RIU guests get a taste of Jazz
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
Joe Roy Jackson plays out his soul at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Prelude at RIU Montego Bay on Tuesday night. - Photo by Janet Silvera
Maxi Priest promised a party, but not once did he warn of plans to rock the roof off RIU Montego Bay's amphitheatre on Tuesday night.
In fact, guests at the Spanish-owned all-inclusive resort got much more than they bargained for as TurnKey Productions presented The Prelude to the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, which makes its debut at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium this evening.
Polish jazz from The Max Klezmer Band, New York country blues belting from the larynx of Joe Roy Jackson and reggae's indomitable sounds by Maxi Priest created a magic that only those who know Jamaica's prowess as the land of parties could clearly understand.
Putting all his faith in the theatre of crowded visitors from all over the world, Maxi Priest appeared onstage paying tribute to the late crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Brown, with Should I Have Faith In You. Minutes later he asked: "Are you ready to rock the house?", as he began pulling from his impressive compilation, Just A Little Bit Longer, while establishing an intimate relationship with the audience.
Abandoning his fantastic backup band, Priest made his way into the audience crooning, "Oh baby, baby, it's a wild world", succeeding in getting them to become willing 'slaves' to his energy-filled performance before changing the pace to Say A Prayer for the World by paying respect to the earthquake ravaged Haitians.
Billy Ocean, the man who saved Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival from the Diana Ross saga two years ago, and Jon Secada, watched eagerly as Priest took the house down.
Priest was the apex to an evening that also included New Yorker Joe Roy Jackson and his magnificently talented keyboardist, Himer, who were soul-stirring, electrifying and moving.
Using his signature 'Adult Bro' six-string guitar that he has become renowned for, Joe Roy Jackson delivered a scintillating performance that guests at RIU Montego Bay will remember for years to come.
"This is a part of Jamaica's magic," declared TurnKey Productions' Walter Elmore as he watched a packed amphitheatre on its feet calling for "more Maxi, more; more Maxi, more".
"You bring a great artiste to a venue and all of a sudden magic happens," he added.
Tonight, Babyface, Joss Stone, Machel Montano, Monty Alexander and Cherine Anderson rule the roost at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.