What is Jazz? According to googly, Jazz is a type of music of black American origin which emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, characterised by improvisation, syncopation, and usually a regular or forceful rhythm. What is Hip Hop? Again, googly advises that it is a style of popular music of US black and Hispanic origin, featuring rap with an electronic backing. Still struggling to connect the dots?
Let me help you. Hip Hop’s foundation is based on an electronic backing while Jazz is characterised by improvisation. Electronic Backing and Improvisation does not make for a good musical sentence. So how is it possible that we are headlining HHP, a Hip Hop musician for a Jazz show?
City of Windhoek, you are spoiling the spirit of Jazz in the country. I just cannot see Mr Franz Gertze going all “Bosso Kemang?” at the Jazz Festival. Wait, the irony though…LOL. Focus NSK! Imagine David Nuuyoma doing the nae nae to HHP’s “Petros”. No! No! No! No! I do not know what the criteria was in selecting headliners for this festival since 2012 but it needs serious probing.
Also, City of Windhoek….Richard Bona, Manu Dibango, Getatchew Mekurya, Mulatu Astatqé, Dexter Johnson, Modero Mekanisi etc. are all NON SOUTH AFRICAN BUT AFRICAN JAZZ GREATS! Why the obsession with these South African Jazz (some not so Jazzy) musicians? Do not insult the Namibian Jazz ear. In Afrikaans we say: “doen die ding reg of los alles”. So either the committee or company behind the Jazz Festival does it right or scrap the whole thing!
There is a serious lack of Jazz showpieces in the country and the one event that is meant to serve that purpose must do exactly that! The Windhoek Jazz Festival is not supposed to be like your ordinary live concert. The uniqueness of the genre does not allow it. The whole alcohol, rowdy atmosphere (which is what this festival was reduced to for the last 2 years) is not jazz. Jazz is a relaxed, reminiscent, appreciate the strings, and share notes and memories type of atmosphere. Genuine Namibian Jazz lovers will continue to shy away from the same event that is initially intended to serve them. Let the festival serve its purpose with the line-up that reflects the purpose.
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM
Song of the week: Vorticella: Beautiful Sindano
Flop of the week: Nestor FlyBack: Mwaala Kukwaludhi
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