Pioneered by dynamic saxophonist Moreira Chonguica, the MoreJazz Series is an annoual jazz festival in Maputo. Moreira studied jazz at the University of Cape Town. In 2009 he returned to Maputo and developed an astute business philosophy of “availability, flexibility and visibility”, with the vision of changing the perceptions of jazz to “sexy, sensual and controversial”.
As a mirror initiative to the success of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Moreira started the annual Morejazz Series in 2011, aiming to bring the best musicians from around the world to come and see, play and share in the city of Maputo.
“I’m branding Maputo Mozambique in the perspective of cultural tourism, creativity and social equity,” he says. “Mozambique is a country that’s growing. Maputo’s becoming more cosmopolitan. It’s one of the most creative cities in Africa. We have a rich heritage and about 3 000km of coast. If we want to be global players, we must speak the same language as that of London, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Paris and New York. We have to believe, have faith, strength and strategy. We’re using the vehicle of jazz and these superstars who are coming to Mozambique.”
The five-star Polano Serena Hotel, built in 1922 and recently acquired by the Aga Khan Foundation, is an institution in Maputo and is the official venue of the Morejazz Festival. A special gala event is hosted there, while the main festival takes place at the scenic port.
2016 headline acts are yet to be announced, but a good balance between international and South African jazz and Mozambican music is certain, with artists of the calibre of Manu Dibango, Angelique Kidjo, Jonathan Butler and Bra Hugh Masekela performing in the past. Moreira Chonguica and the Morejazz Big Band, featuring students from the Escola Nacional de Música, perform annually at the event. Workshops take place in partnership with the University Eduardo Mondlane.
The event takes place on Friday, 28 October at Polana Serena Hotel and on Saturday, 29 October at The Port of Maputo.