Senior Arts Reporter
Upcoming local jazz musicians Bradley Sibiya and Chiedza Muchena will break new ground today when they perform in the annual virtual fundraising gala concert hosted by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (NJZMH), United States.
The concert, which is part of the celebrations of the rich history and culture of the jazz in Harlem, is running under the theme, "The Roots and Routes of Jazz," and will be hosted by celebrity band leaders Christian McBride and Oscar -Golden Globe Winner, Jon Batiste, with special performances by AMP Big Band from the Philippines.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Jazz Community Trust founder member and programme director Filbert Marova said all was set for the local duo to showcase their talent.
"The celebrations started in May and have continued to the month of June. We have selected 23-year-old Bradley Zibiya and Chiedza Muchena (19), both saxophonists, and are ready for today's show."
Marova said they had selected the upcoming stars to perform so that they will get the exposure and open doors"Some might ask why we did not have the established artistes to perform at this gala, but we have so many untamed talents which are not recognised and appreciated. The two have been doing well and coming for rehearsals and doing research on the culture of jazz.
"I can say they deserve and we are proud of them that they can fully represent us well."
Marova said the duo will perform what is called "mbiriano" which Marova, Bradley and Chiedza had composed.
"They will play the jazz genre fused by our local mbira. Mbiriano jazz music derives its name from mbira rhythms and improvised melodies played on the piano. Bradley and Chiedza improvise on mbiriano pieces composed by Filbert Marova as well as on their own mbiriano compositions.
"They will be backed by Simba 'Bridgez' Chimanga (drums), Tafadzwa 'Tafibass' Marova (bass) and Filbert Marova (piano)."
Marova said the theme "The Roots and Routes of Jazz" was inspired globally as the culture of jazz has spread throughout the world.
"Of late we have been witnessing countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Japan and Nigeria, among others, embracing the culture of jazz.
"The good thing is that the National Jazz Museum in Harlem has been following our music culture and has fallen in love with it, hence the inclusion of us in their programme."
Sibiya Quartet and Muchena will join Endea Owens and The Cookout from Harlem.
With NJMH's commitment to making the "jazz in Harlem experience" accessible to every person on the planet, this year's virtual gala will jet-set viewers around the world while illuminating the stories of "The Roots and Routes of Jazz".
The gala will feature the incredible sounds and talents of jazz artistes and special performances by bands in Laos, Amsterdam, Peru, Philippines, Zimbabwe culminating at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
"The pandemic has had a devastating impact on jazz artistes all around the world, particularly on the black, Latino and other communities of colour," said Grammy award winning artist Christian McBride.
"We have lost the lives of hundreds of jazz innovators. This monumental loss to history makes this gala series even more vital to preserving the history and legacy of this unique American-born art form and sharing it with the world."
Batiste, who served together with McBride as the museum's artistic directors said; "The funding we raise during our gala ensures we can continue to support jazz artists,performances, education and culture for all communities to enjoy."