Msc, Lecturer, CISPS
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Warwick and Arie had ’em singing on beach
American R&B singers Dionne Warwick and India.Arie stole the show on the final night of the Tobago Jazz Experience on Sunday. The two singers were the feature acts of the Beach Jazz Fiesta at Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Both Warwick and Arie had the audience singing along as they sang their hit songs. Both also shared special moments with the crowd and connections to T&T. Warwick was introduced by former Miss Universe T&T Janelle Penny Commissiong. Commissiong was chosen to do the introduction because Warwick was a judge when she won the title in 1977.
For Arie, the night was special because she has been on a four-year performance hiatus. Arie told the crowd the last time she performed in Tobago was 2007. That year she performed the song I Am Not My Hair for the first time and the crowd's response to it raised her spirits. Warwick's performance was solid. Highlights of it included her renditions of Walk On By and Together Forever. In addition to singing hits like Video and Brown Skin, Arie also sang music from her upcoming album Songversation. The spirituality feeding Arie's performance was certainly felt as she danced, played guitar and sang with soul.
During her final song, Ready for Love, she also played a flute solo. Another highlight of her performance was an impromptu duet with British folk singer Lianne La Havas of the song God is Real. La Havas, whose Friday performance was rescheduled to Sunday, gave a winning performance earlier in the Beach Jazz Fiesta. Although she had no band, her precise guitar-playing and beautiful voice made for an excellent performance. The Holistic Music School opened the show with a versatile performance, ranging from a calypso medley to Duke Ellington standards. The orchestra was followed by cover band Masterminds.
Also playing the show were H2O Phlo, Mungal Patasar and Pantar and Carlton “Zander” Alexander and Coalpot. Both Pantar and Coalpot skillfully played jazz fusion sets, mixing Caribbean rhythms with world music and intriguing solos. The event was produced by the Division of Tourism and Transportation of the Tobago House of Assembly.