Well-received youth concert

Like shooting stars, the young faces on stage at the CARIFESTA XIII Youth Concert last Saturday night, radiated across the National Cultural Foundation’s car park.

Kloud 9: Master Blaster Jammin from the Combermere School.
Hailing from Dominica, the Brother’s College performed at the CARIFESTA Youth Concert.

Their beautiful voices and youthful energy attracted a small crowd who gathered in the West Terrace, St James lot, for a scene reminiscent of CARIFESTA IV in 1981, where the NCF’s headquarters was the base for the Caribbean Festival of Arts.

Although the show ran approximately 45 minutes behind schedule, patrons did not seem to mind as the presentations by the 20 Barbadian acts and Dominican chorale, Brother’s College, were thoroughly entertaining.

From the beginning of the show, the atmosphere was infectious as the crowd actively cheered and joined the Ignatius Byer Primary School Choir as they sang an originally-penned CARIFESTA song. Coming all the way from Lowlands St Lucy, the little ones heartily performed two original songs paying tribute to Barbadian culture which earned rousing applause from the audience.

The delegation from Combermere School came out in full force, with three splendid performances from violinist Chante White who delivered a captivating rendition of Gabby’s classic Emmerton, Regan Charles who tapped into the spirit of Whitney Houston for an electrifying performance of I will Always Love You and the soulful saxophonists Kloud 9: Master Blaster Jammin who kept the crowd in good spirits.

When the Coleridge and Parry Voices graced the stage, there were widespread cheers throughout the car park. The talented 60-member ensemble comprising students from second to fifth form, brought locals and visitors to their feet. Under the direction of musical director Marlon Legall, the choir gave a fantastic and spellbinding delivery of Day-O and self-composed Happy Birthday CARIFESTA and Tell Em/Amen.

Not forgetting to add God to the night’s proceedings, local gospel powerhouse, Kiann Browne, blessed the NCF car park with her booming vocals. Browne sang the uplifting It Gets Better, bringing down the house. The energy which she exuded continued with the following act – the Brother’s College Choir from the nature isle of Dominica. The all-male choir comprising  45 members sang a medley of songs from various genres.

The group started off by showing their vocal prowess with Glory by John Legend and then dipping into the reggae genre with Ain’t No Giving Up by Chronixx. The crowd got further amped as they started a singing a series of soca music hits from Happiest Man Alive by Machel Montano to Nah Going Home by Biggie Irie.

Another group which was a crowd favourite was the Frederick Smith Secondary School Band, led by a female trio consisting of Cherise Richards, Naomi Waithe and Thers Lambert. Their harmonious performance of some of Rihanna’s hottest music such as Man Down, Love on The Brain and Don’t Stop the Music was joyfully received.

The sole dance act for the night, Riddim Tribe, bewitched the audience with their ‘story’ which told the tale of an adulterous male. It was backed by the vintage reggae hit You Don’t Know Me by Dawn Penn.

As the night continued, many solo acts took to the stage. Some noteworthy mentions are Joshua Gay, also known as Alex Cage, with his honeydew voice that serenaded and romanced the crowd and Jamal Slocombe. Slocombe, in his set, paid tribute to the creator of Spouge, the great late Jackie Opel. In a lively performance, where both children and adults could be seen singing and dancing, Slocombe skillfully belted out hits such as Stand by Me, All I Need and Marry Me.

In keeping with the lively tone of the night, Saxes on Fire featuring Mylon Clarke introduced themselves to the audience with Rihanna’s Wild Thoughts. The saxophonist group arrested the crowd’s attention with a compilation of R&B, pop and soca;  all eyes were on the stage. Unfortunately, what would have been a stellar performance, had to be spoiled by technical difficulties. Nevertheless, like true professionals in the midst of chaos, the group remained calm and gave their best effort.

Closing off the performances for the night was one of the most popular and loved soca artists for the Crop Over 2017 – Shaquille. His entrance brought a roar-like cheer from the audience who would join him in reciting his song Collateral.

Although the performers were finished for the night, the crowd was reluctant to leave and with deejay Scrappy HD present, any plans for persons to make their way home were promptly discarded.

Source: by Katrina King

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