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Windhoek City considers return of jazz festival



TALKS to return the jazz festival are still in progress, the spokesperson of the City of Windhoek, Harold Akwenye, has confirmed.
For years, the annual Jazz festival was the highlight of Windhoek’s social life, attracting scores of jazz lovers to witness international and local jazz artists perform.

The last festival was held in 2019 and has been on ice as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which only eased this year. The City of Windhoek, which has been the main driver behind the festival, is expected to host it again this year.

“We are talking to the stakeholders to see if we are going to host it in November or February,” Akwenye told unWrap.online when contacted for comment.

One of Namibia’s leading jazz artists, Big Ben, noted a high demand for entertainment by Namibians following the pandemic.
Yet, his concern is that local jazz musicians are often overlooked and he hopes they will be included and considered this time.

“The Windhoek Jazz Festival is just making the entertainment space perfect. It has worked hard and earned its own little space and is a welcome addition to the type of entertainment provided in the country. It will be well accepted provided the duration is on point and responsive to the demands and the various issues that need to be considered such as the ability to sell the tickets. It is not enough to be a jazz musician, you have to sell tickets to be listed,” he said.

According to Big Ben, the jazz festival is indeed a big attraction as he has met people from different countries who came to Namibia as tourists for the festival.

His advice is that the jazz festival should assess its ability to sell tickets, which will eventually contribute to the success of the event.
“It is not enough to just be musicians; it should also be educational but with entertainment value. All those little things, if they could just pay attention to that and to determine on what they should take a chance and what not. If you want to sell a ticket then you need to pay attention to people who sell tickets, even if they do not do pure jazz and just do something on the fringes of jazz. Hire that person, let it work because they sell tickets. Let the music play.”

Another local jazz legend, Erna Chimu, says the jazz festival provides an excellent platform for local artists to expose their trade to their fans.

“It is one of the biggest festivals happening in the country. The absence of the festival for the past three years has seen many jazz musicians give up or disappear from the industry. It is a great move for the City of Windhoek to bring back the jazz festival, especially for the local jazz artists that don’t get a lot of exposure to a wider audience,” she said.

Source: unWrap.online

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