Winter Jazz festival set for split

HARARE - Organisers of the annual Winter Jazz festival say they are under pressure from sponsors to split this year’s event into two editions.

Pamuzinda Ice and Fire director Josh Hozheri, who is one of the key drivers of the initiative, told the Daily News on Sunday that some sponsors want the Jazz festival, now in its 15th year, to dedicate one edition for local artistes and the other for international jazz musicians.

“They want us to separate local and international artistes but as organisers we don’t subscribe to this because we are keen to see local acts benefit from sharing the stage with their foreign counterparts,” said Hozheri.

“If local artistes play on the same stage with foreign stars chances are very high that they could do collaborations with them.”

Hozheri, the former owner of the defunct Jazz 105, was, however, reluctant to divulge the names of the sponsors.

“Of course we can’t reveal the sponsors because obviously that will endanger our relationship but we have the prospective dates for the proposed editions .The first one is scheduled to run from June 26 to 28 while the other is set to run from July 24 to 26,” he said.

The Pamuzinda Ice and Fire director added that they were still in the process of lining up artistes for the annual festival.

“We are still on the drawing board but this year’s event is likely feature a top Mozambican artiste. We will reveal the line-up at a convenient time,” said Hozheri.

At its peak, with Jazz 105 as its base, the Winter Jazz Festival once attracted International artistes like Hugh Masekela from South Africa. Ever since Jazz 105 closed shop early last year, the festival has gradually lost appeal.

Last year the Winter Jazz Festival was mired in controversy after it incorporated non-jazz artistes like Suluman Chimbetu and Jah Prayzah with critics arguing that such acts were not in keeping with the promotion of jazz.

Last year in July the festival was held for two days at Dandaro Inn in the Harare Showgrounds owned by music promoter Partson Chimbodza. The Dandaro Inn event featured artistes like Jabavu Drive, Wilom Tight, David Hondoyedzomba, Mbare Trio, The Cool Crooners, Summer Breeze, Jazz Invitation, Diana Samkange, Clare Nyakudyara, Jabavu Drive, Munya Mataruse, Jean Masters, Edith WeUtonga, Queen Rumbie, Prudence Katomeni Mbofana as well as schools like Prince Edward and Watershed College.

Comments (2)

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Shamiso Karimadora - 13 May 2015

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