BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
LOCAL Jazz legend Master “Pablo” Nakapa said he was penning a book titled The Gardener’s Son where he chronicles his musical journey launched around 1991.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Nakapa said the book tackled challenges that musicians face in the industry such as drugs, marriage and investment issues.
“In the book, The Gardener’s Son, I am going to talk about the good and bad of being a musician. A lot of musicians do not think about tomorrow when things are ok,” he said.
“They (artistes) do not plan for tomorrow, hit songs do not stay forever, one has to have a fallback plan. I am also going to talk about marriages and music as most musicians’ marriages do not live long.”
Pablo said he wanted to share his experiences through the book and enlighten up-and-coming artistes.
“Through the book, I am writing about my journey in music, so most of the events will be factual,” he said.
“My musical journey was not all that easy of course, there were great moments along the way. And the greatest moments were during the years I played for Afrika Revenge as a bass player and of course with Winky D.”
Pablo said passion drove many artistes to soldier on in showbiz.
“The challenge with the Zimbabwe music industry is you do not really get paid enough.
“It is from hand-to-mouth and lack of sponsorship is the biggest challenge in arts,” he said.
“With passion, most of the time we pay for our own recordings and hardly get anything in return because of piracy.”
He said things had taken an ugly turn for jazz musicians due to the COVID-19 pandemic which required hard work and commitment from musicians.
“When I started playing jazz there were a lot of jazz festivals such as the winter and summer jazz festivals happening courtesy of Josh Hozheri and Sam Mataure. Just before COVID-19, the festivals started going away,” he said. “All these festivals used to bring jazz musicians together, and that was one way of keeping jazz alive. A lot of good jazz bands no longer exist. I think one band that has remained intact is Jabavu Drive.”
Pablo said most yesteryear jazz bands did not record much or if at all which makes it hard to share the olden times with the up- and-coming musicians.
“It is going to be hard to bring back the liveliness of jazz music, even before the pandemic we struggled to do jazz gigs. And it is not going to be easy for jazz to remain the same,” he said.
“Jazz is about playing together as a team, creating together, so without festivals and getting together it is not going to be the same. We have a long way to go.”
Pablo said he learnt a lot from the late jazz maestro Dumi Ngulube whom he met at the Zimbabwe College of Music as a music tutor before he was roped in his Amagents band.
“I learnt a lot of jazz standards from Dumi, how to compose jazz music. He was a great teacher. We released an album titled Nothing But Jazz — a Tribute to Ngulube in his memory last year. It was recorded at the Zimbabwe College of Music studios,” he said.
Currently managing a business dealing in manufacturing hydraulic seals for earthmoving machines, Pablo said artistes should invest for sustenance.
“Up-and-coming artistes must work hard and be more focused, stay away from drugs, create music with teachings and above all do something on the side and be able to finance your music career,” he said.
Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari