Global Guitars serenade audiences

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Fireworks mark the official opening of Hifa.

Various artistes at the Harare International Festival of the Arts came together for one collaborative performance showcasing different rhythmic styles on the guitar at the Global Guitars event on Saturday.

By tatira zwinoira

The event was packed.

Global Guitars kicked off with two performances by local guitarist Sylent Nqonqo and Derek Gripper, a renowned South Africa-born guitarist called Njoni (good) .
“I started playing guitar when I was nine, but I have been performing professionally since the age of 14,” said Nqonqo when NewsDay caught up with the artiste after the event.

“My music has influence from a lot of genres. I call it Afro-pop.”

The next song was a new piece with Nqonqo performing with American and British guitarists Jeff Peterson and Will McNicol, respectively.

“The three of us met yesterday at Crowne Plaza and this is our first way of saying hello to each other,” said Peterson introducing the second song to a cheering audience.

Next was a solo from McNicol titled the Wake Up a song which the artiste stated was influenced from his home town of Bournemouth, located on the south coast of England which got the audience swaying to and fro following the melody.

“I started learning guitar when I was six and started performing when I was 10. I have been writing my own material for about 12 years,” said McNicol after the performance.

“I love the varying aspects of music that you can get on the guitar so I have taken influence from all over the world such as Latin North America blues to African sounds

It was now time for Peterson who came up next to do a collaboration with McNicol for a small piece before the latter performed another solo entitled The Scrapbook, a deep tune that got the audience engrossed.

Peterson, who has been performing for 18 years, played his original solo piece entitled Kukui, which uses the unique style of slack key guitar to an enthralled audience.

“It’s based on a time when old timers on the island of Maui (part of Hawaii) would train people coming onto the island and would give them a relish called Inamona made from roasted Kukui nuts,” said Peterson before his performance the song.

After his song, Gripper came on to perform a song inspired by an ex-girlfriend of his that incorporates elements the kora, a popular West African instrument, to the guitar.

The artiste was later joined by Manuel Lopes Andrade known as Tcheka from Cape Verde for a piece called Naya before the latter delivered two engaging solo performances entitled Amizade and Mar De Fogo.

“I get inspired by everything from my personal experiences to the state of Cape Verde and everything else that happens around me,” said Tcheka at the end of the event.

After Tsheka’s performance the whole ensemble of artistes came out to deliver a collaborative piece called Jarabia, a traditional piece from the Mandinga Empire that got the people in attendance to their feet.

Many in attendance enjoyed the show and left the event ecstatic.