Zimbabwe: Zim Duo for the virtual concert of Harlem Jazz
Senior artistic reporter
Future local jazz musicians Bradley Sibiya and Chiedza Muchena will break new ground today when they perform at the annual virtual fundraising gala concert hosted by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJZMH), USA.
The concert, which is part of the celebrations of Harlem’s rich history and jazz culture, takes place under the theme âThe Roots and Routes of Jazzâ and will be hosted by famous conductors Christian McBride and Oscar- Golden. Globe winner Jon Batiste with special performances from AMP Big Band from the Philippines.
In an interview, Filbert Marova, founding member and program director of the Zimbabwe Jazz Community Trust, said everything was set for the local duo to showcase their talent.
âThe celebrations started in May and continued until June. We selected Bradley Zibiya and Chiedza Muchena (19), both saxophonists, and we’re ready for today’s show.â
Marova said they selected the future stars to perform so they get exposure and open doors. “Some might ask why we didn’t have the established artists to perform at this gala, but we have so many indomitable talents that go unrecognized and Both are doing well and coming to rehearse and research jazz culture.
“I can say that they deserve and we are proud of them that they can fully represent us well.”
Marova said the duo will perform what is called “mbiriano” which Marova, Bradley and Chiedza composed.
âThey will play the jazz genre merged by our local mbira. The mbiriano jazz music takes its name from the mbira rhythms and improvised melodies played on the piano. Bradley and Chiedza improvise on mbiriano pieces composed by Filbert Marova as well as on their own mbiriano compositions .
“They will be supported by Simba ‘Bridgez’ Chimanga (drums), Tafadzwa ‘Tafibass’ Marova (bass) and Filbert Marova (piano).”
Marova said the theme âThe Roots and Routes of Jazzâ was inspired globally as jazz culture spread across the world.
âLately we’ve seen countries like South Africa, Ghana, Japan and Nigeria, among others, embrace the culture of jazz.
“The good thing is that the National Jazz Museum in Harlem has followed our musical culture and fallen in love with it, hence our inclusion in their program.”
Sibiya Quartet and Muchena will join Endea Owens and The Cookout from Harlem.
With NJMH’s commitment to making the “Harlem Jazz Experience” accessible to everyone on the planet, this year’s virtual gala will bring together jet-set viewers from around the world while illuminating the stories of “The Roots. and the roads of jazz “.
The gala will feature the incredible sounds and talents of jazz artists and special performances from groups in Laos, Amsterdam, Peru, the Philippines and Zimbabwe, culminating at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
âThe pandemic has had a devastating impact on jazz artists around the world, especially black, Latino and other communities of color,â said Grammy Award-winning artist Christian McBride.
âWe have lost the lives of hundreds of jazz innovators. This monumental loss to history makes this series of galas even more vital to preserving the history and legacy of this unique art form of American origin and share it with the world. “
Batiste, who served with McBride as the museum’s artistic directors have said; “The funding we raise at our gala ensures that we can continue to support jazz artists, performances, education and culture for the enjoyment of all communities.”