Winter Jazz festival beckons

HARARE - This year’s Winter Jazz Festival starts tomorrow at Dandaro Inn at the Harare Showgrounds with organisers insisting that the annual event has not yet lost its sparkle.

The festival, which will take place from June 26 to 28 at different venues  in the capital including Book Cafe and Pamuzinda Ice ‘n’ Fire, has been criticised by jazz purists who are against the inclusion of musicians like Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah.

The two will share the stage on Friday at the City sports Centre with music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, Tanga Wekwa Sando, Ammara Brown and various other artistes.

But a defiant Partson Chimbodza, one of the organisers of the fete, told the Daily News that musicians from other genres have been roped in to spice up the event.

“Jah Prayzah and Suluman Chimbetu are the men of the moment who are being brought in to lure non-jazz music fans,” said Chimbodza, the director of Chipaz Promotions.

“Remember jazz is not for the masses that is why we are bringing the other genres to make the festival commercially viable.

“The bulk of the artistes who will take part in the festival are jazz artistes because we want to stay true the aims of the event as much as we can.

“The Winter Jazz Festival is meant to promote and develop jazz music in the country because the genre is not given enough platforms to flourish because of the domination of sungura and dancehall.”

The Winter Jazz Festival‘s opening night at Dandaro Inn will feature Jabavu Drive, Willom Tight, David Hondoyedzomba, Mbare Trio and  Runonzi Rudo singer Pah Chihera.

Chimbodza added that one of the highlights of this year’s edition will be a concert for female jazz musicians that will take place at the Book Café on Friday.

“Female jazz musicians such as Jean Masters, Edith WeUtonga, Queen Rumbie and Prudence Katomeni Mbofana will battle it out on the Book Café stage.

“On Saturday the same venue will host The Cool Crooners from Bulawayo, Summer Breeze, Jazz Invitation, Diana Samkange, Claire Nyakujara, Jabavu Drive, Munya Mataruse and school bands from Prince Edward and Watershed.”

Several jazz Djs will rock the turntables on the last day of the festival at Pamuzinda Ice ‘n’ Fire which is along Bulawayo road.

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