Jazz divas set to shine

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Female jazz musicians are set to shine for three days at Jazz 105 in Harare at the Ladies in Jazz Festival that runs from Friday to Sunday.

Among the list of performers will be Dudu Manhenga, Rute Mbangwa, Claire Nyakujara, Selmor Mtukudzi, Jean Masters, Diana Samkange and Edith WeUtonga.

Show organiser Josh Hozheri said the festival will be in honour of jazz divas that have contributed a lot to the local music industry yet their efforts were hardly recognised.

“These female musicians have done a lot for the local music industry. Most of them have performed at Jazz 105 before and their shows were excellent, yet when we talk about (jazz) music in Zimbabwe we usually mention male musicians (only),” said Hozheri.

“Internationally there are notable female jazz musicians. South African musicians like Mirriam Makeba, Judith Sephuma and Lira have headlined events internationally. In Zimbabwe only Aunty Dot (Dorothy Masuka) has matched those levels. So this is the time for our female jazz musicians to show that they can do their best to entertain jazz lovers. It is going to be a great weekend for us because we will generally be celebrating womanhood.”

Hozheri said women attending the festival will be charged half the entrance fee on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday their admission will be free.

There will be lots of prizes on offer and priority will be given to female fans.

Jazz 105 is partnering Delta Beverages to run a Redds Cider promotion during the festival. The theme for the festival is “Your Jazz Place of Choice — Supporting Ladies’ Voices”.

Hozheri said the festival would be an annual event and he is planning to bring international acts to the fête in next editions.

Most of the musicians at the festival have experience in the genre and will definitely give fans value for their money.

Manhenga recently returned from a successful tour of Italy and she is likely to be rejuvenated at the festival. Last week she performed at Arts Alive Festival in South Africa. She has consistently staged shows on the local scene.

Mbangwa is known for her smooth voice and insightful lyrics that have seen her serenading fans whenever she performed.

Masters took stewardship of Seasons Band after the death of her father, Joe Masters, and has been able to take the band a level higher. She is currently working on a collaboration album with various popular local musicians.

WeUtonga is a well-known bass guitar expert who is backed by an energetic team that has wowed audiences at prestigious platforms like Harare International Festival of Arts, while Mtukudzi and Samkange have exhibited their finesse at various shows.