Saturday, April 20, 2024

Sizzling hot jazz

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INDIVIDUALLY ATTUNED but perfectly in sync, this year’s Sagicor Christmas Jazz ensemble brought the heat to a slightly chilly Sunday evening.
Surrounded by the greenery of Ilaro Court grounds, the group consisting Nelson Rangell (flute), John Li’l John Roberts (drums), Everette Harp (saxophone), James Lloyd (keyboardist),
Jubu Smith (guitar), along with the talented percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and bandleader Frank McComb, wrapped the large audience with warm Tidings Of Comfort And Joy, among other well known Christmas standards.
When upbeat, the ensemble enticed audience members to dance along to its take on O Come, All Ye Faithful, My Favourite Things and the show-stopping Deck The Halls, a song in which Lloyd played the keys with everything he had – feet and all. When mellow, flautist Rangell serenaded on a Silent Night to the deep appreciation of jazz aficionados and notable personalities gathered at the official residence of the Prime Minister.
Melinda Doolittle’s mesmerizing vocals sweetened the band’s brew. With a broad smile and solid performance, the American Idol alum thrilled during her two renditions of Sleigh Ride and The Christmas Song. The latter earned Doolittle rousing encore calls.
Sunday evening also crowned a new rising star.
Mylon Clarke walked away with a $20 000 scholarship to Berklee College of Music, compliments of Sagicor. The up and coming saxophonist beat out three other finalists for the top prize, which he received just after intermission to loud cheers. (LW)

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