Jazz Artists on the Greens 2007

Etienne Charles, Dane Gulston and Arturo Tappin perform at Jazz Artists on the Greens 2007
Etienne Charles, Dane Gulston and Arturo Tappin perform at Jazz Artists on the Greens 2007 Reporters
Event Date: March 24, 2007
Posted: April 01, 2007

The 5th annual hosting of Jazz Artists on the Greens 2007 was held on Saturday 24th March at the Creative Arts Centre, University of the West Indies on Gordon Street, to a sizeable and appreciative audience. The brainchild of Production One Limited, an event coordination company whose mission is to produce quality Caribbean jazz concerts and events, Jazz Artists on the Greens 2007 now in its fifth year, was dedicated to the legendary guitarist Fitzroy Coleman and showcased the immensely talented jazz artists of Trinidad and the region. With stellar performances by veteran musicians Arturo Tappin, Clive Zanda and Raf Robertson among others, the evening was indeed special and highlighted a different aspect of Trinidad music.

The Greens, the beautiful area of the University's Creative Arts Centre, with its wide-open space, large trees and beautiful stone and wood sculptures dotting the landscape, provided the perfect ambience for this event. As fitting for the outdoor location, patrons could be seen with a variety of blankets, mats, chairs and coolers and baskets with bottles of wine and other snacks well prepared for the evening. For the not so well prepared, organizers provided cushions for those patrons who opted for the grass as well as chairs for others. While the weather constantly threatened the evenings proceedings with an overcast sky and drizzles, the warmth and enthusiasm of the crowd and the power of the music did not put a damper on the concert and patrons seemed perfectly prepared to brave the weather, adding umbrellas to their collection of blankets and baskets.

The evening officially began with a performance by the Dale White Family and Friends Steel Orchestra who entertained the arriving crowd with Calypso, R&B and Jazz renditions along with the vocal skills of Dale Mary White. MC's Robert "RW" Williams of Ebony 104 and Jaye-Q Baptiste of the Cable News Channel welcomed the audience.

The first stage performer was ace tenor pannist Dane Gulston backed by a full band, fresh from a performance at Machel Montano's much talked about Madison Square Garden concert. Gulston wowed the crowd with his usual charismatic and passionate performance style and debuted two new songs from his coming album, "Sweetbread" and "A Different Shade of Silver". Bassist Michael Nysus showed off his vocal skills much to the delight of the crowd. Band members Wayne Guerra on keyboard, Sean Blackman on congas, Anthony Voisin on guitar and Curtis Jones on drums added significantly to this highly entertaining performance that set the tone for the rest of the show.

Next up was Patti Rogers, well known and well loved, popular on the local and Caribbean jazz circuits, who performed jazz favorites such as "Watch What Happens", "It Might As Well Be Spring", "I Wish You Love" and "Black Orpheus". Backed by Sean Thomas on drums, Ralph Davies on keyboards and Gerald Slam Charles on upright bass, Rogers ended her performance with a dedication to the legendary Fitzroy Coleman with her rendition of "Autumn Leaves". Barbadian Jazz singer Alice Daniel followed with performances of "I'm In The Mood For Love", "Love Letters", "Blue Skies" and other jazz standards.

The musicianship of the guitarist Fitzroy Coleman has long been immortalized in song by David Rudder's "Calypso" and in this concert dedicated to him, three of the most recognized jazz guitarist's performed in his honour; Jeffery Pataysing, Clifford Charles and Theron Shaw. Each performed sets which thrilled the crowd with their skills on the guitar and then they combined for a final performance.

The unique Caribbean Jazz sounds of Moyenne graced the stage next, featuring the blend of steel pan, bass guitar, and the haunting voice of Chantal Esdelle who also played the keyboard. Despite the reappearance of the drizzle, patrons braved the weather and were prepared with their umbrellas.

Ace Keyboardist Raf Robertson followed, accompanied by flute, percussion, drummer, and bass guitar. His largely Calypso music repertoire delighted the crowd and its highlight came with the emergence of Clive Zanda, whom Robertson hailed as one of the most prolific writers of Calypso music. Zanda himself then took over from Robertson to complete the set.

After several giveaways of hampers by the various sponsors to members of the audience that continued throughout the evening, in honour of his sterling contribution to music, Production One presented a cheque for $10,000.00 to Fitzroy Coleman. The cheque was presented by Anton Doyle and Maria Wellington of Production One Limited and accepted by Michael Boothman on Mr. Coleman's behalf.

The final performance of the night was by world-renowned saxophonist Arturo Tappin and a young emerging trumpet player Etienne Charles, whom despite his young age has been making waves for himself on the international jazz scene. Along with Sean Thomas on drums, Simon Mendoza on keyboard and Dane Gulston on pan, these artists jammed the crowd with performances of "All The Things You Are", "Tobago" and "Ole School", a song written by Etienne Charles.

As the night wound to a close, the crowd was in for a special impromptu treat. As Sean Thomas, drummer and organizer, thanked the audience for coming out, he invited all jazz artists and singers in the crowd to take the stage for a special unplanned performance of "Ole Lady Walk A Mile And a Half". Vocalists included Gillian Seecharan Scott, Rahim Gorib and the incomparable opera singer, Ann Fridal along with Clive Zanda and other jazz musicians. This performance truly emphasized the improvisation inherent in jazz music.

Despite the often-unpredictable weather, Jazz Artists on the Greens was indeed a success with patrons being treated to a variety of jazz styles and some of the best musicians in the business. Special mention must be made of Bewil Co Ltd, CLICO, WMJX, Emerald Plaza, Candor Music and other sponsors for their contributions, and the organizers for a well-planned event.

Jazz Artists on the Greens 2007 in pictures:

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