Cornerstone -Back On The Block

THIS Saturday afternoon, October 25 at The Book Café, Pamberi Trust presents a rich revival under its arts development programme with the return of Cornerstone,

a funky R&B/ jazzy group that has been entertaining Harare audiences for almost two decades, both collectively as a band and also separately as individual artists.
 The group was originally formed in the early eighties by founding members who included Stu Charles (harmonica, flute, vocals) and Gerald Hickey (bass, vocals) now spearheading the revival.
 The latest line-up with Stu and Gerald includes Joe Vas (rhythm, vo) and Bob Savannia (drums), and the Saturday afternoon groove will include surprise guest artists, with a wide and diverse repertoire ranging from the works of Eric Clapton to Carlos Jobim, the Beatles to Kenny G, and naturally including afro jazz favourites from the likes of the famous South African artist Basil “Mannenberg” Coetzee and others.
 Stu Charles, renowned jazz and blues singer, flautist and harmonica-player, grew up with music on the streets of Arcadia, playing entirely by ear and instinct, winning the warm approval of his peers and public.  
In a career spanning 25 years, he has played with musicians from every community and genre, and only recently formalised his God-given talents with formal training for flute with the Zimbabwe College of Music, where he is moving ahead swiftly, as is only to be expected.  
 Along with the versatile musician Gerald Hickey, Cornerstone has revived to provide a platform for “hidden” artists who have not had the opportunity for practice, and public performance.  
 Stu Charles says ‘The Book Café performance will be dedicated to those muso’s who have gone before us; they are no longer with us, but they made the Jazz & Blues scene what it is today –– Jethro Shasha, Chris Chabuka, Shakes, Jonah Marumahoko, Benny Miller, Simangaliso Tutani, Christo Georgiadis and many more.  These guys gave us an upbringing in music, and we are dedicating this show to them.’
 “But we also have a responsibility”, says Charles, “to participate in the musical upbringing of the young artists that are coming after us, or to offer the opportunity to those who want to, but have not had the chance to expose their slice of talent and contribute to the music of the world”.
 The Saturday performance is gearing up to be a fun-filled afternoon of “great vibes in the soul/rnb/blues/jazz groove” says Charles, “We want people to come out and enjoy!”
 Pamberi Trust is a registered arts organisation in Harare, which runs development programmes for youth, gender, poetry, communications, HIV/Aids and technology, at the popular Fife Ave venues, The Book Café and The Mannenberg.  

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