Popular Harare liquor outlet, Wheel and Ease Sports Bar, popularly known as kwaWezhaz, has reached out to popular jazz outfit Jabavu Drive, which now performs at the joint every Friday.
By Style Reporter
Apart from Jabavu Drive, the joint Warren Park 1 has of late brought in a number of jazz artistes, including songbird Diana “MaNgwenya” Samkange, who gave a scintillating performance before a full house last Sunday.
Jazz music was regarded as the preserve of the affluent and most jazz artistes preferred performing in city clubs, but Wheel and Ease bar owner and prominent businessman Exevia “Wezhaz” Maoneke said roping in jazz groups was meant to promote jazz’s rich culture of diversity.
“I think it’s a misconception to say jazz music is for the well-to-do people. I believe it is a genre that is being overlooked in the ghetto and engaging these artistes is one way of keeping it alive,” he said.
Taking a cue from famous American jazz musician and producer Quincy Jones, who said jazz has the power to make men forget their differences and come together, Maoneke believes the genre is strong enough to unite people.
“Music is a universal language that unites people, hence jazz is one genre that brings people together as a family. Every Friday we are seeing people getting all along and I would like to thank Jabavu Drive for accepting this partnership,” Maoneke said.
Jabavu enthrals fans by the exquisite performance of some of the country’s most talented and consistent jazz musicians, including Phillip Svosve (tenor saxophone and vocals), Aaron Yafele (trombone and vocals), Nicholas Mugona (bass guitar), Kudzi Makaya (drums), Moses Mwale (keyboards), Rudo Musiwacho (vocals), Kuda Arineshito (lead guitar) and Dumisani Dzapasi (vocals).
Maoneke said he would continue reaching out to musicians, both veterans and upcoming.
“The idea is to give our musicians a platform to showcase their talents. Jazz outlets in the city centre are fast diminishing and the ghetto is taking over,” he said.
“Apart from Jabavu Drive, we have slots for other artistes regardless of the music they play. We had MaNgwenya last week and she gave a five-star performance which is commendable. There are many groups that perform here and fans enjoy that very much.”
Wheel and Ease Sports Bar is famed for hosting music gigs under the banner The Hub Reloaded, which has showcased upcoming artistes such as Wanayi Wadzanai Ndudzo, Ammi Jamanda and Benjamin Chidewe, among others.