Thrilling times ahead for jazz fans
BY TENDAI SAUTA
A few days after the world commemorated International Jazz Day on April 30, exciting developments began to brew in Zimbabwe.
Jazz lovers, hold your breath for a moment.
International Jazz Day was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in 2011 with the aim of highlighting the importance of jazz and its diplomatic role in uniting people around the world.
This year’s International Jazz Day was commemorated at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.
It featured global jazz icons who shared the stage with top African singers, Ray Lema from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegalese Gregory Porter as well as Alune Wade.
And now for today’s business.
Exciting times await local jazz fans as veteran music promoter Josh Hozheri of Jazz 105 promotions has woken up from a deep slumber.
Hozheri is bringing back the once-popular Winter Jazz Festival after a 10-year sabbatical.
The festival is sure to rekindle the jazz spark that had long left the jazz community.
Talk to NewsDay Life & StyleHozheri said the two-day festival was scheduled for July 29-30 in Harare.
“The Jazz Winter Festival is making a comeback. The best lineup of performers will come out once the contracts are finalized,” Hozheri said, adding that current trends show that Zimbabwean jazz consumption is still positive.
“I am a jazz fan and in the past have brought a number of big names to the country such as South African jazz singer Jimmy Dludlu, the late Lesotho folk artist Tsepo Tshola and the trumpeter and composer South African Bra Hugh Masekela.”
Hozheri implored companies to support the genre like in other countries.
“There is a huge appetite for jazz music and the genre needs to be celebrated across the world. It’s soothing music that generally appeals to middle-aged people,” he said.
“It’s just that we lack dedicated venues and festivals unlike other countries. In other countries, jazz festivals are held week after week. Across Limpopo there are a number of jazz festivals, with the Cape Town Jazz Festival being the largest jazz gathering in Africa.
Hozheri also challenged other promoters to take a business approach in promoting the arts to attract international and local businesses to invest in jazz and the music industry in general.
“Promoters must be professional and respect their contracts with artists. I also suggest a gender balance in the selection of artists as well as an introduction of up-and-coming artists to ensure continuity and learning from the seasoned,” he said, adding that there was jazz talent in Zimbabwe, as evidenced by the emerging jazz bands that have grown over the past decade.
“Musicians need to be professional and be able to practice the basics like doing sound checks before a show. Most performances have been affected by this,” he said.
- Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe