The internationally acclaimed jazz ensemble The Cool Crooners of Bulawayo took the Zimbabwean township music to the world and captured the hearts of many jazz enthusiasts.
With their perfect harmonies performed seamlessly, a brass section, rhythm and electric guitar, they explore the themes of the liberation struggle, prison, and the youth absorbing Western culture at the expense of African traditions, poverty and the reality of migrant workers, police raids, love, sorrow, and contributed depth and added texture to a great set of compositions.
One of their most famous hit, “Bulugwe Lami”, released in the early 2000s is vocally endowed, melodically enchanting, and technically proficient. Decades later, we still feel the same way we felt upon hearing this song for the first time; and tell you what, the troop of Lucky Thodhlana (original member), George Salimu, Timothy Mkandla and Mike Magwaza, who replaced the late band leader Abel Sithole who passed on, have maintained an energetic style on stage that defies their ages, as they continue to give jazz fans an entire mood, an unhinged experience, and an exploratory enterprise.
Listen to Bulugwe Lami by The Cool Crooners of Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe’s interest in and bond with jazz music is significant, and it has resulted in numerous outstanding works through collaborations between jazz and traditional musicians at national, continental and international level. All April long, #enthuse through our 30 Days of Iconic Zimbabwean Jazz series celebrates the heritage and history of jazz music and curates thirty songs by jazz pioneers and contemporary musicians who have successfully taken on the genre and defined a sound for the rest of the world to follow.