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Jazz and theatre take centre stage

Friday, April 4, 2014
UK-based guitarist Cameron Pierre

The frenzy of Carnival 2014 has diminished with the Lenten period, allowing jazz and theatre to move into the entertainment spotlight. 


Thus far, plays have been staged by the Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW); Freddie Kissoon; RR/RS Productions (Men Are Dogs); and, Abeo Jackson Productions (50 Shades of Gravy).


Men Are Dogs ended a one-month run at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) last weekend. Directed by Debra Boucaud-Mason and Richard Ragoobarsingh, the play starred Glenn Davis, Corrine Browne, Ria Ali, Leslie Ann Lavine, Aaron Schneider Ragoobarsingh and Boucaud Mason. The play’s award-winning set designer was Ricardo Samuel.

50 Shades of Gravy


There was non-stop laughter at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, last weekend at the premiere of 50 Shades of Gravy. The eight-scene production, written by Penelope Spencer, featured Nikki Crosby, Cecilia Salazar, Debra Boucaud-Mason, Abeo Jackson, Kearn Samuel, Arnold Goindhan and Spencer, in laugh-a-minute situations. 


Special mention must be made of Gregory Singh for his wonderful costume design and ingenious stage set which comprised mainly of interchanging, coloured panels. Holding the scenes together was some spirited dancing by Zakiya-Tuere Savary, Ramona Tim Kee and Moriba Francis.


The play will be repeated on April 10-13, at Central Bank Auditorium, Port-of-Spain.




HeLa the one-woman production



Remaining on the theatre stage, TTW in collaboration with Bocas Literature Festival, will host the one-woman production called HeLa on April 17-19, at TTW, Jerningham Avenue, Belmont. Written by Adura Onashile, directed by Graham Eatough and produced by Iron-Oxide, HeLa is a lead-up to the Fourth NGC Bocas Literature Festival on April 23-27.




Premier jazz events




Switching to jazz, this month the country’s two premier jazz events—Jazz Artistes on the Greens (JAOTG) and Tobago Jazz Experience—will be held. Production One Limited will stage the 12th annual edition of JAOTG tomorrow at Farm Road, St Joseph, at 5 pm. Production One Ltd is always on the lookout for new up-and-coming jazz talent throughout the Caribbean for appearance at its concerts. 


JAOTG is bringing together musicians from across the globe, performing traditional jazz and hybrids of this genre. In its line-up will be Cuban vibraphonist Tamara Castañeda and her countrymen saxophonist Emir Santa Cruz, his Espiral Trio and the William Roblejo Trio; Brazil bassist Nilson Matta; UK-based guitarist Cameron Pierre; American pannist Jonathan Scales; US pianist Klaus Mueller; and, Barbados saxophonist Arturo Tappin and vocalist Marisa Lindsay.


T&T musicians on the star-studded cast include trumpeters Errol Ince and Etienne Charles; pianist Raf Robertson; pannists Liam Teague, Dane Gulston and Ken “Professor” Philmore; Berklee College of Music graduate vocalist Nyol Manswell and, élan parlé ensemble.


Completing the open-air festival, picnic ambiance will be a variety of culinary delights on sale; and a fully-stocked bar, along with exclusive event WiFi Internet access so that patrons can upload their experiences in real-time. 


Tickets are available online at the JAOTG website at, at select locations nationwide or call to order at 620-6920.




Women in Jazz




Venezuela’s Lilian Lopez, Mavis John, Glenda Collens and Ruth Osman are the songstresses chosen for the 2014 edition of Women in Jazz to be held through this month at The Fiesta Plaza at MovieTowne, Port-of-Spain. Each Saturday, one of these artistes will showcase the tribute to Billie Holiday. 


Some of the classic Holiday songs they will include in their repertoires include Good morning heart ache, The man I Love and Lady Sings The Blues.


The series begins tomorrow. All shows are free to the public but dinner reservations are advised by contacting any of The Fiesta Plaza restaurants. For further information visit the MovieTowne web site entertainment page or call 62-stars (Extension 1165). 




Tobago Jazz Heritage




Tobago Jazz Heritage (TJH) will be staged on April 19-27 through Speyside, Signal Hill, Scarborough, Castara and the Pigeon Point Heritage Park. The event is owned by the Division of Tourism and Transportation of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) and it is one of the many initiatives used to increase Tobago’s visibility in the local, regional and international tourism market. 



Jazz in the East




Jazz in the East will be held on April 19, at 7.30 pm, at the Speyside Recreational Grounds and will feature Joel Phillip, Nikita Browne, Roy Cape All Stars, Blaxx, Michael Boothman,Tarrus Riley and Rhapsody Next Generation.



Hillside Jazz




Signal Hill Recreational Grounds will be the venue for the April 20 Hillside Jazz at 4 pm. 


Billing for this event includes Adam Alexander, Keylon Whitlock, Stephen John, Michael Nedd and Quacy Cooper, Keishaun Julien, Ravi Maharaj & Band, Oscar B and Leeandro Noray.


The Mt Pleasant Sports Day is on Aril 21, from 11 am, at the Mt Pleasant Recreational Grounds and lasts the entire day, followed by the Buccoo Goat Races the following day, from 1 pm, at the Buccoo Integrated Facility.



Jazz on the Waterfront




The free Jazz on the Waterfront show takes place on April 23 at 6 pm on the Milford Road Esplanade. Artistes named for this gig are Lynette Louis and Judy Balfour, Pedro Lezama, Jason Jones, Lyrical Lounge, Jaime Ramsey, Fayola, Darion Fraser, Nicqua Grannum and David Frank. This musical showplace is modelled after the “New Orleans style” affair as performers showcase their talent simultaneously on several stages strategically placed along the waterfront.



Northside Jazz




Northside Jazz will be held on April 24, at 1 pm, at Castara Beach. This beach event is also free to the public and its artistes include Benjai, Trevor Hunte, Simon Williams, Leon De Murrell, K.Kay, Orlando Octave, Ziggy Rankin, Jah Melody, N’kem Scotland and Salisha.



World Music Night




World Music Night is on April 25 at 7.30 pm at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park, named among the world’s top 100 beaches by CNN. 


Headlining this blue riband event will be nine-time Grammy Award winner, John Legend, and American singer/actress, Brandy. Also on the cast are Dil-e-Nadan, Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons and the Asylum Vikings band.


Young performers will show off their vocal and instrumental talent in various genres, ranging from soca and reggae to soul and jazz at Youthopia, scheduled for 7.30 pm on April 26, at Pigeon Point Heritage Park. 


This is the newest addition to the festival agenda and its cast includes The Voice winner Tessanne Chin, R’Kardo Stevon, Erphaan Alves, Gerard Balfour, Olatunji, DJ Red, Journei, Krush and Private Ryan.




Jazz on the Beach




The Jazz on the Beach series, hosted by the Mt Irvine Bay Hotel and Golf Club at Mt Irvine Bay on April 26-27, at 11 am, will feature a mix of artistes.


April 27 will see the other major event – Beach Jazz Festival – being held, from 7.30 pm, at Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Artistes on this show are Earth, Wind and Fire, Chrycee & the Soleil Band, Tony Paul, Genevieve and Keyshia Cole.


Even before the climax of TJH there is another jazz event on the sister isle. 


The Fringe Movement (theFM) is staging its third annual event for three nights. On April 25 it will stage Acoustic Jam on Mount Irvine Beach, followed on April 26 by a jam at Bar Hop-In on the Shirvan Road. 


Shade Nightclub will be the venue for April 27 finale of the Fringe Fest. Acts named for this event include Solman, BuzzRock, Gyazette, Vanna Vee, Brain Coral, Uku, Chromatics, John Jon with Dayo Bejide, Kin Sound System and West Indian Rhythm Konnection.


Acclaimed Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin and his band will also be featured in concert on April 24, at The Pavilion, Tobago.


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