HARARE – Rising jazz artiste Josh Meck used his first show of the year at the Book Café on Thursday night to honour exiled Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo.
The former Africa revenge bassist, whose guest musicians on the night included Stunner, Ba Shupi, Madiz, Diana Samkange, Tendai Manatsa and Selmour Mtukudzi, played a couple of Mapfumo’s songs in the last segment of his enthralling show.
With scores of his fans warming up to his exciting jazz dish that was underpinned by elements of katekwe, jiti and mhande, Meck suddenly belted out Chinungu Chandikonza Musana.
The audience that included award-winning stand-up comedian Edgar Langeveldt and Nama Award for Publishing in Africa winner Shimmer Chinodya livened up as they enjoyed a beautiful rendition of Mukanya’s old classics.
The diminutive jazz prodigy saved the best for last.
He played the Zimbabwe music legend’s Vanhu Vatema which triggered excitement on the dance floor.
With his guest artistes joining in the night’s fitting finale, Meck produced a performance that would surely have got endorsement from Mukanya himself if he had been in attendance.
“Zimbabweans miss Mukanya”, Meck told the Daily News at the end of the Josh Meck neShamwari show.
“Make no mistake it about it Mapfumo has many fans in Zimbabwe who have been deprived of the opportunity to see him perform for a long time.
“Every now and then Zimbabweans can get to listen to the other legend Oliver Mtukudzi. That is why I dedicated the last segment of my show to him (Mapfumo),” said the talented bassist whose rich career has included stints with Chiwoniso Maraire, Tanga Wekwa Sando and Victor Kunonga.
Before the spell-binding Mapfumo tribute, Meck and his equally talented friends had put up a stunning show that merited a much bigger crowd.
Stunner, Ba Shupi, the mbira-playing songstress Diana and the explosive Madiz all made it a night to remember for the lucky few who attended. – Dakarai Mashava, Entertainment Editor