Award-winning jazz band, élan parlé will headline the opening night of The Little Carib Theatre’s new monthly Jazz Series, earmarked to begin on September 23. The series is one among many tribute shows in the lead-up to the iconic venue’s 70th birthday in November.
Taking the stage for one night only will be founder and keyboardist, Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung, with Rodney Alexander on bass, Richard Joseph on drums, Anthony Woodroffe on woodwinds, and Natasha Joseph on the steelpan; and based on the band’s colourful past musical success, it is safe to say that local jazz fans are in for a unique and spirited experience.
Using freewheeling improvisation over carefully-crafted compositions, élan parlé brings a contemporary jazz perspective to the musical and cultural traditions of T&T. The vision for the group is reflected in the band’s name “élan parlé”—artistically interpreted to mean spirited conversation, “often spoken in a Caribbean dialect, discussing world issues, but from a Caribbean perspective”, says Low Chew Tung.
Since its inception in 2000, the band has recorded and released seven albums to date, and has performed at jazz festivals and venues in St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent, Jamaica, British Virgin Islands, St Maarten, Dominica, St Kitts and throughout T&T.
In 2002, they received five nominations and won two awards at the Sunshine Music Awards in New York, including one for Best Recording by a duo or group. The latest release from the band, entitled I am ELAN PARLE, features 11 original Caribbean Jazz compositions, many of which you should expect to hear on this special September evening at The Carib.
November is a special month for the theatre, not just because it turns 70 (having formally opened its doors on November 25 in 1948); it is also the birth month of its founder, the late, great Beryl McBurnie. These upcoming performances hope to preserve and continue her long, celebrated legacy as both performer and patron of the arts in T&T and the Caribbean.
Tickets for the concert on September 23 are priced at $100.
Seventieth anniversary celebration do not stop here as in coming months the Series continues with some stalwart musicians and acts, including Rellon Brown & Dominant 7th Orchestra (October 21), and Chantal Esdelle & Moyenne (November 25). The November 25 production will also feature the Northwest Laventille Cultural Movement performing Drum Sweet, a tribute to Moyenne’s late percussionist Junior Noel.