By Novell Zwange – HARARE – Top Zimbabwean jazz house, the Mannenberg next month (April 16: 5.00pm -8.30pm, ) plays host to “Poetry And…”, an exciting project that brings together leading performance poets and musicians. Situated in Fife Avenue, in the cultural precinct of Harare, the Mannenberg is one of the most lively arts and culture venue in the capital.
Poetry And… is the brainchild of Breeze, a young Zimbabwean poetess, and the project will bring to the Mannenberg a fusion of different genres of the spoken word and other forms of art including music, dance, mime, visual arts, etc, once every month.
“This is a poetry night that is not too afraid to experiment and fuse with all the genres of music, and art,” says 20 year-old former Girls High student Barbra Breeze Anderson.
“The launch of this newly organised mid-month event at the Mannenberg in Harare, will kick off with an electrifying funk night,” says Breeze.
“A brand new band called Feel the Funk created from scratch.Poets will be working together with musicians to create a fantastic show using a Funk Vibe,”
The idea to expose the poets to a whole new environment, seeks to help them to be flexible, innovative and to push them to adapt and adopt to international standards.
The 2-3hr show which will feature poets and a made from scratch funk band, Feel the Funk Band, comprising of Singer(Sunniva Berg) Electric bass guitar(Shiloh), drums, electric guitar(Tomas Brickhill),keyboards(Andre Kristopherson), saxophone(Paul Brickhill), congas(Vintani Naffassi).
Funk poets will include prominent artists, Upmost, Psp, Flo Child, Aerosol, Dee Blog, Breeze and other Funk guests.
“The band members are from different musical arenas, from classical music, to punk, to acoustics to jazz and soul, a mixed bag that is not afraid to experiment with surprise guests: the likes of Zimbabwe’s Jazz icon.The band has people from Norway, Mozambique and Zimbabwe,” she says.
“A surprise jazz icon will grace our stage and be prepared for the next Poetry And…..”
As Poetry And… is a carefree jam it is a relaxed event that will but make revellers want to get up and dance.There is no restriction to age, early 20’s onwards or someone who has a keen interest in poetry and is an avid follower or new to it but curious, can come and feel comfortable at the mid-month shows.
This new event brings a refreshingly exciting angle to poetry appreciation in Zimbabwe, a country that has produced internationally renowned poets such as the late Dambudzo Marechera, Chenjerai Hove, Albert Nyathi, and Chirikure Chirikure, over many years. Breeze says that Poetry And… is supposed to assert poetry as worthy to be exposed to the commercial zone. “Poetry should be able to stand the pressure that comes in the commercial arena. The aim is to make the event, as time progresses, compete with other big events around town.”
“Funk is young, funk is old, funk is ‘get up dance’. Funk still remains true to its soul and jazz origins, funk is (class),” she says.
The inaugural Poetry And will also feature a surprise jazz icon, and there are lots of other surprises for the audiences being arranged.