USA’s Brent Birckhead quartet Zimbabwe-bound Brent Birckhead

Mbulelo Mpofu, [email protected]

AWARD-WINNING saxophonist, Brent Birckhead from the United States is set to lead his quartet at the upcoming Stanbic Jacaranda Music Festival (SJMF).

This was announced by SJMF manager, Tariro NeGitare (born Tariro Chaniwa) when the final round of revealing acts for the festival was done on Monday.

Brent Birckhead Quartet was formed in 2015 and is uninhibited in its embrace of experimentation and its diversity of musical genres. The Lift Every Voice and Sing singers are made up of saxophonist Brent Birckhead himself, pianist Noble Jolley Jr, bassist Romeir Mendez, and drummer/percussionist Carroll V. Dashiell, III. It will be a part of more than 30 acts set to take to the stage in the three-day music extravaganza at the Old Hararians Sports Club from October 6 to 8.

The quartet will be joined on stage by Alexio Kawara and The Shades of Black, Sylent Nqo, Norman Masamba, Chiweddar, Intotal Band, ExQ, Jason Le Roux, Gwevedzi, Gary Tight, Those Guys Vacho, Vuyo Brown, Tamy Moyo, and South Africa’s Judith Sephuma, Ami Faku, Daliwonga, Ndlovu Youth Choir, as well as Murumba Pitch.

Tariro NeGitare told this publication of what inspired the choice of talent for SJMF.

“The SJMF selection team tries to make sure that the programming is diverse and that different genres are represented. This allows the audience to always have an act that they will be drawn towards, as well as being exposed to new acts they may not be familiar with.

“The artistic vision is to create a cohesive and memorable experience for attendees. Artistes are selected based on how they fit into this vision and how they contribute to the overall atmosphere and vibe of the festival,” Tariro NeGitare said.

“We have tried to curate a line-up that aligns with the festival’s overall identity of diversity and inclusivity. We do not have a specific theme, but carry on with this identity and it is always fascinating to see how each artiste every year, in their uniqueness, adds value to this,” she added.

Tariro NeGitare

The festival which shines the spotlight on the music, the city (Harare) and the people has grown to be an important annual fixture in the country’s showbiz calendar, commanding an unmatched carnival experience for fun-lovers.

“We hope to ensure that SJMF becomes a notable event on the continent’s events calendar. We also strive for consistency in quality and delivery and are intentional each year to scale up. If we can consistently bring a world-class music event for artistes and festival goers, we will have achieved our goal.”

The festival manager said SJMF has a rich workshop series that provides presentations from a wide variety of experts both locally and regionally. “Participants have an opportunity to learn from experienced musicians and industry professionals. Workshops offer a more interactive and engaging experience. They also help participants discover new perspectives and styles.

“Because our workshops attract a mix of musicians, industry professionals and music enthusiasts, they provide the best platform for talent discovery and networking,” she said.

The Brent Birckhead Quartet

With early bird tickets already on sale, Tariro NeGitare said all is set for the festival to kick into gear.

“SJMF is ready. Preparations began soon after last year’s event. We have had ample time to put everything in order and have a great team to execute the event. Fans should expect a true Stanbic Jacaranda Festival experience of great music, great people (on and off stage), in a great city, Harare,” she said.

The readiness of the festival was made obvious with the announcement of the final programme on Monday. – @MbuleloMpofu

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