As preparations for this year’s edition of the annual Spar Solo Festival that takes place at Pakare Paye Arts Centre on December 3 gather momentum, organisers have released the complete list of performers.
Leading musicians like Oliver Mtukudzi, Alick Macheso, Sulumani Chimbetu and Chiwoniso Maraire will temporarily part ways with their bands to stage solo acts at the family event.
The festival will introduce international acts in the form of South African star Steve Dyer and Suzanna Owiyo from Kenya.
Also taking part from the local scene will be Kapfupi, Edith Katiji, Fungisayi Zvakavapano-Mashavave, Steve Makoni and Munya Mataruse.
Talented versatile performer Mathias Julius, Beatrice Eastwood, Watson Chidzomba (Jr), Donald Kanyuchi, Nqobile Malinga, Josh Meck, Selmor Mtukudzi and Strovers Maswobe Shadaya complete the list.
The festival will be preceded by a workshop and performances from secondary school students a day before the show.
“We are pleased the festival is realising some modest growth in its programming and line-up of artists,” said festival first assistant director Shepherd Mutamba.
“Unlike previous years this year we have international artists Dyer and Owiyo. With the kind support from Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, who have partnered us this year, it means we are able to facilitate a day’s arts training session and performances by young talent from the schools in line with our vision to mentor youngsters.”
The workshop takes place in the morning on December 2 and students will showcase skills and talent from 2pm to 4pm on the same day. Admission for the school performances will be free all round.
The main festival on December 3 will kick off at 2pm with a cover charge of $5 for adults while children will have free entry.
“This year our platinum partners, the Spar Guild of Grocers, are with us again and so are our official media partners NewsDay, both of whom are in the second year of supporting the solo festival, now in its fifth year.”
Music promotion entities Chipaz Promotions, Jazz 105 and Tuku Music are also sponsoring the festival while individual friends of Pakare Paye Arts Centre have committed support.
“We will soon be publishing programmes for the two days. While the festival is a family day, to the artists it provides a platform for them to individually enhance their confidence as solo performers,” said Mutamba.
The performers include musicians, poets, dancers, instrumentalists, dramatists, comedians, storytellers and other genres of artists.
The solo festival concept, a brainchild of Oliver Mtukudzi, is to help groom solo artists and assure the performers they can work as individuals and still provide entertainment and make a living.
The festival patron is internationally acclaimed sculptor Dominic Benhura, the artistic director is Mtukudzi himself and Watson Chidzomba is festival director.