South Africans sing for charity
Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer
The South African mother-daughter duo of Thandie and Lorraine Klaasen brought their best to the Talk of the Town ballroom, as they hosted a benefit concert at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, recently.
Though the pair kept silent during the earlier parts of the event as they enjoyed the musical styling of Myrna Hague, backed by Desi Jones and Friends, the night ultimately belonged to them, as they brought the curtains down on a spectacular evening of classical music and good entertainment.
The South African singers opened their set with a duet of the popular Click Song. Lorraine Klaasen, then exited the stage, allowing her mother to take full control, but not before encouraging the audience to let people do what they love for as long as they can, making obvious reference to her 83-year-old mother.
Though she had to be escorted to the stage area, the elder Klaasen showed why she is considered one of the greatest female South African vocalists of all time. Despite her waning physical strength, her voice was strong, showing no sign of ageing, and once she got a hold of the microphone, she proved that age was just a number, delivering a brilliant half-hour set. She had the audience glued to her every note as she gave soulful renditions of some classic songs, including Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, and Ray Charles' Georgia on My Mind, before adding a bit of local flavouring with Bob Marley's hit, No Woman No Cry.
As if her performances weren't captivating enough, Thandie Klaasen kept the audience thoroughly engaged with her wit and a few dance moves that had them laughing from ear to ear. She exited the stage to a standing ovation, as she made way for her daughter, Lorraine. Reminding the audience that they were visiting the island at a time when South Africa was celebrating 20 years of freedom, the younger Klaasen took the audience on a musical journey to Africa. Performing songs in her native language, from her album, A Tribute to Miriam Makeba, the entertainer had the audience rocking in their seats. Though understanding what the songs were saying proved difficult, Klaasen provided assistance, offering translations where necessary, as she lead a mass singalong. All in all, the African singers put in strong performances, and based on the audience's reactions, it was a night well spent.
Other noteworthy performances came from Myrna Hague, as well as the dancers and drummers of L'Acadco: A United Caribbean Dance Force.
All proceeds from last Sunday night's concert will go to the Woman Incorporated (Crisis Centre) in Kingston.