International Jazz Day Concert A Success
A sense of peace blanketed the east lawns of Devon House as the soothing sounds of jazz filled the atmosphere at the recent annual International Jazz Day Concert.
Organised by the Edna Manley School of the Visual and Performing Arts , the concert was expected to pull a huge crowd and that it did, as scores of jazz lovers turned up at the event to witness some of Jamaica's brightest musicians in action. The Edna Manley jazz choir and the student jJazz ensemble kick-started the action on stage. Both groups of student musicians delivered good performances. They did not sing, but they didn't need to as their instruments were all they needed to wow the crowd. They did well to get the momentum going and made way for several of the night's top acts.
Singer Michael Sean Harris and jazz pianist Orville Hammond were next onstage, and though they only performed a very brief set, it was enough to keep the audience duly entertained. Harris thrilled with some soothing vocals, while Hammond showed off his skills on the piano. The duo's set was well received.
They made way for a group performance from lecturer at Edna Manley, Gerd Beyens, Jeremy Ashbourne, Carlton Jarrett and artist in residence at the School of Music, Kayo Yoshido. With Yoshido on piano, Beyens on harmonica, Jarrett on bass, and Ashbourne on drums, expectations for an exceptional showing was high. The group did not disappoint.
Their professionalism shone throughout their performance as they delivered a masterful set. They were then joined onstage by singer Ruth Browne for another performance.
Following a second performance from Michael Sean Harris, Ibo Cooper and international guest Delfeayo Marsalis took to the stage and like their fellow performers, they, too, put in strong
performances. Cooper showed off his skills at the piano while Delfeayo played the trombone. The audience clearly appreciated their set as the duo was given a resounding round of applause just before making their exit.
Myrna Hague was the next act to grace the stage, and by the cheers that greeted her as she made her entrance, she was a clear crowd favourite. Dubbed Jamaica's first lady of jazz, Dr Hague (accompanied by bassist Lynn Seaton, Orville Hammond, guitarist Maurice Gordon and Desi Jones) showed just why she was bestowed that title. The soulful singer thrilled the audience with her powerful vocals and left them in awe by the end of her set. Her delivery of the song, Who Can I Turn To, was particularly well received. The singer received a standing ovation as she made her exit from the stage.Trombonist Marsalis and bassist Lynn Seaton were the night's closing acts and they did well to bring down the curtains on a night of solid mentertainment.
Aside from the musical offerings on the night, art was also on display, as students from Edna Manley created murals during the show.
Drawing their inspiration from the night's musical geniuses, the students painted three murals that were slated to be auctioned at the end of the show.
Throughout the night members of the audience were invited to join in the creative process by participating in the paintings and some grasped the opportunity to express themselves through the medium.
The annual International Jazz Day Concert will return for its next showing on April 30, 2017.