"Expect great music and great ambiance," says Carl "Beaver" Henderson.
Watching Al Jarreau on the shores of Lake Ontario in 1983 sparked Henderson's dream of hosting concerts in T&T.
Musician and producer Henderson is the man behind Hott Music Group, the outfit promoting Sunset Jazz, the concert featuring American smooth jazz band Spyro Gyra on March 30 at the 02 Amphitheatre in Chaguaramas.
Henderson recalled the concert at The Forum at Ontario Place in Canada and as he took in the surroundings—vast Lake Ontario as a backdrop, a 360 degree rotating stage and the fantastic ambience —he was convinced that the same could take place in Trinidad or Tobago.
"In the middle of the concert, I felt like a bell go off in my head, and I thought 'this is what I need to do'", he said.
He has since staged the popular Jazz on the Beach concert series in Tobago which saw massive crowds flock to Mt Irvine and Turtle Beach to groove to artistes like Etienne Charles, Arturo Tappin, Leston Paul, Errol Ince and Boo Hinkson between 2004 and 2017.
The patrons who attended those shows still talk about the experience of enjoying jazz in a relaxed atmosphere created by the backdrop of the sea.
"I'm really happy we've got Spyro Gyra to perform in Trinidad, they are just one part of my puzzle," Henderson said.
"However, now that I'm doing it at this level, some of the acts I originally wanted to bring are no longer with us, but that's okay, there are still a lot of greats we can tap.
"People can expect an evening of great music and great ambiance."
The March 30 event also has on the bill local acts Ijo, Vaughnette Bigford and Henderson's band—Carl Henderson Festival Project.
Henderson was one of the leading figures on the music scene in the 1980s and 1990s, when T&T music was flourishing and artistes like Nadie La Fond, Nappy Mayers and Robin Imamshah were household names.
"Beaver" led the band Fire Flight, know for songs like Meet Me on Level 2 and Ride the White Horse. As a producer he's worked with an eclectic range of performers including calypsonians Shorty, Kitchener, Denyse Plummer as well as reggae singer Marlon Asher and Caribbean dance music singer Michelle Xavier.
Now, the Festival Project is an opportunity to "play great music and reconnect the generations". Some of the members include veterans like Ajala, Derek Patience and contemporary performers like Tobago's Kay Alleyne and rock guitarist Dax Carter.
The concert on March 30 will certainly be a fulfilling experience for music lovers who have longed to see a globally known jazz act onstage in T&T, organisers said.
Spyro Gyra has been together since 1974 and has sold more than ten million albums.
The band from New York is no stranger to performing in the Caribbean, as they have previously headlined the St Lucia Jazz Festival and appeared at the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival in 2018.
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