Jazz at sunset
by Leigh-Ann Worrell
It was only after Sunday’s sunset on the rolling greens of the Ilaro Court that the sunshine came out in all its brilliance. Locally-formed star Elan Trotman, and the sighting of the beautiful Guyanese-Canadian starlet Melanie Fiona sparkled at Sunshine for the Stars, the penultimate event of the Naniki Caribbean Jazz Safari.
Elan Trotman’s saxy tunes elicited the first ripple in the moderately-sized crowd, just after 5 p.m. Starting his set with a tribute to groove masters Earth, Wind and Fire, he turned up the island favour with tracks from his soon-to-be released album, Tropicality, including the title track and Tradewinds, featuring James Lovell on percussion drums. The star power intensified once the Master Blaster Jammin’ got underway with the help of Nicholas Brancker, and what resulted was jazz sweeter than sno-cone. Giving his own spin on the Stevie Wonder favourite, Trotman and Branker got the crowd swaying and grooving in the light evening breeze, as their instruments synced and harmonised to the delight of all jazz lovers present.
After such an electrifying performance – and set, it was hard to see how the night could get better. Until it did.
Dressed in a black jacket and top, sequined pants and sky-high black Louboutin boots, Melanie Fiona invited the awaiting audience to listen to a story of love and loss. From the highs of being a Fool For U (a remake of a Cee-lo Green track) tragically and painfully ending up on the Wrong Side of a Love Song, to contemplating murder, Melanie Fiona was on point, demanding and receiving the attention she deserved. And then when the clock struck 4 a.m., the ladies could not hide it was the hour they had been waiting for, screaming and singing along to the highly-emotive song.
Although the audience was already on a high, but Melanie Fiona took them even higher with reggae beats and some good Bajan wukking up, proudly showcasing her island heritage, much to the audience’s squealing delight. The only downfall was that not enough Barbadians were able to see the wonder that is Melanie Fiona.
Earlier in the day, jazz treats were served up by the BCC Ensemble, the youthful Derek McKeith, expert violinist Michael Ward with saxophonist Kyle Turner.