Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
THE late Dr Oliver Mtukudz’s band, The Black Spirits, will be taking their act to South Africa at the end of the month where they are billed to perform at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF).
The CTIJF, that runs from March 29 to 30, will feature a special performance from the band that will serve as a tribute concert for the musician and national hero.
Last year, Tuku was booked to perform at the acclaimed festival and when he died in January this year, the event organisers decided to turn his slot into a tribute segment.
Dubbed “Tuku Music – A Celebration of Oliver Mtukudzi’s life through his music”, the show on March 30 will be a joint venture between Zimbabwean and South African artistes Vusi Mahlasela, Berita Khumalo and Maduvha.
Asked who would lead The Black Spirits band, Walter Wanyanya, Tuku Music spokesperson, said the band would be joined by one of Dr Tuku’s protégés Mbeu and Tuku’s daughter, Samantha.
“The show was planned last year before the passing of Dr Mtukudzi so we’re just fulfilling an already set plan. The Black Spirits will be travelling there alongside the likes of Mbeu who’ll be part of the band,” said Wanyanya.
Mbeu, who got his first shot on the big stage at Sam Mtukudzi’s commemoration gig at Pakare Paye in 2016, struck the right chord and won the hearts of many music lovers with his mesmeric performance so it is no surprise that he has been roped in for the jazz festival.
Also performing at the two-day festival will be the likes of 10-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan, Gipsy Kings, Nicolas Reyes, Tonino Baliardo (France), Jonathan Butler and Shekhinah.
Turning to the way forward with regards to Tuku’s band, Wanyanya said The Black Spirits would continue performing.
“Music is what we do so we shall continue doing that. It’s always been the plan. The band has recorded works with Dr Mtukudzi who had songs that he was working on in the studio. So that’s the work that is there.
“However, there’s no music that’s upcoming from The Black Spirits,” said Wanyanya.
He said it was too early for them to start making albums and releasing music.
“It’s been nearly two months since the death of Dr Mtukudzi so to expect anything from the band that’s coming out of the studio is a bit premature,” said Wanyanya.