Artistes welcome Jazz 24/7
By Silence Charumbira
Artistes have hailed the opening of Jazz 24/7 in Harare Thursday night saying the venue would bring in the much needed variety to the industry but said they feared proprietors would be hurt most due to the economic challenges.
This comes amid a cold war in the background pitting new players at Jazz 24/7 against the former owner Josh Hozheri who recently opened Time and Jazz Café at Cresta Oasis Hotel; just a kilometer away.
While the target market is virtually the same; the situation, musicians say, will be worsened by the fact that Hozheri is the former proprietor of Jazz 105 that operated at Jazz 24/7.
Hozheri last week threatened legal action after the new owners illegally” used the name Jazz 105 on their posters without his consent forcing Jazz 24/7 to withdraw the name from their posters and advertising material.
Speaking to Showbiz at the venue on Thursday Victor Kunonga said it was unfortunate that none of the venues were built with their form of entertainment in mind but said it was good to have variety.
“As you can see there are a lot of pillars that block the view of the stage and a similar situation obtains at Time and Jazz Café. You would prefer a space where everyone clearly sees you while you are on stage but all the same, we just hope whoever packages their product well gets rewarded. Everything will boarder on preference,” Kunonga said.
Mono Mukundu said it was good that there are two clubs that now cater for the Jazz community: “Competition is healthy. It is healthy for the fans as well as the musicians but the economy is difficult.”
Dino Mudondo said it was sad that Hozheri did not get enough time to have the exclusive Jazz venue since opening Time and Jazz Café.
“Josh mudhara wangu. Ava handivazive but Josh vamukuvadza. (Josh is my friend. I do not know these guys but they have hurt Josh). It is good to have variety but is really going to be difficult for Josh,” said Dino.
The official opening was graced by a handful of artistes among them Leeroy Kamusena, Cindy Munyavi, Clare Nyakujara, Progress Chipfumo, First Farai, Alexio Kawara, Sulumani Chimbetu, Mbeu, Nesto Manandi and Madiz among others.
Performances kicked off with Mbeu who gave a stellar act despite the sound glitches before a few other acts came in for a jam session and giving back to Mbeu again. Sulumani the closed the show with an energetic set that he riddled with a few of his new tracks from his forthcoming album.