Zimbabwean Afro Jazz legend Oliver Mtukudzi, jets into the country Thursday morning, for one of the highest billed Kigali Jazz Junction appearances since the forum was initiated three years ago.
Mtukudzi is the main headline act at this month’s edition of the Kigali Jazz Junction, slated for Friday, October 26, at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Local R&B sensation Bruce Melodie will be the other main performer.
He will jet into the country early Thursday morning together with his entire live band, The Black Spirits, which will back him at the show, while Melodie will be backed by the resident Kigali Jazz Junction band, Neptunez.
Shortly after arrival, Mtukudzi will address a joint press conference together with Jazz Junction organizers, RG Consult, at the Kigali Serena Hotel. Later in the evening, he will host a Meet and Greet reception at Riders Lounge, located at the Kigali Heights Complex in Kimihurura.
Known fondly as Tuku by his legion of fans, the 68 year old first captured the East African audience with his 1999 show-closing mega hit, Todii. Other popular hits to his name include; Neria, Wasakara, Ndakuvara, Chiri Nani, and Tozeza, among others.
Remmy Lubega, curator of the Kigali Jazz Junction, described as “a dream come true”, Tuku’s slated performance at the Kigali Jazz Junction:
“Not only that, it’s a sign of growth, a sign of perseverance, of great team work and performance over the years as Kigali Jazz Junction. After three years if you can have artistes like Tuku, then you should be slotted as the most acclaimed jazz platform and also the most consistent. This adds value, prestige and credibility to the Jazz Junction.”
“Tuku comes with a lot of international recognition, is a Lifetime Achievement Award winner, a UNICEF ambassador, has inspired many artists and done a lot of regional, continental and international collabos with great artists from all times. He is a unique brand and a representation of the authentic in as far as black African music is concerned. We are proud and honored and humbled to have Tuku on our stage in Kigali and in Rwanda for the first time and this is cause for celebration.”
Asked how he would rate Mtukudzi against previous high profile headline acts at the Jazz Junction, Lubega said:
“I cannot compare him to anybody. He is a brand of his own, and we are just humbled and honored to have him. We hope to continue to bring in more artists of this caliber.
Every performer that has been on the Jazz Junction stage is unique. Tuku brings with himself a great experience of performance, but he also comes as a Pan Africanist and an icon of African Jazz, which he calls Tuku Music, but if you listen to it the vibe is really Afro Jazz. This goes to show how we want to grow the local music industry, by showcasing these great legends and artists on stage and bringing Rwandan talent to perform alongside them, which is a way of selling Rwanda to the rest of the world.”
Mtukudzi will jet out of the country on Saturday morning, ahead of an appearance at a Jazz Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.