Preparations for the 2011 edition of the Harare Jazz Festival are now in full swing.
Now going into its third year, this annual celebration of jazz is an upmarket and high-profile event.
It is fast becoming a grand jazz music showcase as it brings regional and internationally-acclaimed stars to perform alongside some of Zimbabwe’s finest musicians.
Festival founder and artistic director Sam Mataure said both fans and sponsors should expect only the best.
“We are focused on managing the growth of Harare Jazz Festival to ensure excellent entertainment value for the fans and great brand communication opportunities for our sponsors,” he said.
Mataure said next year, the festival will absorb new genres, cultures and vibes in line with international trends, incorporating gospel, traditional Zimbabwean music and African urban grooves to reach a wider audience.
“Next year’s line-up will be hot . . . negotiations with top regional international jazz artists are at an advanced stage,” Mataure said.
The festival will span three days from April 15 to 17 at five different venues across the city, with over 20 performances featuring more than 70 musicians.
The festival will comprise of the Main Concert where all the jazz stars will perform, the future of jazz concert (a free show that takes jazz to the community and provides exposure to upcoming jazz artists), the gospel concert featuring local and regional gospel artists, the all-hits concert featuring top Zimbabwean musicians and the urban culture concert featuring urban groovers from Zimbabwe and the region.
Mataure added: “We have since identified a suitably- experienced service provider with the expertise and capacity for the job.”
Harare Jazz Festival is set to become a permanent annual feature on Zimbabwe’s festival calendar.
The sustainability of this celebration of jazz can only be guaranteed by the support of a growing number of brands and stakeholders that have seen the value of investing in the initiative.
Mataure said he was appreciative of the support that has been afforded to the festival and would like to encourage more stakeholders to become partners in the high-profile jazz showcase.
Since its inception in 2009, the festival has successfully brought to Harare a number of internationally-acclaimed jazz musicians and groups including Hugh Masekela (2010), Lady Smith Black Mambazo (2010), Sibongile Khumalo (2010), Oliver Mtukudzi (2010), The Cool Crooners (2010), Silvia Manco Quartet from Italy (2010), Judith Sephuma (2009), Ringo Madhlingozi (2009), Jimmy Dludlu (2009), Kunle Ayo from Nigeria (2009), Ernie Smith (2009) and Erick Paliane from Malawi (2009).
Harare Jazz Festival believes in developing local jazz musicians.
Some of Zimbabwe’s finest as well as emergent jazz musicians have performed at the festival, including Mbare Trio, Jazz Invitation, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, Dudu Manhenga, Kudzai Sevenzo, Rute Mbangwa, Too Open, The Other Four, Mokoomba, Ay Band and Edith WeUtonga.
Mataure brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the Zimbabwean music scene.
He has toured the world extensively with such international stars such as Mtukudzi, the legendary Miriam Makeba and Thomas Mapfumo.
His experience in promoting jazz in Zimbabwe spans over 15 years and he has been involved in several local, regional and international jazz festivals.