called The Real Deal that will feature drummer Blessing Mparutsa, Bassist Josh Meck, Pablo Nakappa and Nick Nare.

The Book Café International Jazz Day commemorations are supported by the German Embassy, Pamberi Trust, Hivos, Africalia and the European Union.

Jazz’s fascinating history in Zimbabwe has had a profound influence on “African jazz”. Such luminaries as Dorothy Masuka, The Cool Crooners, saxophonists Simangaliso Tutani and Albert Musarurwa, trumpeter Paul Lunga, pianists Chris Chabuka, guitarists Robert Moore, Louis Mhlanga and David Ndoro, drummer Jethro Shasha and bassist Bryan Paul garnered popularity in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Saturday’s International Jazz Day bash at the Book Café will put in the spotlight a new generation of powerful jazz artistes who are well known and acclaimed in Zimbabwe, and have also toured in the region and internationally.

In spite of this rich pool of jazz talent, the market is not strong, and many former jazz venues like the Jazz 105 in the capital have branched out into other genres in order to survive.

Pamberi Trust opened the Mannenberg Jazz Club in 2 000 with a performance by the famed South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ebrahim, and maintained a high profile for jazz until its merger when the Book Café moved to the new Samora Machel premises in April 2012.

Last year between October 17 and 21, Pamberi Trust partnered with the Embassy of Italy and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to present the October International Jazz Festival at several venues across the capital. - Entertainment Writer

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