Book Café Swings into a new rhythm: March 28-31

The new BOOK CAFÉ swings into a new rhythm this week with a wide selection of good Zimbabwean music from Wednesday to Saturday at the new Samora Machel venue.

‘WEDDY WEDDY WEDNESDAYS’ continue from Mannenberg days with reggae star Mike ‘Micinity’ Madamombe and Hotta Fyah band – lovaz rock reggae rocking in a wide new space on the new Book Café dancefloor, with room for everyone – all welcome!

THURSDAY 29 MARCH features young superstar in the making – ALEXIO and SHADES OF BLACK, in an urban grooves double bill with BA SHUPI and THE ‘A’ TEAM – two of Zimbabwe’s hot young acts who are making waves and pleasing crowds on the local music scene. Born from an impromptu collaboration at Book Café earlier this month, the Thursday groove starting at 8pm promises to be high value entertainment for music-lovers.

ALEXIO has been captivating audiences with his own urban grooves crossover – songs of encouragement, love, real-life situations. His top-selling 5th album TOSE is out and selling like hotcakes, but his pop cult hit ‘Shaina’ from the CD KANA is still an all-time favourite, receiving wide airplay and even reaching unexpected corners of the globe with wide attention in Asia after being ‘covered’ / faithfully copied by not only one, but two Chinese artists. A comment on the YouTube clip says “Zimbabwe on the map and going places!” A strange compliment to Alexio if, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe time for Alexio and Shades of Black to look East!

Charismatic showman BA SHUPI, came to notice at the Book Cafe Open Mic in 2010 and became part of the Dizzy Don ‘Open Mic Open Mind’ crew which performed at the Mannenberg in 2011. Ba Shupi headlined a triple album launch with Matthias Julius and Dizzy Don, where his album grabbed the attention of the crowd and the track ‘Godo’ turned out to be a hit song with lots of airplay on national radio. He’s now often featuring with mbira darling Chiwoniso, and judging from Facebook comments , almost stole the show with a surprise performance at the Zahara show. Another upcoming hit from Ba Shupi is the humorous social commentary “Mukwasha ne ma gitara” (musicians for sons-in-law).

FRIDAY 30 MARCH sees another exciting new combined show with young JOSH MECK and MAWONERO opening at 8pm for champion for peace VICTOR KUNONGA – the crowd favourite at the recent Book Café grand opening, forced to come back onto stage for several encores. His latest of 3 CDs, ‘Handinete’, is still selling out in record stores across the nation, with wide airplay on national radio. Kunonga’s style is unique and beautiful. Once described as following in the footsteps of superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, now emerging In his own space, his own style, his own right as a phenomenal songwriter and lyricist and social activist, involved in Artists Against Poverty with the likes of Stanley ‘Pastor G’ Gwanzura, and a big brother to artists in the BOCAPA youth programme, and the wider ‘family’ of artists. A self-taught guitarist known for his unique melodic style, Kunonga also started playing mbira at his shows recently after the devastating death of friend and fellow-musician Adam Chisvo in 2011, now adding a new dimension and flavor to his performance.

Described as ‘brimming with elegance and panache’ JOSH MECK (guitar/bass) has a rich experience in his young life, performing locally and touring as a sideman in 2006 with popular Zimbabwean artists such as Comrade Fatso and the band Chabvondoka, and Chiwoniso Maraire to many countries in Europe, America and Africa and collaborating with international artists both at home and abroad. His debut album ‘Wanetsa’ pulses with Zimbabwean traditional rhythms such as Mhande and Katekwe, fused with modern contemporary and afro jazz styles. The songs discuss pertinent issues for ordinary people in Zimbabwe and Africa. A gifted and valuable session musician Josh establishes himself more firmly in his home town with backing group Mawonero, and is attracting a lot of attention with a lively performance.

This SATURDAY 31 MARCH from 3pm, the dynamic SISTAZ OPEN MIC programme claims its stage at the new! Book Café, celebrating its 5th year of growing into what has become the hottest platform for emerging women artists in Zimbabwe. Featured artists on the mic for this special event will be Dudu Manhenga, Edith Katiji weUtonga, Tina Watyoka, uZanele, Inkanyezi, Tamy Moyo and poets ‘Flowchyld’, ‘Black Pearl’, Aura Kawanzaruwa, and Linda Gabriel. (After a break in April for Easter, the open mic platform resumes in May).

The Saturday 31 evening show from 8pm brings a weekend REGGAE SPECIAL featuring veterans TRANSIT CREW, with the young and upcoming MATTHIAS JULIUS and X-VYBES.

On the road for more than 30 years, Transit Crew have been leading the growth of Zimbabwean reggae with the music of Samaita Zindi (guitar), Munya Nyemba (bass) and Liba Amon (keys). Thanks to their long experience, the crew are generally the proudly Zimbabwean band of choice-to-back visiting international reggae artists. At home they have been delighting roots rock reggae-lovers for decades, while keeping up with new styles over the years. Transit Crew are known for nurturing great young reggae singers over the years, including Mike Madamombe and Mannex Motsi, who have gone to successful solo careers, and their new lead singer is ‘Sello Kalcha’.

Matt Julius + XVybes – original conscious Zimbabwean reggae, recent released the single ‘Don’t Look Back’ good airplay. In 2011 recorded a track dedicated to the late Sam, co-composed with Oliver Mtukudzi . This year contributed to a collaborative album with many other reggae artists still to be released.

ALL EVENING SHOWS start at 8pm, and cover charge includes both artists featured on the ‘double bill’.

NEW TO THE MENU at Book Café and proving very popular is a selection of hot, fresh and tasty pizzas – Margherita and Focaccia, Salami and Regina, Hawaiian and Vegetarian. From Thursday 29 to Saturday 31 March, the lucky first 20 ticket holders get a special discount on one of these mouth-watering delights, overflowing with fresh home-grown ingredients, and generous on the Mozzarella cheese.

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