The Sunday Mail
Jazz 105 may have died, but its flagship baby, the Winter Jazz Festival, lives on. The festival, which was created by Thamie Msimanga, Sam Mataure and Josh Hozheri in 1999 and ran for two years at Sports Diner International before making Jazz 105 its permanent home, kicks off this Thursday.
Running under the theme “Back to Township Jazz”, the festival takes place at four different venues around the capital.
New joint Dandaro Inn, which is housed at the Exhibition Park, will host the official launch of the festival on Thursday June 26 with performances from an array of artistes.
Among the performers will be Willbroad Muponda, aka Willom Tight, who recently came out of musical hibernation with an exciting album featuring a host of musical geniuses including Kenyan star Salif Keita and South African singer Speedy of the Bongo Maffin outfit.
Tight, who is set to release a 15-track album titled Manifesto (carrying three other collaborations) later this year, will perform alongside Pah Chihera of the Runonzi Rudo fame, contemporary jazz crooner David Hondoyedzomba and seasoned jazz group Jabavu Drive. The Book Café, a popular hangout which hosts mainly jazz, Afro-jazz, Afro-pop and mbira music, among other minority genres, will also host some Winter Jazz Festival programmes this year.
On Friday, Book Café will host the “Ladies in Jazz” event featuring Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Edith weUtonga, Queen Rumbie and Jean Masters, to name just a few.
The same event sparked a lot of interest when it was first initiated in 2012 and was held at the now defunct Jazz 105 in the city centre. It is expected to attract a lot of attention as music fans jostle to witness an all-female line-up – a rarity in the local music industry.
Book Café again hosts more programmes on Saturday, which will see a schools’ programme featuring Prince Edward High School, Watershed College and Churchill Boys’ High School, presenting several acts during the day.
After the schools programme, a mouth-watering line-up of acts takes over the venue in what promises to be a night to remember for jazz aficionados.
A potpourri of talented artistes ranging from the Oliver Mtukudzi-trained Munya Mataruse, Claire Nyakujara and The Other Four, Summer Breeze, Cool Crooners, Jazz Invitation and Jabavu Drive, take jazz lovers on a musical journey, obviously lasting into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
On the same night, the new home of the Winter Jazz Festival, Ice and Fire Pamuzinda, will have on rotation DJs Kudzi Marudza, Witness Matema, D-Train, Terrence Mapurisana and Mukanya aka The Branch Manager.
Organisers of the Winter Jazz Festival have said the DJs show at the open air joint will be a free show.
“Inside a festival there is need to have certain events where people can just converge, drink their beverages, eat and be merry without parting with too much money and one such show we have put together for fun-lovers is the Saturday show,” said Josh Hozheri, the festival organiser.
The same venue on Sunday hosts the closing show, which will be headlined by The Cannibals, an old school jazz band led by percussionist and drummer Naboth Zindekelani, who will be supported by Mbare Trio, Jabavu Drive and Progress Chipfumo.
Hozheri said all artistes taking part in this year’s Winter Jazz Festival are going to donate a blanket each, which will in turn be donated to the victims of the Tokwe Mukosi flood disaster currently living at Chingwizi Transit Camp.
“We are also urging all those that are going to attend the festival at the various venues around the capital to donate ‘a gift of warmth this winter’ so that we take a bigger package to Chingwizi.
“Everyone has a jacket or some other warm clothing they no longer need somewhere in their wardrobe. Just bring it to any of the venues where the festival will be and give it to our agents there. Your donation can make a huge difference in someone’s life,” pleaded Hozheri.