Zanu PF brings in Maxi Priest for Congress fundraising

The one-off show is scheduled for Borrowdale Race Course. The artist’s management company 21st Century Artists Inc confirmed in an statement that Maxi Priest will perform in Harare.

”Maxi is going to be performing in Harare, Zimbabwe on December 5, 2009.  He is very much looking forward to the performance. I am glad to here there is some hype for the show," said Dean H Golder, a representative of Maxi Priest’s management company. "Maxi’s schedule is pretty open for early 2010.”

The cheapest ticket for the show in Harare has been set for US$20. The posters advertising the show are set to put on the streets of Harare next week.

The 48-year old Maxi Priest is a reggae artist of Jamaican descent but based in the United State. He is best known for singing reggae music with a R&B influence, otherwise known as reggae fusion, and became one of the first international successes who regularly dabbled in the genre as well as being one of the most successful reggae fusion acts of all-time.

Born in Lewisham, London, Maxi Priest is the second youngest of nine children. His parents moved to England from Jamaica to provide more opportunity for their family and he grew up listening to gospel, reggae, R&B, and pop music. His music is sometimes closer to R&B, and pop, than to reggae music itself.

His uncle, Jacob Miller, a reggae icon, was the frontman in the popular reggae group Inner Circle and his son, Ryan Elliott, was a member of the boy band Ultimate Kaos. His first major album was the self-titled Maxi Priest (1988) which, along with his cover of Cat Stevens’ "Wild World", established him as one of the top British reggae singers. He is one of only two British reggae acts (along with UB40) to have a American Billboard number one: "Close to You" in 1990.

A duet with Roberta Flack, "Set the Night to Music", reached the American Top Ten in 1991. His duet with Shaggy in 1996, "That Girl", was also a hit in the United States, peaking at number twenty.

In the latter half of his recording career, Priest has favoured working alongside other artists, both established and up-and-coming. He has worked with Sly & Robbie, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Jazzie B, Apache Indian, Roberta Flack, Shurwayne Winchester, Shabba Ranks and Lee Ritenour.

The show is organised by a Company linked to former Radio 3 DJ Tich Mataz and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority and the proceeds will be used in financing Zanu PF’s Congress scheduled for December.

Over the years, Zanu PF has used the Zimbabwe Arts Council, to allow foreign artists only for its financial benefit, hence for years Zimbabweans have been treated to excessive rumba music from DRC at the expense of local artists.