New Zimbabwe (London)

23 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Dudu in 'Special' Italy Performance

Photo: Facebook
Zimbabwean jazz artist Dudu Manhenga

AFRO Jazz star Dudu Manhega starred at the 'Songs from African and Mediterranean Skies' concert held at Sardinia's Arena Fenicia of Sant Antioco on Friday, concluding a "month of jazz and more" on the Italian island.

Hundreds of people attended the show where Dudu teamed up with Enzo Favata, the internationally renowned Sardinian saxophonist.

Describing the concert, the local La Provincia said, "melody, energy and polyrhythm, modern jazz and traditional music gave rise to a sound very engaging, particularly originality and freshness, the clouds and the skies of the Mediterranean with a thousand shades of Africa".

The 'Songs from African and Mediterranean Skies' project sought to bring together, in Dudu and Enzo, two musicians from different continents who, in their artistic careers, have intertwined the traditional music of their respective countries with modern music such as soul and jazz.

Enzo Favata, on saxophones, and Marcello Peghin on guitars joined Dudu on stage backed by her group which comprises drummer, Blessing Muparutsa, pianist Nick Nare, the Joshua Kwesha bassist and percussionist Othnell Moyo.

Dudu also wowed the crowd with her self-created colourful outfits with which she aims to encourage African women to embrace modernity without losing contact with their history and traditions.

Closing what he described as an "extraordinary performance", Enzo emphasized that perhaps too often "we are accustomed to trust only what we know but sometimes it is appropriate to accept new experiences that will not disappoint us".

Dud is however, not new to Italy, having held a series of tours in the country in recent years. She also sang Pope Benedict XVI, during the seventh World Meeting of Families in 2012, representing the African continent.

Friday's concert was the last leg of the tour in 2014 Sardinian Favata-Manhenga collaboration but there will be a sequel, with a CD, a winter tour of the Sardinian group to Zimbabwe and, in 2015, a new Italian summer tour.

Dudu is a true Zimbabwean jazz icon whose style is influenced by great African and jazz singers, and the dignity of her delivery is a credit to her and to her country, wherever she goes.

Her music has been accurately described as 'an afro jazz adventure' - a fusion of genres: afro, contemporary, Zimbabwe traditional, township, jazz, afro, Latino, and a cultural cross-breed of Zimbabwe's Manica, Mashona and Matabele rhythms and melodies, with energetic stage work, and sizzling vocals.

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