Jazz Fete takes new direction

HARARE - Italian Ambassador Stefano Moscatelli has announced a high-powered steering committee which will advise the Italian Jazz Festival which has been rebranded to October World Music Festival.

Local musicians Dudu Manhenga and Hope Masike are part of the high-powered committee which also features several personalities from important cultural organisations based in Zimbabwe.

The other members of the committee are Giovanni Filipponi (cultural attaché – Italian Embassy), Farai Mupfunya (Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust), Penny Yon and Ian White (Pamberi Trust), Bernie Bismark (BernDom Productions), Paolo Cernuschi (Societa’ Dante ASlighieri) and Munya Simango (Synergy Media).

Moscatelli is confident the move will strengthen the annual jazz festival which has become a permanent fixture on Harare’s cultural calendar for the past six years.

“The re-branding and the establishment of the steering committee are in line with our new thrust,” said the Italian ambassador.

“This will deepen our culture exchange programme in Zimbabwe and ensure quality and sustainability in Zimbabwe’s dynamic cultural environment.

“These changes reflect a new direction for the festival and are designed to bring in the experience of more players and the contributions of partner institutions as well as resources to boost the culture exchange between our two countries.”

Moscatelli added the new committee blends key personalities from partner institutions and from the local cultural sphere whose expertise and experience will add value to the festival.

“The focus of the October World Music Festival is to promote the freedom of creative expression and cultural diversity. This will enhance cultural exchange amongst artistes and audiences while creating new platforms for further artistic opportunities,” said Moscatelli.

In line with its new thrust, the festival will now accommodate more genres and influences and facilitate the participation of a broader selection of artistes from Zimbabwe and Italy.

The addition of music genres such as folk and ethno music, R’n’B, rock, afro-pop and fusion is expected to take the rebranded festival to new heights.

The Italian Embassy’s culture exchange programme places a great emphasis on artistic interaction and cross fertilisation of creative ideas.

The key results of the initiative include Dudu Manhenga’s performances in Italy and the Zimbo-Ita project, in which celebrated drummer Blessing Chimanga has partnered with Italian musicians Max Covini and Matteo Boldini in a music collaboration that has extensively toured Italy and Zimbabwe in the past two years.

FBC Bank, Freight World, Ethiopian Airlines, Rainbow Tourism Group, Progressive Insurance Brokers, Sontine Travel, Societa’ Dante Alighieri and the Italian Club are some of the long standing partners that have consistently supported the Italian Embassy’s cultural programmes in Zimbabwe.

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