October Jazz Fest kicks off


The October International Jazz Festival starts tonight with an opening ceremony at Rainbow Towers.

Dudu Manhenga and Raffaele Casarano with the Apulia Jazz Quartet from Italy are expected to kick-start the international jazz showcase.

Now in its fourth year, the Italian Embassy initiative has become the biggest jazz event on the Zimbabwean calendar.

It will run for one week with several performances across the city. The festival also brings together the largest number of musicians with the most diverse range of influences and jazz sub-genres.

Tomorrow festival organisers take the festival to a wider audience with a free family concert at Harare Safari Lodge.

Manhenga, Jazz Invitation and Raffaele Casarano are billed to perform at the show. Manhenga and Casarano have worked together before, sharing the stage and performing at various venues during her tour of Italy earlier this year. Fans should expect some exciting collaborations and rare, new interpretations of both artistes’ music.

On Monday October 10 the festival presents two concerts. A performance to be part of Zimbabwe’s tourism showcase, Sanganai, will be hosted by Pandahari Lodge.

This concert will feature Jazz Invitation, Casarano with Apulia Jazz Quartet and Manhenga. On the same evening, Francesco Bearzarti and Tinissima Quartet will share the stage with Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana at Mannenberg.

The Tinissima Quartet is an internationally acclaimed Italian jazz outfit. Their critically acclaimed works include X (Suite for Malcolm), inspired by the life and work of the American civil rights activist. The album was voted best album of 2010 in the Italian Top Jazz competition.

The album features a kaleidoscope of ideas and tones that change continually to create a fantastic lyrical atmosphere; blending jazz, rock, dance and hip-hop sounds.

The festival goes back to Mannenberg on Tuesday evening with performances from Nigerian jazz guitar maestro Kunle Ayo, Italian band Amanda e La Banda and Zimbabwean Tich Makalisa.

The next day the festival will move to Celebration Centre with a concert for schoolchildren in the morning and an evening concert featuring an international jam session.

Oliver Mtukudzi, Casarano, Amanda e la Banda and Manhenga will share the stage at the Italian Club on Friday evening. The festival will close on Saturday October 15 at the same venue with a concert featuring Ayo, Makalisa, Katomeni-Mbofana and Amanda e La Banda.

The festival was made possible through a partnership of the Italian Embassy in Harare, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and Pamberi Trust. Festival sponsors include the European Union, Ethiopian Airways, FBC Bank, Peroni, Telecel, Fiat, Rainbow Tourism Group, Progressive Insurance Brokers and Sontine Travel.