A very youthful and hugely talented band called FT, short term of Full Tone Band, has reintroduced jazz at Four Seasons garden in Lilongwe. The jazz sessions stopped in 2018 and now they are back.
For six months now, every Sunday from 4 to 10pm, the band has been playing jazz to lovers of the genre at the entertainment joint, which is along the Presidential Drive, leading to the Kamuzu Palace.
Four Seasons manager Christable Montasino said considering that jazz has always been part of the Four Seasons, they have decided to maintain the tradition.
“The band has been absolutely amazing,” she said.
“Every Sunday they are here and this becomes a family gathering. As you can see, there are children here playing around. Even if you don’t like jazz, you will still enjoy.”
Montasino said the place’s Malawian owner believes in the philosophy of always uplifting fellow compatriots.
She said much as the patrons would like more, they cannot have the band play beyond 10pm because they are located in a residential area.
This is the reason FT Band’s manager Chikondi Lungu said owing to the mixture of patrons, they play a wide range of genres that include pop, Afro pop, Malawi traditional music, blues, funky, rock, reggae, among other genres.
The band plays jazz of the greats, including Earl Klugh and George Benson, among others, while locally they do covers for Wambali Mkandawire, Makasu and many such local famous oldies, including Anasiketi and Chitukutuku.
Lungu said funds permitting, they are set to record a jazz album by June which will be fully their composition.
They plan to have traditional music with a fusion of jazz, aimed at promoting Malawi’s cultural heritage.
He said besides playing at the Four Seasons, the seven-member-band also plays in different settings such as at private and corporate events as well as at festivals.
Bassist Chisomo Mdala, lead guitarist Ndaba Nyanda, drummer Lighton Chisuse who also plays with jazz maestro Erik Paliani, keyboardist Anderson Chikwatu, saxophonist Salim Mussa, lead vocalist Robert Mwinjiro and their engineer Manford Peter complete the line-up.
This is the team that Lungu says has attracted partnerships with the Standard Bank and Germany Embassy which request for their services when the need arises. Said Lungu: “People do not welcome the art of music when it comes to the crunch. When you charge how much they have to pay in order to perform, most people undervalue the artistry when in actual fact it requires a lot of investment of all kinds, in order to produce this top-quality type of music.”