The Herald (Harare)

12 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Jazz Sensation Gera Resumes Shows

Afro-jazz sensation Cris Gera who had been quiet for some time has resumed shows. The jazz-maker said he had resumed staging live shows due to public demand. "Everywhere I go my fans beg me to resume shows and I started to feel bad because I was starving them, that is why I have resumed staging shows," said Gera.

The pint-sized musician said he was forced to abort shows last year because of low turn out at his performances.

"My shows were attracting a few people at the venues I was performing and it was no longer viable but things are now different," said Gera.

Some of Gera songs include- "Marambadoro", "Sango Rinopa Waneta" and "Everything" off his debut album, Sango Rinopa Waneta recorded at Metro Studios.

While most of his contemporaries play genres like urban grooves and hip-hop, among others, Gera said he decided to play jazz because it is a genre that appeals to a cross section of listeners.

He said with jazz it is easy to put across issues that are at the heart of people's day to day living.

"I chose jazz because a lot of young artistes are concentrating on urban grooves but I chose to be different and use a music style that easily touches on all age groups.

"I feel artistes should be able to address issues that affect people in a special way," Gera said.

The 31-year-old started music in the mid 90s in the church choir but it was in the new millennium he decided to take music seriously..

"I got hooked up with Pastor G and joined him as a backing vocalist. In 2007, I was called by Rooftop Promotions at the International Jazz Festival where I backed Shingisai Suluma and Pastor G.

"That was just the beginning of my breakthrough", he recalled.

"I then met up with the late Sam Mtukudzi who also motivated me very much. Unfortunately he died before we recorded our album together.

"I got help to record my demo CD from Chamu Mangundi, and eventually took it to Alexio Kawara who then groomed me thoroughly," he says.

He said Kawara even taught him how to write songs.

Born in 1981, Gera was educated at Zuvarabuda Primary School and Glen Norah High 2 both in Glen Norah 2. He is married to Sophia and together they are blessed with five-year-old son Akanakaishe Jaden.

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