14 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Music Crossroads Showcases Artists

What do the names Mokoomba, Bongo Love, African Destiny, Club Shanga, Gwari-mba, Liyana, Savannah Afros, First Farai and Progress Chipfumo have in common?

These artists have found fame and fortune because of the Music Crossroads Zimbabwe (MCZ) Trust. The organisation has helped nurture their talents and brought them to international stardom to an extent that some of the artists are now touring some parts of Europe, Asia and the US.

Apart from Farai and Chipfumo, however, some of the musicians do not enjoy the same fame and attention in their own homeland as they are getting overseas. Add to this, some local promoters have been shunning these musicians for local shows, yet they would have excelled in the national and regional championships of the Music Crossroads International.

With this in mind, MCZ will be launching their countrywide Music Crossroads Showcase Mission on Saturday at the Alliance Francaise, Harare, starting from 17.00 pm.

According to the ZMC projects coordinator, Kudakwashe Charwadza, the Showcase Mission is a platform to promote bands that have been natured by the organisation, by hosting shows in all the 10 provinces of the country. Charwadza said promotion of the bands would involve the availing of the necessary resources for the bands in their endeavour to earn a decent living through music as well as to have as many Zimbabweans as possible appreciate their music.

"MCZ has taken the task of promoting its band after realising that music promoters have not been doing much in assisting young and upcoming artists. Plans to host shows around the country are already in place, with a lot of them to be staged outside Harare. The organisation has produced many bands that are rocking in Europe and the USA," said Charwadza.

Apart from showcasing their music as in Saturday's show, Charwadza says, the musicians would also be given a platform to facilitate musical workshops in schools that teach music at various towns and centres in other parts of the country.

"This whole project would be complimentary to other MCZ projects such as the talent search where festivals and competitions are hosted throughout the provinces of the country.

Saturday's launch will also see Mokoomba performing in Zimbabwe after a successful tour that saw them exhibiting at the prestigious World Music Exchange (Womex) 2012 held in Greece in October. Previous winners of Music Crossroads events, groups such as Gwarimba, Club Shanga and Savannah Afros will be performing on Saturday as supporting acts in a show that is billed ignite the festive mood in town," Charwadza said.

The Music Crossroads programme was initiated in 1995 by Jeunesses Musicales Interna-tional (JMI), the world's largest youth music network. In 2008, Music Crossroads International, a non-governmental, non-profit association, cha-nged its base to the multicultural city of Barcelona (Catalonia), Spain where it coordinates the Music Crossroads strategy in cooperation with the local Music Crossroads partners in the five countries that are locally owned and with flexibility to incorporate specific needs. This is where Music Crossroads Zimbabwe comes in. Other regional countries that have the Music Crossroads training centres are Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia

Meanwhile, Charwadza has disclosed that preparations for the establishment of the MCZ Music Academy next year are at an advanced stage. The academy, he says would offer professional training to young musicians by expert tutors from Zimbabwe and other countries starting in March 2013.

The ZMC financial director, Canaan Kamoyo, who is a musician himself, said the academy would be the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and would offer training in all instruments, including wind instruments such as trumpet, trombone and saxophone that have disappeared from the Zimbabwean music scene.

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