Not even the intermittent showers that descended on Divi Southwinds on Friday night could dampen the spirit of the scores of patrons who turned out to enjoy the annual Capita Financial Services Laughter & Jazz event, produced by the Barbados Gospelfest organisers.
The young, middle-aged and elderly took full advantage of the natural surroundings of the hotel’s green garden and gazebo-type vantage point to absorb every groovy jazz note and rollicking comedy. They all chose the manner in which they felt more at ease, embracing and lapping up the melodies and rhythms that flowed from the musical bosoms of overseas artistes Allan Charles, Shezekiel, Curtis Haywood and Damita Haddon.
Laughter & Jazz appeared to have given credence to the notion that it was a seated affair, and sit was what most of the patrons did throughout the night. For example, there was little crowd response when vocalist Shezekiel elicited participation. Most people seemed content to remain in their seats and listen to her smooth, velvety voice, particularly when she dedicated one of her songs to her Barbadian parents.
Notwithstanding, members of the audience became a little more animated (vocally at least), when New York-based Barbadian Curtis Haywood snaked his way through the seated congregation and began to make his saxophone talk. As he transitioned from song to song, the impact grew steadily with every note blown.
Haywood’s manipulation of his wind instrument was so skilfull, artistically clean and infectious, one could hear the shouts of approval emerging from various parts of the garden, as he simply blew away those present.
The musical ministries were sandwiched with a welcome bout of clean, holding-yuh-belly-and-bawling comedy performed by Rod Z. Before he came to the stage, one wondered how a Christian comic could really make one laugh . . . what kind of jokes he could come with to “crack you up”.
To be honest, he surprised me and actually made me laugh “real bad”. Rod Z rocked . . . and was the only act of the night from whom people wanted an encore performance. However, because of time constraints, the request wasn’t honoured.
Anyhow, his stint was truly entertaining, instructive and impressive.
Visiting female vocalist Damita Haddon brought the curtain down with a mixture of musically accompanied songs and a cappella. But it was when she rendered the soulful version of an orginal praise and worship number – It All Belongs To You – that people rose to their feet, with hands raised to Heaven, in celebration to God.
It was an evening well spent.