Gospel Jazz concert on cards

HARARE - RnB artiste Audius Mtawarira, Cythia Mare and the Celebration Choir will be the star attractions at the inaugural Gospel Jazz Concert set for the Rainbow Cinema on July 5.

The unique concert, that will also feature award-winning gospel music upstart Blessing “Flem B” Manyangadze and several other upcoming musicians, is being put together by Shownation Entertainment Company.

Mbaki Nleya, the director of the organising company, told the Daily News that the aim of next month’s concert is to promote the integration of jazz elements into contemporary gospel music.

“The concert is a result of my passion for jazz music and being a musician, I have realised over time that our local gospel market has an inclination to music genres that are far-removed from jazz,” said Nleya.

“I am convinced that the forthcoming concert will broaden the appreciation of jazz music among gospel musicians and fans alike.”

Nleya, who is a sound engineer by profession, added that the concert will be an annual event that will incorporate praise and worship seminars in future editions.

“Our plan is to turn future editions of the Gospel Jazz concerts into weekends filled with praise and worship workshops, sound seminars and various activities that will take gospel music to another level,” said Nleya.

The forthcoming concert will be on the Zimbabwean music scene at a time when gospel music inclines to genres like sungura, reggae, rhythm and blues, and rhumba than to jazz.

Popular songbirds Prudence Katomeni Mbofana and Cynthia Mare are among a few Zimbabwean artistes who have infused jazz elements into their songs.

Only time will tell whether gospel jazz in the country has what it takes to reach the heights that have been scaled by artistes like South Africa’s Jonathan Buttler and America’s Kirk Whalum.

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