Chikoti bemoans lack of jazz creativity

Chikoti said local artistes get less compared to foreigners during local festivals.

VETERAN jazz musician Steve Chikoti says lack of promoters coupled with the significant decline in economic activity in the country is deterring the growth of the genre and breakthrough of upcoming jazz artistes.

He said veteran jazz crooners like him had mastered survival skills in the trade while many had thrown in the towel.

“The music scene generally, especially to someone like us, who do Afro and jazz has been a bit challenging,” Chikoti told Standard Style.

“Jazz is the kind of music, which is in a niche market so sometimes you survive if you have your own places to do events and a contract to run as well as a loyal clientele.

“However, for somebody who is starting it can be very difficult and also generally venues have been facing challenges and lately we have been having fewer corporate events.”

The soloist said he was now relying on corporate gigs.

“I just hope that these corporate gigs continue since they are the only ones paying,” he said.

“We used to survive on festivals, but these have whittled down.

“However, we are not doing too badly because we are getting gigs here and there.”

Chikoti said local artistes get less compared to foreigners during local festivals.

He said in the same vein local promoters pay more to a visiting artiste than to their home artistes.

“We now depend on gigs out of our towns because people tend to appreciate you and they pay more,” he said.

“Artistes should cast their nets wide and do a bit of travelling to explore other places,

“In my case l go outside the country just across borders maybe in South Africa and do some gigs, make a bit of money and come back.”

Chikoti urged upcoming artistes to utilise opportunities presented to them.

Chikoti has several albums including Wega, Nzendo (Journey) as well as Words Spoken and Unspoken, among others.


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