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Marabini honours Chopper


BULAWAYO-BASED top jazz musician, Jeys Marabini is set to honour the late dendera music icon, Simon ‘Chopper’ Chimbetu in his upcoming album.


The award-winning Marabini is in the studio recording his eighth album where he will feature Chimbetu’s son Sulumani, who took over his father’s music mettle when he died in August 2005.

Chopper was regarded as one of the best Zimbabwean guitarist, vocalist and composer.

He was the founding member of his band Orchestra Dendera Kings.

He was known by many stage names, including ‘Chopper’, ‘MrViscose’ (before imprisonment), ‘Cellular’, ‘Simomo’ and ‘Mukoma Sam’.

“In my upcoming album I will be honouring Chimbetu in appreciation of what he did for me,” Marabini said in an interview recently. When I was growing up, I cherished Simon Chimbetu’s music and he was the first musician to promote my work. As such, he deserves to be appreciated for the work he did to me as he introduced me to the real world of music.

“I can confirm that one of the artists who will feature in the album is Sulumani Chimbetu. He will definitely feature in one of my songs as a way of honouring his father. I am very happy that we will be working together. The young man has preserved his father’s legacy very well. He is doing well in music and managed to take further the job which his father started.”

Recorded in Bulawayo and produced by 10th District, his upcoming offering, which is set to be released in the middle of the year, comes after a highly successful project, Isilo, which featured renowned Austrian-based Zimbabwean-born, Dumisani ‘Ramadu’ Moyo of ARC Music.

The upcoming album is aimed at spreading Marabini’s influence and growing his international fan base.

The gifted guitarist and vocalist who leads the Kozekulunge band said he will maintain his distinct sound while at the same time producing an album that will appeal on the international market.

The 41-year-old musician’s career has grown in leaps and bounds since the 1990s when he performed with traditional music groups such as Sunduza Boys and Black Umfolosi.

He has produced seven albums:Emarabini, Thuthukani, Ngothando, Sounds of Today and Tomorrow, One continue from 1Time, Izenzo, Jeys at 40 and Isilo.
Some of his all-time hits include Uthando lwakho, Umuzi Kababa, Amalungelo, Ezinyangeni and Julia, which he did with the late Nana Coyote of the group Stimela.

He has performed at some of the world’s biggest festivals such as Womad Lamatree, Glastonbury and Edinburgh.

Last year, Marabini and his band embarked on their maiden tour to Austria where they attracted full houses.

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