The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia: The Original Jazz Masters

Few witnesses remain today who still recall the glorious days of township jazz in Namibia’s shanty towns in the 1950s and 1960s.

It was a time, when the day’s toils and troubles were put aside for a moment, when the bands sounded their instruments at sunset and people gathered around them in local community halls. Young men shined their dancing shoes, women donned their petty-coats and the party continued until late after midnight.

Music lovers will be able to experience this at Nice on Saturday, December 1, when The Original Jazz Masters take to the stage at Nice Restaurant.

Under the guidance and leadership of a journalist, they reunited to bring back to life the forgotten melodies and rhythms of township jazz.

Soprano saxophonist Frederick ‘Kariki’ Ndiripunye Kamburutue played with Muroko’s Skymaster Band from 1959-1964. He joined the Dakotas in the 70s and 80s. Percussionist Toto Reinhardt was the drummer of Erstwhile Morning Star. Tenor saxophonist Stephanus ‘Kookwater’ /Hoebeb played with the Tsumeb Etosha Ragtimers first and with Morning Star from 1965 onwards. His nickname implied that he was faster and ‘hotter’ on his instrument than ‘Warmgat’ Muroko himself. Immanuel Manoks Shivute is the youngest of the ‘old crocks’. He began playing rhythm guitar for the Dakotas in 1986.

The veterans will grace the Bank Windhoek Music Circle at Nice. Young talent Toshi Haufiku will open for the band on the evening. She accompanies herself on acoustic guitar and, in her own words, focuses on soul and pop.

Tickets cost N$55 in advance and are available at Nice Restaurant.

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