THE much-anticipated Jamaican reggae sensation Tarrus Riley’s debut Zimbabwean jamboree at the Harare International Conference Centre on Saturday attracted a poor crowd, although organisers were upbeat more fans would come from other Southern African countries.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
The show, with tickets pegged between $20 and $100, could have been too expensive for the locals, while the promoters at the same time sought to balance their books.
“It was a concert for the people, but it is the prevailing challenges around liquidity, coupled with paying to bring an international artiste, as well as the best local names in the arts at the moment outside of having a sponsor for the show that had an obvious bearing on the pricing,” one of the organisers said.
Riley and legendary saxophonist Dean Fraser, supported by the Blak Soil Band, shared the stage with local acts Jah Prayzah, House of Stone, Seh Calaz, Soul Jah Love, Killer T and Gary Tight.
Winky D joined the Blak Soil Band for a stage collaboration of his hit song Disappear, with Dean Fraser showcasing his saxophone-playing prowess, much to the audience’s delight.
Winky D’s former manager, Jonathan Banda, however, dismissed rumours that the local chanter had done a collaborative production with the Jamaican.
Despite the paltry crowd, the visiting artistes put up a top-notch performance.
Jah Prayzah was forced to perform before a nearly empty auditorium around 6pm as he had to fulfil another assignment at the Castle Lager National Braai Day at Old Hararians Sports Club.
Riley, who did a two-hour class act, saluted fans for coming in their numbers.
A number of female fans also had their moments of fame, as they showcased their dancing skills with Riley’s band members.
Soul Jah Love sealed the show with a sterling performance, although some fans had already left.