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Soweto String Quartet expected Thursday

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Renowned South African jazz and classical outfit Soweto String Quartet is expected in the country tonight for a show at Raintree Gardens in Umwinsidale on Saturday afternoon.

The talented music quartet will share the stage with local musicians Dudu Manhenga, Essence of Women, Drum Café Zimbabwe and Jazz Invitation in a gig dubbed “Spring Strings”.

Raintree Gardens executive director Tenjiwe Mutiti said the show would be an exciting family outing.

“The thought of time spent outside, relaxing and enjoying nature, around family, friends and even colleagues often translates into packing bags, loading the car and heading as far as possible out of our homes and in many cases our country’s borders,” said Mutiti

“Spring Strings is an annual event that invites everyone to take a fresh look within our borders, in and around our cities, to celebrate the beauty of our ‘backyard’ and its people. What better time for a fresh look than the beginning of spring?

“This breathtaking backdrop is where we invite families, friends and guests to enjoy a picnic themed musical concert in one of Zimbabwe’s foremost outdoor venues.”

The gig has been organised by Luckybean Productions in partnership with Raintree, Meikles Hotel and Maumbile web developers to provide an opportunity to celebrate Zimbabwe through music and dance.

On the ground, the preparation for the show was an all-female affair with Mutiti joining hands with Natalie Kombe and Kelly Allison to do much of the necessary groundwork.

Soweto String Quartet is popular internationally with its dance rhythms of kwela, the syncopated guitars of mbaqanga, the saxophones and trumpets of swaying Afro-jazz.

The band emerged during the ’80s around the nucleus of the three Khamese brothers, violinists Sandile and Thami and cellist, Reuben.

The Khamese brothers attend their uncle’s music school with Sandile and Reuben later serving as violinists in the Soweto Symphony Orchestra. The Soweto String Quartet was formed in 1989 at the Madimba School of Music.

The four members of the Soweto String Quartet are a political statement in themselves.

They are four black classical musicians from a South African Township. The ensemble initially faced criticism at home for their adherence to traditional European instruments, but through the years their music has absorbed native African rhythms and intonations.

Their talents went unrecognised for long as the apartheid era had seen all things South African boycotted.

The foursome went on to take South Africa by storm; their engagement diary was soon bulging and were even resident musicians at Sun City for nine months, as the tourists loved them.

That is where Grahame Beggs from BMG records noticed them and had them signed.

The group rose to international acclaim and over the years has toured various countries and released various hits that have proved popular globally.

Their popular albums include Our World, Rennaisance, Zebra Crossing and Millenia. Show organisers said the group has promised an eventful show.

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