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Cool Crooners cry foul


The Harare Jazz Festival, held in April this year, still owes Cool Crooners $2 000 in performance fees, it has emerged.

The internationally-acclaimed jazz granddads charged $3 000 to perform at festival, but they have so far received $1 000.

They said they were most disappointed at the end of the festival when organiser Sam Mataure gave them $100 only. They only received another $900 late last month.

“It was disappointing that we had to leave the festival with just $100. We travelled back to Bulawayo in very low spirits, but our hope was in his (Mataure’s) promise that he would pay us in a short while,” said one of the group members.

“We have been in constant touch with Mataure, but he says sponsorship to the festival was cut and he does not have the money readily.”

They got $900 last month after one of the ageing trio travelled to Harare to implore Mataure and the latter has said the balance would be paid in instalments.

Mataure admitted that he still owed the jazz trio, saying he was paying them from his own pocket because some of the sponsors of the festival had cut their budgets at the last minute.

“Sponsorship was cut when we were about to start the festival and we could not reverse the programme. We resolved to go ahead and then source funds for our debts after the festival,” said Mataure.

“There are still a number of other people that assisted us at the event who are still to get their dues, but we are working hard to ensure that we clear our debts.”

He reiterated that he would pay Cool Crooners in instalments until the balance is cleared. An investigation by NewsDay revealed that Patience Musa and Sulumani Chimbetu, who gave a guest performance, are also owed by the festival.

Musa was evasive on the issue, saying she was more concerned about her passion for the arts than monetary returns, but Chimbetu said he has not received anything for his appearance. He refused to disclose the figures.

Claire Nyakudyara, who performed with The Other Four at the festival said they were fully paid.

Other artists that performed at the festival include Dudu Manhenga, Oliver Mtukudzi, Amanda e la Banda from Italy and Jazz Invitation.

Cool Crooners said they hoped Mataure would honour his promise when they return to Harare for the Winter Jazz Festival, which begins on July 21.

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