Lovemore Meya Arts Correspondent
Harare Jazz Festival organisers promised to improve their show next year following a number of anomalies that characterised this year’s event, including the absence of some artistes and failure to start on time. Running under the theme “Tribute and Memories” the festival was part of this year’s Harare International Carnival and was held over the weekend at Spook House in Msasa.
The event was dampened by the absence of Kenyan singer Suzanna Owiyo and Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana. The two were in no show because of reasons that the organisers could not handle. Suzanna was supposed to be an opening act with Mtukudzi at 3pm, but after she failed to show up, the legend had to perform alone at around 6:40pm.
Sam Mataure, the show organiser offered an apology for the absence of the two musicians. “Suzanna did not make it because she could not get back her passport in time . . . will get it on Monday. That is the message she sent me but she will be coming in December for Tuku’s fourth music anniversary.
“And for Prudence, the time she was scheduled to perform lapsed because we lost about three hours of performance time before starting. She had other engagements and that is why she could not come,” said Mataure.
Despite the shortfall in the line-up, Mataure said they were very happy about the attendance. “We are happy about the attendance. It is the target market that we were looking for. “We are very appreciative to the owners of the venue and obviously hope to make it better next year and thank our sponsors who came through and the staff we have been working with on the festival,” he said.
Immaculately decorated, the venue was a hive of activity attracting the most influential people in the country. After they failed to move along with the programme, the organisers were forced to cut all the acts to compensate for the lost time. Vee Mukarati took to the stage at 5pm and performed close to half an hour before leaving the stage for Mtukudzi.
Mtukudzi delivered a flawless act that saw patrons dancing throughout his slot and paved way for Intotal to do their magic. The show reached a climax with Mbare Trio spicing up everything showing the crowd what they were good at as they played along with Mtukudzi. Other artistes who dazzled include Louis Mhlanga and Kunle Ayo from Nigeria among others.