Wed | May 27, 2020

It's now 'Simply Myrna' - Hague rebrands after husband Sonny Bradshaw's death

Published:Wednesday | December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM
Myrna Hague (left) performing alongside Sonny Bradshaw (right) and The Jamaica Big Band at 'Blues on the Green', staged by the Embassy of the United States of America at the East Lawn, Devon House, Hope Road in 2006. - File

 Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

Myrna Hague tells The Gleaner that she has chosen 'Simply Myrna' as the title of her concert at the Courtleigh Hotel, New Kingston, on Saturday "to just say here I am ... . And to just say to people, Jamaica has been good to me. Thanks for your love over the years."

Not that she will be alone, as the approximately two-hour event also features the Big Band, Carifolk Singers, Dean Fraser and an eight-instrument saxophone choir formed by Courtney Fadlyn.

However, 'I' has another meaning. Hague says, "One of the things that I wanted to do was rebrand. My husband is no longer here. So much of what I have done has been together and we have been taken as a duet."

"We had the same musical approach," Hague said. Multi-instrumentalist (most notably the trumpet) and Big Band leader Cecil 'Sonny' Bradshaw died in the United Kingdom on October 10, 2009, after suffering a stroke.

"I have to make a way forward as myself," Hague said. "This concert is a way to rebrand myself."

Still, Simply Myrna is also part of maintaining Bradshaw's legacy, as it is also being staged to raise funds for the Sonny Bradshaw Foundation. Governor General Sir Kenneth Hall and Lady Hall are patrons of the concert.

Pianist Marjorie Whylie and drummer Desi Jones are Hague's musical directors and lead a band that includes Chris McDonald (keyboards), Dale Haslam (bass), Vivien Scott (trumpet) and Ian Hird (saxophone). Hague says rehearsals have been going very well. "All the music has been scripted and written down, so it is easy," Hague said.

Hague says she will be on stage from the beginning of Simply Myrna and "I go right through. In this particular concert, my opening numbers have been chosen to speak to my audience from the heart." There will also be some songs that Hague has not performed in some time.

She says there will be "surprise, dynamism, different tempos, different styles. The lyrical content must say something about what I want to say to the audience."

It is not uncommon for the surviving member of a long-standing marriage to lose their will to keep going when their partner dies. However, Hague says she will continue to perform "as I always do."

"I am not going to disappear," Hague said.