Acting Entertainment Editor
Mondays will never be the same again.
After getting disrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the popular Jam Session, which is held every Monday at top arts and entertainment venue, City Sports Bar, is back. Having been massively launched by Tryson Chimbetu a few weeks back before Hosiah Chipanga carried on with the momentum, the talent cultivation programme is set for a massive boost.
Chipaz Promotions boss Partson Chimbodza, who is easily the most successful and recognisable promoter in Zimbabwe, is set to grace the developmental arts programme tonight.
The multiple award-winning promoter will be a special guest at this week’s Jam Session where he is expected to identify fresh talent to nurture.
To top it up, performance gurus Kireni Zulu alongside his Marabi Queens and Elder Potato will headline the event.
Their decades old stage experience is also a huge plus for event coordinators, who want to instill a sense of belief in upcoming musicians seeking a chance at scale the heights.
Sir Natto, Knima Presh, Talking Guitars, Kaei, The Shona Tribe, Malvin Mushore and Chabvondoka Express are some of the budding artists set to take to the stage.
As usual, Flame Ndombele and MC Khedah will hold things together, bridging the gap between the upstarts and the veterans. Event coordinator Hapaz Mapimhidze, a veteran arts player, said the developmental arts programme was shaping up exactly as envisioned.
“Monday is an off day for artists. Thus, it is easy to bring all stakeholders together — from promoters to journalists and the artists themselves,” said Mapimhidze.
“So, besides jamming, this programme seeks to bring artists and major music stakeholders, including venue owners together. Chipaz will obviously be scouting for new talent. So, the artists that are performing on Monday (tonight) are very lucky.”
Mapimhidze tore into “pretend promoters” whom he said only showed up when an artist had blossomed.
“I have been in this industry for decades,” he said. “I know promoters who have artists at heart. Chipaz is definitely one of the promoters that have taken it upon themselves to ensure talent is nurtured.
“However, there are those that only show up when artists have blown up. That is not arts promotion.
“We have created a platform where artists will get to meet Chipaz for a word or two. He will give advice where it is needed and the artists themselves can ask questions and get responses that will help their careers.”
Mapimhidze thanked venue owner and award-winning promoter Biggie Chinoperekwei for allowing budding artists to use his bar free of charge.
“I have utmost respect for Biggie,” he said. “Music promotion is a thankless job. But he has consistently given us support — from dance groups in need of gaining stage confidence to young performers with lots of talent seeking exposure.”
Speaking to The Herald Arts, Chimbodza said it was up to promoters and other stakeholders like the media to raise the profile of different genres and upcoming talent so that millions of arts consumers can hear and see them.
“Look at Zim dancehall and Zim hip-hop, someone had to believe in those artists so that they could go mainstream,” he said. “The artists that are big today — the likes of Macheso (Alick) and Jah Prayzah among others — were not always big. It took the collective action of various stakeholders to get them to where they are. Talent alone will not do it.”
The brutally honest promoter said he would not mince his words when talking to the upcoming artists tonight.
“Artists come into the industry with funny ideas, we have to let them in on the reality and still ensure that they are motivated enough to keep on fighting,” he said.
Hundreds of artists have passed through the City Sports Bar Jam Session, which has been run by such celebrated arts personalities as Mathias Bangure and Yassin Dlala.