Artistes to jazz up gospel music

HARARE - Organisers of the inaugural Jesus in Jazz Concert say the event, set for the Rainbow Cinema on Saturday, will trigger a wider appreciation of jazz among gospel music fans.

The unique concert put together by Shownation Entertainment Company will feature RnB artiste Audius Mtawarira, Cynthia Mare, the Celebration Choir and award-winning gospel music rookie Blessing “Flem B” Manyangadze.

According to Mbaki Nleya, a spokesperson for the concert organisers, the weekend show will be the first of many, geared towards promoting jazz in contemporary gospel music.

“I have been frustrated because jazz which happens to be my favourite has effectively been side-lined from mainstream gospel music.

“Our local gospel market has a particular inclination to music genres that are far-removed from jazz,” said Nleya.

“The main aim of the concert on Saturday will be to broaden the appreciation of jazz music among gospel musicians and fans alike.”

Nleya, a sound engineer also revealed plans to make the concert a regular annual event.

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

Nleya added that Zimbabwean gospel music is still very much dominated by genres like sungura, reggae, rhythm and blues and rhumba.

Popular songbirds like Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana and Mare have integrated jazz elements into their gospel songs.

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