3 Generations: Book Café Jazz Divas Dazzle
Book Café, Thursday 7 March, 2013
On Thursday three divas raise their voices in song to celebrate International Women’s Day. On March 7th at 8pm The Book Café presents Three Generations, featuring jazz singers Dudu Manhenga, Clare Nyakujara and Uza Manhenga in a spectacular, never-before-seen performance. The three talented women represent three generations of music and promise a night of lively entertainment by electric performers in celebration with women all around the world.
International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated each year on March 8th around the world. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. This year’s theme is “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum”. Organisations, governments, educational institutions, women's groups, and the media all celebrate International Women’s Day. Pamberi Trust joins in this important tribute and has organized a number of events to mark International Women’s Day at The Book Cafe.
Three women jazz singers calling themselves Three Generations conceived this one-of-a-kind show for International Women’s Day. Featuring three different, captivating voices, they share a common talent and all three women bring something unique and captivating to the table.
Dudu, Clare and Uza are phenomenal jazz vocalists on the Zimbabwe music scene. Dudu Manhenga the veteran, has been in the music business for 16 years. A talented jazz musician, Dudu is one of the foremost jazz singers in Zimbabwe today, inheriting Dorothy Masuka’s mantle as a singular jazz diva like no other.
Dudu as she is simply known, has released four albums and a DVD in her musical career and has worked with some of the best jazz musicians in Zimbabwe. She has also toured extensively in Denmark, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland.
“This IWD we are celebrating individual milestones. We are definitely going to be celebrating each other for starters. The audience should expect something fresh. Something worth talking about. Something new. Definitely it is new for us three. We have never performed together before as a collective.”
Speaking about the challenges faced by female musicians, Dudu says, “I think we are always having to work a little harder to get attention-to get our cause heard. It is easier for male artists because they just put together a show anywhere. I think that socially there are so many expectations for us. But being able to stand on stage is an opportunity to express myself. It’s a powerful position. Behind the microphone, I can make a comment about anything. I can say anything in a song and it becomes an issue and then it’s out there. And the fact that we are able to put out our frustrations in song is cathartic”.
Performing alongside Dudu, is Clare Nyakujara. Clare is a lesser known, but exciting musical talent. Hailed as a powerful jazz vocalist, Clare specializes in what she calls Afro-jazz pop. Her first album “Haudineyi” was well-received and her follow-up album “Unleashed” launched at the Spanish Embassy in 2011, won her a solid fan base. Clare has a fun, fresh sound. Her songs also often focus on issues that concern women, including Mumba from her first album which is about domestic violence and Ndavekudziirwa which is about children and abuse. Clare performs with her long-established band, The Other Four and travelled to the Shanghai Expo in 2010, performed at HIFA from 2009 to 2011 and toured extensively in South Africa and Namibia.
About the show she says, “It’s going to be a two-part show. We are going to have me Uza and Dudu doing our own songs in the first part. And in the second part, we are going to do a show called ‘good girl meets bad girl’, and this one will feature songs from Brenda Fassie and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. So this part will be a celebration of those women who have gone before us in the music industry”.
Clare adds that the show is especially important to recognize women and the unique problems they face. “It’s very hard being a female musician in a country like this one. I would like it to be that IWD is when we celebrate everything and the ways we have fought against violence. Even just being a woman is hard. So we are bringing in this show to celebrate just being a woman and all the wars we have had to fight.”
Uza Manhenga is perhaps the least known of the trio, but the diminutive diva still packs a punch with her soaring vocals and professional delivery. As Dudu’s little sister, Uza started performing as a background vocalist for Dudu, Ignatius Mabasa, Bob Nyabinde and The Cool Crooners and The Mbare Trio at HIFA 2007. She started performing as a solo artist at Sistaz Open Mic at the Book Café, using this important music platform to gain experience and exposure. Now in 2013, she has released her first single from the album she is hoping will be released to the public this May. The single called, Nginje is about how everyone affects and influences you.
“My music is Afro-urban contemporary and deals with social issues, to encourage listeners to be positive about their lives and to dream beyond the limits imposed by their circumstances and backgrounds.”
Come and enjoy Three Generations of music from three talented jazz vocalists at the Book Café on Thursday 7 March at 8pm. The show promises to be an eclectic mix of township jazz music and extraordinary jazz vocal performances in celebration of IWD. Three Generations will also perform on Saturday March 9th as part of the Sistaz Open Mic programme celebration of International Women’s Day at The Book Café at 2pm. Don’t miss out!
Prepared by Tawanda Mudzonga (Miss)
For Pamberi Trust