SHOWBIZ guru, Josh Hozheri, feels jazz still has its niche market but promoters are shunning the genre.
Hozheri used to host jazz festivals.
“First and foremost, jazz music is a non-mass market genre. It’s a genre that appeals to quite a few mature high-spenders.
“In terms of numbers, it has fewer numbers compared to other very commercial genres like sungura, dancehall, and gospel but it has its niche market that is quite still available,” he said.
Hozheri believes promoters were shunning jazz due to high production costs.
“There are no takers or dedicated promoters who like to promote jazz music as a genre, the reason being the economic environment in our country.
“Everyone has become very commercial and for any promoter to choose a genre that doesn’t attract huge numbers, it becomes an unwise business decision.
“Hence, there’s been no promoters or no venues anymore that are dedicated to jazz music, especially after the demise or the fall of Jazz 105, Mannenburg and Red Fox to an extent.”
Hozheri insists jazz has a rich history.
“It is a genre that has a future and I have no doubt about that because of its rich history.
“Going forward, we have those still active now who are pushing the genre and in Zimbabwe, we just need to have one or two venues dedicated to jazz music and start having those live jazz concerts,” he said.
Similar sentiments were echoed by veteran saxophonist Phillip Svosve, who fronts Jababu Drive.
“We are experiencing challenges in this genre but there are still people who love jazz.
“It’s a fact that several groups have disbanded due to a lack of promoters and jazz venues but I am happy with the number of young boys coming from schools such as Prince Edward.
“We have been giving some of these boys the exposure to showcase their talent,” he said.
Svosve hailed Mono Mukundu’s son, Takakunda and his clique, for their efforts to keep jazz alive.
The Cool Crooners, Summer Breeze, Pied Pipers, Mbare Trio and Seasons Band were some of the popular groups, which used to hold regular shows countrywide.