We are into 2016 final stretch. What a year it has been!

October was Morejazz month in Maputo. We held a very successful launch luncheon at the beginning of the month hosted by the Polana Serena Hotel followed by the opening of the photographic exhibition the following week.

Every Wednesday was the outdoor Movies under the Stars with a selection of jazz movies featuring Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, Youssou N’Dour and Diana Ross. Every week it was a night to come to the Polana Hotel and sit under the stars drink wine from Socimpex and eat delicious popcorn.

Every Thursday we had jazz sessions on the verandah of the Polana Serena Hotel with some amazing local performers. As word got out, the audience grew week by week.

The production team began arriving and we were all on track for two amazing shows when disaster struck. On Monday 24 th October at 7pm, Maputo was hit by a tornedo of epic proportions – the likes of which have not been seen in the capital for decades. Billboards bent in half, trees uprooted, chairs flung around, dust, hail, rain, accidents and very regrettably loss of life. Our beautiful tent at the Polana Serena Hotel was flattened.

Shock, chaos and a little bit of panic set in! However the great people at S & R as well as the Polana Serena Hotel came through and the decision was made to hold the first night concert over the swimming pool. What a magical night it turned out to be. Not a breathe of wind, a beautiful balmy Maputo night equaled to anywhere in the world.

From the opening Hayato drummers from Japan , the MoreJazz Big Band, Ildo Nandja, Susanna Stivali from Italy, Omar Sosa from Cuba, my wonderful The Moreira Project, and Judith Sephuma with honourary guest Sipho Hotstix Mabuse, it was a night like no other. One we will all remember for many years to come.

But no time to rest on our laurels, night no 2 still had to happen. The technical guys worked through the night to move necessary gear from one venue to the other – being The Port of Maputo. Despite some technical delays, we managed to start on time with the unbelievable Khanimambo collaboration. Half way through the evening’s programme and while Omar Sosa was on stage, the wind suddenly started gusting and we were forced to stop the show for safely reasons. It was so disappointing and unsatisfactory but necessary.

I am deeply sorry to all the audience members who came to the show, that we had to stop but in the interests of everyone’s safety we just couldn’t continue. It was too risky. Given Mondays tornado, there was just no way of accurately knowing whether the weather was going to get worse or not and we needed to take precautions to safeguard the audience, the performers and the equipment.

I look forward to finishing the show in the near future!

Onwards and upwards,