WESTERN FOCUS - Sax appeal at Blues in Negril
Poland-born female saxophonist Celia Baron was among the top performers at last weekend's inaugural Blues in Negril music festival, held at the West End-based Sea Star Inn resort.
On Saturday, night two of the three-night festival, Baron opened the concert playing a series of tunes from her albums Sax Appeal and the reggae-inspired And a Bottle of Rum.
Though her individual set only lasted half an hour, Baron continued playing throughout the entire concert, accompanying the Sea Star band, which played on keyboard, drums and guitar.
Her performance marked her third time to Jamaica and the resort town of Negril, which she considers her second home.
"I love Jamaica. I love performing here and I hope that I get to come back soon. I feel very much at home here and everybody I meet here is so nice and are always so helpful. Of course, I also like reggae music and ackee," Baron told Western Focus.
Though it would be hard to fault any of Saturday night's performers, a few others, including Luddy Samms, former member of international singing group The Drifters, and renowned blues performer Jeffery Spence also gave spectacular performances. Both created magic in their respective presentations, thrilling a jam-packed audience with a series of decades-old, rhythm and blues evergreen songs.
Samms was simply awesome! Dressed in his signature all-white, the entertainer, who is also a regular fixture on Negril's live entertainment circuit, could do no wrong for his audience, which energetically danced its way throughout the duration of his set, which climaxed with his rendition of the James Brown classic I Feel Good.
Spence, who travelled from Texas for the concert, also brought his A-game. Playing the keyboard and singing songs such as Fats Domino's Blueberry Hills and Walking to New Orleans, he was flawless in his delivery, which also saw the New Orleans native earning an encore.
At the end of his performance, Spence told Western Focus that he was happy with the reception from the audience and was looking forward to returning to the festival next year. He said he had toured all over the world performing to blues lovers on cruise ships; however, last Saturday night marked his first time in Jamaica.
Canadian entertainers Terry Gillespie, Jerome GodBoo, Brant Parker, Tyler Yarema, Cheryl Lescom and Chuck Jackson were among the other entertainers who carried the audience into the midnight closure of the event.