Those hordes of jazz musicians who used to cash in on the hype and demand of the genre have all but gone into oblivion.
“The state of jazz in Bulawayo is one that is sad in the sense that it is one of a genre that has deep roots in the city since the 40s, 50s and 60s. I mean, this is the city of August Musarurwa who penned the famous Skokiaan which was also covered by US Jazz pioneer Louis Armstrong and the likes of Dorothy Masuka and the Cool Crooners,” Kudita said.
“You will recall Southern Freeway fronted by Steve Dyer and Pindi Mtya. It was based in Bulawayo. So was Ebony Sheik which was more Afro-pop than anything and a group such as Ilanga could be called a jazz outfit. I wouldn’t call them jazz. Dudu Manhenga was for a season a leading light from the city,” he said.
“Jazz music had its time, I am sure there was a time when promoters used to feast off jazz music, but now it’s no longer easy to promote that type of music with the emergence of such genres like Zimdancehall which are now marketable.“Yes one may try promoting jazz in Harare where you can identify your target market and have a successful show, but here in Bulawayo you can be assured of a low turnout if you try that. Times have really changed and in business that will be a loss,” Makoni told Daily News on Sunday.
The legendary Cool Crooners frontman George Salimu feels times have changed.