Jazzpoint, Trinidad 2006-2009
Clive (Zanda) Alexander – pianist and Jason Baptiste – pannist were the featured artistes of Jazzpoint 08 which was held at PETROTRIN/Trinmar Clifton Hill Club on Saturday 17 May 2008. Raf Robertson – keyboardist and Errol Ince master trumpeter supported by Leston Paul and friends were the featured artistes at Naparima Bowl on Sunday 18 May 2008. Patrons were treated with two nights of unforgettable Caribbean azz interpretations. The theme of Jazzpoint 08 was “Jazz legends” and the Lenox Lounge – Harlem was the highlighted jazz club.
Five groups were featured in Jazzpoint 07 on Saturday 9 May 2007: Michael Low Chew Tung (Ming) – elan parle, Chantal Esdelle – Moyenne. Douglas Redon supported by Steve Neaves, Michael Dingwell and Errol Goodridge – E-Good quartet. The main event venue South Western Court was partially transformed to reflect on the Velvet Lounge – Chicago. The atmosphere was right for four hours of continuous musical conversations experienced from seasoned musicians.
The visual arts show case of Jazzpoint 2008 was displayed at five locations: Atlantic LNG Community Office, Sisson’s Color Shop, NALIS Library, Republic Bank and South Western Court – Point Fortin. The visual arts display also included a commission Jazz poster of Ming which was created by Michael Boothman – guitarist/artist.
The Clifford Charles quartet launched a CD “Trinidad Flavors” at Jazzpoint 06 on Saturday 22 April 2006. The main event venue was PETROTRIN/Trinmar Clifton Hill club. The family band “Just cool” made an opening appearance with Attiba Morris – trombonist, Fitz-Ryan St Hilaire – guitarist, Jerrod Lett – pannist, Larnelle St Hilaire – keyboardist, Sean St Hilaire drummer and Shane St Hilaire – bassist facilitated active audience participation resulting in memorable performances. Ming – elan parle made a guest appearance and a taste of New Orleans was evident in the highlight of Smug Harbor.
The New Orleans atmosphere was facilitated with directions signs from Bourbon Street to Frenchman Street with a Treme sign on top of a small but cozy stage. Jazzpoint visual arts image displays by photographers Mike Peters and Mervin Sherwood and the first Jazzpoint commissioned Jazz poster from visual artiste Hugo Quan Vie were hung in a Cultural District created at the main event venue.
The enthusiastic audience cheered and clapped as youthful band Jus Cool struck the first chord at Jazzpoint last Saturday. The sextet thrilled the audience as they combined pan and jazz to give a performance that was nothing short of exceptional.
Beginning their set with Take it Slow, Jus Cool had members of the audience singing along to the popular John Legend song. Although the band’s eldest member is just 22-years-old, their interpretation of the music was faultless.
Jus Cool then changed the vibes with Edwin Yearwood’s Pump Me Up before they were joined on-stage by Sharon Anderson who performed Patti La Belle’s I’ve Got Love On My Mind.
Despite a few hiccups with the sound system, Anderson gave a splendid performance, calling on the enthusiastic audience to sing along. Following Anderson’s departure from the stage, Jus Cool was accompanied by the entire audience as they did Nappy Mayer’s Bring Back The Ole Time Days. Pannist Jeron Lett’s obvious enjoyment was so infectious that some members of the audience were unable to resist and got to their feet dancing and singing along. The band performed six numbers before leaving the stage.
Trombonist Atiba Morris fascinated many of the elders in the audience who were heard commenting on the rarity of such a young man choosing the trombone as opposed to other musical instruments.
Jus Cool was followed by Ming and elan parle. The Caribbean jazz group, which included Neil Bernard and Loris Adams, performed a number of original compositions. Their music was well received despite the audience’s unfamiliarity with it. Elan parle wooed the audience with its style and as they moved into Lord Kitchener’s Tay Lay Lay, the audience sang along lustily.
Also performing was the Clifford Charles quartet, featuring Patti Rogers. Rogers sang Lionel Richie’s Hello, Rapture, I wish you Love and Black Orpheus. They too gave an excellent showing of themselves and the audience lapped it up. Michael Dingwell was also quite good.
Jazzpoint was held at the Clifton Hill Club, Pt Fortin and included a jazz visual arts exhibition highlighting jazz posters and photographs.
Cuthbert Matthews also gave a jazz appreciation lecture in which he looked at various jazz styles.
The show went well past midnight but members of the audience remained until the very last chord was struck. On hand for the show were 2006 National Calypso Monarch Morel “Luta” Peters and Point Fortin Mayor St Clair Natta.
Jazzpoint is the premier fringe event of the Pt Fortin Borough Day celebrations.