Tuku lines up Jazz Festival duets

HARARE - Music superstar Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi will feature Kenyan songstress Suzanna Owiyo, Mbare Trio and Prudence Katomeni Mbofana on his set at the Harare Jazz Festival which kicks off tomorrow at The Spook House in Msasa, Harare.

Apart from Tuku, this year’s edition of Zimbabwe’s premier jazz festival will also feature South Africa-based Zimbabwean guitar wizard Louis Mhlanga, multi-talented Nigerian Jazz guitarist Kunle Ayo, Michael Philips (South Africa) and Malawian guitarist Erik Paliani.

Festival founder and artistic director Sam Mataure told the Daily News that Tuku’s collaborations with various artistes was in line with the event’s aim to “create an amazing jazz experience”.

“We will present authentic, organic Afro-jazz in new and innovative ways to ensure excellent value for the fans. The show will migrate across different township jazz concepts and sub-genres in a cross-fertilisation of ideas that creates a fresh, unique production with a universal appeal,” said Mataure, who is also Tuku’s band manager and drummer.

Running under the theme “Tributes and Memories,” the high-profile event will for the first time showcase fresh Zimbabwean jazz voices that include Intotal, Vee Mukarati, Buhle, Nyengeterai Zembe, The Outfit, Family Voices and Norman Masamba.

“Besides presenting their own original music, the young artists will perform, with a fresh take, renditions of some of the iconic anthems composed by trailblazing Zimbabwean jazz pioneers to pay tribute to their forerunners’ contribution to the industry,” added Mataure.

One of the highlights of the highly-anticipated jazz event will be the debut appearance of celebrated Zimbabwe-born guitarist Mhlanga who has made a name for himself locally and in South Africa where he is now based.

An inspired musician whose style is soulful, cheerful beautiful, uplifting, energetic and incredible, Mhlanga is considered one of the best guitarists in Southern Africa.

He is expected to perform some of his iconic hits that have become anthems such as Kugara Nekugara, Alois Na Jane, Beira and Distant Lover.

The jazz maestro, who first ventured into music in the 1970s, first made a name for himself working with Zimbabwean acts such as Shaka, Talking Drum and Mudzimu.

Mhlanga later moved to South Africa to pursue different musical opportunities where he collaborated with renowned South African artists including Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Ray Phiri and Spho “Hotstix” Mabuse.

According to Mataure, the festival has entered into a ground-breaking partnership with ZOL Zimbabwe that will see the festival audience enjoying free internet service during the event.


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