Caribbean Jazz on the Green delivered an outstanding night of top quality jazz from some of the most enthusiastic proponents in the region…Saturday (April 24).
The event, which organisers estimate was experienced by 250 people, was held in the private grounds of co-organiser Gaston Maloney, off Agnes Way, George Town…
Audience members enjoyed sets from local jazz bands Cool School and Absolute Joy. The evening ended with a rousing set by the US-based Lionel Loueke Trio…
Cool School, consisting of band leader Wil Steward (piano), Keith Millar (trumpet), Natalie Barber (sax), Brian Robinson (drums), Glen Scott (guitar) and Roger “Bugs” Wilson (bass), played a one hour set, paving the way for the other acts later on that evening.
The crowd, who sat on chairs and on blankets nearer the front, were appreciative and were warm in their response, especially to the tune Moanin’ during which band members sang.
The next band on stage was Absolute Joy, headed up by Devon Edie. Accompanied by Jah Mitch Ebanks (guitar), Norris Webb (keyboard), Bob Ebanks (drums) and Richard Ebanks (bass), the band’s infectious mix of Caribbean jazz (jazz fused with calypso, reggae and swing) went down well with the audience.
Absolute Joy’s instrumental version of Bob Marley’s song Waiting in Vain was the highlight of the 10-song set.
The Lionel Loueke Trio crossed continents and set the audience on their edge of their seats with an Afro-Jazz set…
One disappointment was that the Cesar Lopez y Habana Ensemble was a no-show. The famous Cuban group was not able to attend due to visa issues…
International Jazz stars to play at local benefit in Grand Cayman | by Christopher Tobutt, Cayman Net News
The annual charity jazz concert, “Caribbean Jazz on the Green,” (showcased) local and international jazz greats on 24 April, beginning at 5pm. Organized by Gaston Maloney and Andre Iton, the “Friends of Jazz,” the event (was) held on Agnes Way, which joins Linford Pierson Highway to Crewe Road.
Lionel Loueke, an accomplished jazz guitarist, has played in bands with musicians widely regarded as some of the best in the world. He studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. In 2001, he auditioned for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California and was selected by a panel of judges that included jazz musicians Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter.
He was featured on two albums with trumpeter Blanchard for Blue Note Records, Bounce (2003) and Flow (2005) and has performed on jazz pianist Herbie Hancock’s albums Possibilities (2006) and River: The Joni Letters (2007).
He also worked with Kenwood Dennard, George Garzone, Bob Hurst, Alphonso Johnson, Angelique Kidjo, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Wayne Shorter, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Charlie Haden, Richard Bona, Nathan East, Vinnie Colaiuta, Marcus Miller, Sting, Brian Blade, John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, Kenny Garrett, Roy Hargrove, Santana, and a host of other great jazz musicians.
Starting off the evening’s music performances (was) Cool School, a local band, lead by established local jazz pianist Will Stewart[...]
The money raised will help support the activities of the George Town Sports Club, which engages many of the less fortunate and the elderly with projects at Christmas and throughout the year. Members from the Club will also help organizers during the event, said Mr Maloney.
Jazz on the Green goes indoors at the Harquail Theatre by caymannetnews.com
Many who went to the Harquail Theatre on Saturday, 5 June, were unsure of what to expect, but by the end of a night that bubbled with Caribbean jazz and salsa, the crowd called for more. More!
Some ticket-holders had known only that the event was an extension of April’s highly acclaimed Caribbean Jazz on the Green concert to benefit the George Town Sports Club’s community service projects.
A paperwork glitch at that time prevented one jazz group from leaving Cuba in time to perform in Cayman, so Mr Gaston Maloney, one of the event organizers, arranged a follow-up performance by Cesar L6pez & Habana Ensemble, who had missed the original concert.
“Cesar Lopez showed mastery of his art,” said Mr Maloney, “and his relaxed, confident approach with his congenial humour helped to win the hearts of all those present. His entertaining approach to his music even helped to sway a few of those who had not been to any of our concerts previously.”
…Warming up the audience at the Indoors at the Harquail concert was Cayman’s Gary Ebanks and the Free to Be Ensemble, usually four members, but playing as a trio this night, a rousing set of self-penned compositions steeped in the Caribbean jazz idiom.
…in 1997, (Cesar Lopez) created the “Habana Ensemble” comprised of talented, virtuoso Cuban musicians that on Saturday night enthralled a Cayman audience.
“Cesar, along with his wizardry on the sax and flute,” added Mr Maloney, “showed another dimension of his talent as a vocalist, and although some of us may not have understood the Spanish lyrics, his renditions in the truly romantic, Bolero style of the Cuban masters were thoroughly enjoyed. What more could one ask?”
Mr Maloney, a jazz aficionado, compared Mr Lopez’s “excellent choice of sidemen” to the tradition of his mentor, Chucho Valdes, in selecting superior musicians to round out his group.
“The solos, especially from the pianist and guitarist, were all thoroughly logical, lyrical expansions of the tunes played,” said Mr Maloney.
“Their training, hours of practice and dedication to their art shone through.’
The lone female in the group, a young drummer who filled in on short notice since the group’s regular drummer was unable to make the trip, lived up to the standards set by her fellow musicians.
“We wondered if she would be given a solo spot,” he added, “and were not disappointed when she was given her moment to shine on a jazz rock type piece, and the bassist also was as rock solid as ever all the way through.
…”As Cesar Lopez danced on stage, playing his Latin salsa jazz selections,” he added, “no one could resist tapping or maybe even dancing – in their seats…