Jazz Tropical being praised as an absolute triumph
July 25, 2023

Jazz Tropical being praised as an absolute triumph

by Maralyn Ballantyne

The third Jazz@Sunset show “After de Carnival” pulled an appreciative diverse audience; music fanatics, JTP fans, Vincentians ‘who come home fuh mas an’ fun in de July sun’ and looking to cool down, the young, the restless, courting lovebirds, mothers grabbing ‘me’ time, couples, seniors. This artistically put-together show, organized by the manager of Jazz Tropical Project (JTP) Dexter Rose, is being praised as an absolute triumph. Rain just before the start of the show did not daunt anyone; it was accepted as a blessing, its magical impact being just what Vincy farmers pray for and deserve.

The thought that visitors may have been possibly exhausted both financially and energy-wise, did not intimidate JTP.

Though touted from day one as a cool-down affair, the carnival now over, and though reinforced by the vibrant Cleo in her cover of the Kitchener classic ‘‘The Carnival Is Over’’ truth to tell, the show accelerated soon after half time, slowly evolving and finally emerging as a mini carnival with Latin vibes; weather sweet by then, everyone put on their dancing feet. The jamming started and almost knew no end!
Wear comfortable shoes to a JTP show; you will dance! Be warned. I attended three and danced at all.

Keyboard maestro Juan Carlos Cepeda, normally reticent, unexpectedly ignited by way of a solo performance that harmoniously connected all attendees, Vincentians- locals and returnees, Cubans (great fans of JTP), visitors from nearby hotels, off-duty staff. How music binds, how music heals! The joyful voice of Juan Carlos reverberated a mile away, redirecting minds away from troubles, societal ills, and unfortunate occurrences, providing sweet respite.

Then there was a most pleasing tribute to Dr Alston Cyrus, Becket aka ABC, in the form of Ragga Soca performed by the youthful Bongo Prime. Too few of our music icons are honoured here in our island; that must change.

JTP springs surprises and this time it was a guitar man…..and there he was …..this young boy, strumming my fate with his fingers…he must have found my letters but did not read them out loud…..Mr. Krys Mark……well he is not only good looking, extremely handsome, the guy has style and skill….his fingers flew across that fretboard while his mellow voice enchanted young and old alike….the ovation said Bring him again!

JTP, you are exemplary. Hope others get the message!

The JAZZ@ SUNSET concept as conceived by manager Dexter Rose, is solid; it ought to be widely supported. JTP extends beyond excellence in music, skill of musicians, acoustics, repertoire crafting, stage décor; it ventures into the natural environment, preserving the wonders of nature, entertainment, psychology, developing the minds of attendees, community enrichment, social solidarity, cultural development, corporate responsibility, employment enhancement, quality of life, and much more.

Kudos to ECGC for sticking by this project this time showcasing their newest product ZESS Cola.

With Basil at Villa as the venue, the general atmosphere is always relaxed, civilized, and safe. That counts, plus jazz lover, and venue owner Basil Charles, himself attends! The casually elegant dressing that has become the norm is not written in stone. For heaven’s sake, come in whatever, not a birthday suit, though! Talking about attire, our vincy songbird, Azariah Gibson cut a delightful picture in a very tropical outfit reflecting surrounding foliage, sea, and skies.

Topping her appearance is her art of effortlessly drawing in the entire audience by her charismatic onstage and off-stage presence.

Outdoing all of that is the romantic aura Azariah radiates with her soft and tender songs.

“You make me feel like a natural woman” and ‘‘Turn your lights down low’’ sent forth emotional effects, soulful vibes, capable of impacting even the most callous man……

But the star of the show for me, was the beautiful Cleo from Layou, Lady in White. My choice is not based on the fact that a man with strong Layou roots adored me and made me his wife. It was her confidence, her panache, her passion for singing, and her allure that touched me. She calmly strutted onto that little stage and owned “CRAZY”, a beloved Willie Nelson ditty from during my courting days, immediately taking your full attention.

A JTP show is a truly uplifting experience. The passion of the songs motivates attendees to fall into their rhythm.

JTP musicians excel at complex harmony, romantic melody, bass and sax alternating in rhythm, syncopated rhythms, improvisation, changing dynamism; the music gets under your skin, you fall in love and then you are clueless as to how far you may take the new love affair!
Attend and witness for yourself.