Jazz hits high note
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Machel Montano on keyboard.- Contributed photos.
Western Bureau: Patrons at the 14th staging of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium were injected with high energy as soca music ruled Friday night through Trinidadian Machel Montano. Throughout his entire 45-minute performance, jazz and blues fans relinquished their seats and submitted to the call of their feet to dance as the stadium was transformed into a carnival-like atmosphere second to none. While Montano showcased his usual onstage gyrating to the delight of his unyielding fans, he unveiled a different side as he transitioned to sing the emotive Don't You Leave Me while playing the keyboard. He dedicated the song to Haiti which was devastated by a recent 7.0 earthquake.
With hits like Dance With You and It's Carnival, Montano could do no wrong as he had patrons feverishly waving and dancing until he exited the stage.
Prior to the soca prince's performance, The Queen Project thrilled the crowd through the commanding vocals of Tamia, Deborah Cox and Kelly Price. The highly-anticipated performance by these three R&B divas delivered on its promise to entertain. As they sang their new single Mirror, the audience reflected the love by showing its support and rocking to each note they uttered. Each gave the other an opportunity to perform solo on the jazz fest stage before regrouping to assist each other on their respective hits. With Tamia's Stranger In My House, Deborah Cox's Nobody's Suppose to Be Here and Kelly Price's Friend of Mine, they culminated a brilliant and unforgettable performance that will keep them in the hearts of jazz fest fans for a long time to come.
Known for her eccentric sense of style in fashion and music, a captivating Erykah Badu had patrons hypnotised by her fusion of bass, jazz, hip hop and soul as she went On and On at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. Though not performing her mega hits Bag Lady and Tyrone, Badu did not fail in her bid to exert her musical diversity while pausing at regular intervals to talk to the audience. Opening with The Healer, she had the audience induced throughout her one-hour performance. She also displayed her mixing skills on a digital drum machine to good effect.
Closing an evening of excellence in music is something international star Billy Ocean has become accustomed to and last night was no different. From Caribbean Queen, Colour of Love, Love Zone to Suddenly, each song registered in the hearts of his fans and even moving some to tears. "We love you Billy," patrons cheered as his silver locks swayed and that unmistakable smile complemented each lyric.
Among the early acts who performed creditably were Robin Banks, Karen Holness, M'Lonie and Benji Myaz.
Erykah Badu in her element on Friday night at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues.
Billy Ocean was on fire on Friday night at the JAMAICA Jazz and Blues in Greenfield Stadium in Trelawny
Machel Montano could do no wrong with throughout his high energy performance.