Surprise artists shine at concert

Songstress and poet Hope Masike performing at the Sofar Sounds Harare concert last Saturday. Pic: Rachael Mubungani

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) was yet another surprise host when Sofar Sounds Harare hosted its fifth intimate concert on September 23 at the iconic venue.

The local chapter of the global franchise revealed mixed genres of music that featured a set of artists whose appearance at the concert caught the audience by surprise during an unforgettable afternoon of live music.

Sofar Sounds is known for putting together secret intimate concerts in non-traditional venues. The concerts feature surprise artists as witnessed when a diverse audience of music lovers converged to watch and listen to four unannounced artists performing on an unusual live music stage in a unique venue.

The audience was thrilled to watch songbird Hope Masike presenting a different performance set as she read from her collection of books while fusing her mbira songs in-between reading sessions. Her silky smooth vocal range and enchantingly alluring and extremely attractive voice left the audience enchanted.

Currently on a national book tour, Masike has performed readings from her poetry collections in Chimanimani, Mutare, Gweru, Bvumba and Mutoko. The books are Ask Me Again (2020), Dzevabvazera (2022), and her latest release Die With Me. The tour has allowed Masike to perform her mbira music by infusing it in-between reading sessions. She wraps up her tour today in Bulawayo at Alliance Francaise de Bulawayo.

Trust Samende is well-known to music fans as the lead guitarist of Mokoomba, one of Zimbabwe’s biggest musical exports. The guitar maestro exhibited his inventiveness when he skilfully put up an unpremeditated solo guitar performance that left guests in awe. Samende and his band, Mokoomba, are basking in the glory of their latest album release Tusona: Tracings in the Sand which rose to the top of European charts for the month of September.

: Guitar virtuoso Trust Samende performing at Sofar Sounds Harare. Picture by Rachel Mubungani

Today, the six-piece band performs at the Intwasa Arts Festival in Bulawayo and will be playing at The River Brewery in Victoria Falls tomorrow before departing for a European tour in October that will take them to Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Cingi, a singer and songwriter who defines her music as Afro-soul, was also on the roster. The young musician is incredibly talented and has a strong, gorgeously raspy voice that stirs up emotions.

The event came to a successful conclusion with a performance by King Billius. The multi-disciplinary artist showcased his vocal prowess and exceptionally written songs that captivated the audience.

The artist was backed by tight hip-hop beats with a hint of neo-soul that went well with his well-composed lyrics, which he seamlessly fused with.

Sofar Sounds is a global community of music curators and artists present in over 400 cities across the world, and it was established in London in 2015. Other Sofar concerts that took place on the same day include cities such as Bangalore (India), Bali (Indonesia), A Coruña (Spain), Paris (France), Hamburg (Germany), Raleigh/Durham (United States) and Puebla in Mexico.

By hosting Sofar Sounds Harare, NGZ also participated in a collective rare exhibition of cultural expressions as they also allowed for conversations between art genres and collaborations between art forms to take place. The music performances were juxtaposed with an exhibition titled “The Gathering”, which came to an end yesterday. It featured the works of artists from Post Studio Arts Collective, Tarisa Arts Studio, Village Unhu, Animal Farm Artist Residency and Percy Manyonga.

The Harare chapter is curated by local creative Khumbulani Muleya and has featured a diverse range of artists in the past, including jazz legend Filbert Marova, Marcy Janyure, Nonny Muhoni, Probeatz, Kyla Blac, Chichi Wembira, Amy Mayson, Max Aronow, Nasibo, Gwevedzi, Tru Bantu Tribe, Kudzi Kayz and Zowa Kurirai, among others. — Staff Writer.

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