Good times roll for Jazz Invitation

Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana

Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana

Jonathan Mbiriyamveka Entertainment Reporter
Jazz Invitation’s reunion gig held at Misty’s in Newlands Shopping Centre took fans back and forth with a selection of new and old skool classics for the mature crowd that turned up for their show last Friday.

The famous group started by introducing two rookies, Tshawe and Courtney Rusike, who took charge of the stage and showcased their amazing voices.

Tshawe was the first on stage and she worked the stage like no man’s business and won the hearts of many in the audience, including Farai Mupfunya of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust, who graced the event together with his wife.

Fans cheered on Tshawe throughout her performance and when she performed her last song there was a wild applause from the crowd.

Up next was the sultry Courtney, who opened her set with Sam Smith’s “I Am The Only One” which had the audience eating from her palms.

Dressed in a mini-dress and a pink jacket, Courtney took the song and made it her own, much to the delightt of the crowd.

The merry mood continued when Jazz Invitation took to the stage.

The group, which boasts talented instrumentalists in the mould of bassist and vocalist Kelly Rusike, Dave Bekoe on drums and Simba Madzara on guitar as well as Richie Lopez on sax was fired up throughout the show.

Jazz Invitation played all their hit songs from their debut “Rehearsal Room” that features the hit “BP”. Here and there they would throw some tunes from their latest “Tsoka” that is dominated by some thrilling instrumentals.

The tracks on this album are solid and well-arranged instrumentals. On “Tsoka” the band expertly blends traditional Zimbabwean rhythms with jazz elements on the keyboards, saxophone and lead guitar.

The classic and traditional song “Dzinonwa Muna Zambezi”, which was given a new lease of life, had the audience on its feet.

The song was given a jazz feel with improvisation and the use of great saxophone solos and a solid bass.

Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana, who is a founding member, showed why she is loved and appreciated by fans.

She had good control of the crowd from start to finish, proving that she is an accomplished performer.

The band has been in existence for the past six years, making it a solid group. The “jazz invitation” concept was conceived by drummer Sam Mataure, who invited different musicians to play at different events and festivals across the country.

The concept was novel and it immediately became very popular as it brought together musicians of varied styles and tastes. Mataure left to play in South Africa while Jazz Invitation carried on, absorbing new members and talent such as drummer Victor Duarte.