Zimbabwe: Jazz festival ignores Covid-19 and goes virtual

Despite the global Covid-19 pandemic affecting some entertainment industry events, organizers of this year’s Jazz Festival said the event will be held virtually.

The festival started with a workshop yesterday to equip the artists.

The virtual event, which is scheduled for today, will coincide with the celebration of International Jazz Day and will be organized by Ngoma NeHosho in partnership with UNESCO, Hyundai Zimbabwe, Old Mutual and CredSure.

Walter Wanyanya, Founding Member of Ngoma Nehosho, said yesterday’s workshop was fruitful as it was addressed by well-known and reputable speakers.

“We had a great time, we facilitated the online artist development workshop which included musicians, managers and producers,” he said.

“The workshop was organized by the Old Mutual Foundation, CredSure and UNESCO. We believe that education and knowledge sharing among creatives plays a key role in growing our creative economy in Zimbabwe.”

The panel of speakers included booking agents, festival directors, jazz artist managers and media professionals from South Africa, Zimbabwe, USA, Spain and Senegal.

It was hosted by musician Arnold Chirimika affectionately known as So Profound and Kudzai Mubaiwa.

“Some of the panelists who made the day possible included Ignacio Priego (Spain-South Africa music consultant), Allan Sixpence (CredSure, COO), US-based founder and director Katherine McVicker, Dudu Sarr, who is artistic director for Youssou Ndour and founder of the music market of Dakar — Senegal, A&R director Sony ATV Music Publishing Africa Munya Chanetsa, deputy director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Josiah Kusena, artistic director of Mokoomba and director of the festival of Jacaranda Marcus Gora music,” Wanyanya said.

“It was an opportunity for artists to ask questions about how they can improve their art and get more insights into the entertainment industry as a whole.”

Wanyanya said the workshop was held over two sessions and was designed to help those in the arts sector discover pathways and opportunities in the global creative economy.

“The UNESCO Creative Community Workshop in partnership with Credsure, which was our second part, was themed ‘Gateway to the Global Stage and Growing the Creative Economy,'” he said.

“The first session focused on financial management and the second on lessons from established music professionals on: how to get bookings, signings, airplays, tours, management, digital revenue streams so to participate effectively in the global creative economy.”

Wanyanya said today’s virtual show will feature some of the local acts.

“The Jabulani Jazz Festival: Virtual Showcase, which is our first edition, will be virtual due to the current pandemic, however, we plan to make it an annual event which will continue permanently as a hybrid festival,” he said. he declares.

“This year’s edition will be streamed online today on our social media pages and today was International Jazz Day. This year UNESCO is celebrating 10 years of this incredible showcase and we are proud to reach out to the rest of the world by uniting people through music.

“The Jabulani Jazz Festival will feature three young local musicians – Sylent Nqo, Taka NeMachinda and Mimmie Tarukwana.”

For the past four years, Ngoma NeHosho has successfully hosted the Jacaranda Music Festival which saw 10,000 people physically attend the festival over three days.

“We presented several genres of music on the Jacaranda Music Festival stage; from hip hop, pop to reggae, but never enough jazz,” Wanyanya said.

“It was then that we decided the jazz genre needed its own stage and after extensive consultation the decision was made to create a festival that celebrates the mother of all musical genres – the ‘Jabulani Jazz Festival’ .

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