TOP-CLASS performances are promised from an equally top-class cast of performers billed to appear at the North Coast Jazz (NCJ) on May 26 at the Sir Solomon Hochoy Recreation Grounds, Blanchisseuse.
In its second year, NCJ will feature Dean Williams, Arthur Marcial, Kay Alleyne, Olatunji Yearwood, The Xavier Sisters, Michael Dingwell, Nyiida Andrews and pan trio Saieed Garcia, Ayana Garcia and Tristan Marcano.
Various artistes told Newsday they were excited about performing on the show which received rave reviews on its first staging last year.
Powerhouse singer Kay Alleyne is promising a mix of R&B and jazz selections.
“I would give patrons a performance like none other. I will be there singing beautifully as I am accustomed to singing,” she said in an interview. The 2007 Digicel Rising Star winner says patrons will also get some Chaka Khan, a bit of George Benson, and some Nina Simone, but preferred to keep the rest of her repertoire close to her chest.
“I am very privileged to be an artiste of NCJ so I’m looking forward to it,” Alleyne said.
Seasoned performer Arthur Marcial said, “I’m elated about performing at NCJ. I’m really going to enjoy that because it is one of the biggest things on the island and I am happy to be chosen to perform there.”
Marcial will perform with a band as opposed to his one-man show, which he says will allow him to jam on stage. “I promise to ramajay.”
Marcial was the musical director of Kalyan, the popular band of the 70s and 80s, and one of his chart-buster compositions for the defunct band, Can You Love Me, will definitely be on his playlist, as well as another of his songs, Mango Tree. Marcial will be accompanied by Wayne Guerra on keyboard, Vince Rivers, bass, Don Craigwell, drums and Tracey Donald, vocals.
Gospel artiste and saxophonist Michael Dingwell will use the jazz medium to play and sing gospel music. “We are going to do some contemporary gospel music with a jazz flavour, both instrumental and vocal,” he said.
He will be backed by his band, which comprises very talented young musicians who are studying music both abroad and locally. Nyiida Andrews, one of MovieTowne’s Discover Me artistes last year, can’t wait for the event.
“I am very excited to be on the cast. This is the first time participating in an event such as this and I hope it is not the last,” she said with a laugh.
Andrews who was MovieTowne’s May artiste of the month, was also among the cast of the Redemption IV concert, when she opened the show for Beres Hammond, Junior Kelly, Glen Washington and Bushman.
She said patrons at the NCJ can expect soulful, jazzy, reggae vibes from her, with a little bit of local flair here and there. “Just real vibes!” she said, adding that she will definitely be performing her composition Phenomenal Woman, some Anita Baker, GB and more.
Pannists Saieed Garcia and Tristan Marcano, who will play tenor pans, and Ayana Garcia on double second pans will play a medley of songs from the Beatles, Africa by Toto, and songs by Robert Greenidge and the late Raf Robertson, as they pay tribute to them.
Ayana, who will do special tribute solo to her godfather Greenidge said, “It will be the first time performing since finishing my bachelor’s programme in 2015. I haven’t performed solo since, only in Panorama, and I want to thank the producers for giving me the opportunity to do so.”
The trio will be backed by a Dean Williams quartet.
When guitarist Williams take the stage for his set, he will be accompanied by Ron Clarke on keyboard, Rodney Alexander, bass, Shaquille Noel, drums; Sheena Richardson, percussion; and special guests the Showtime Brass comprising Daniel Ryan, sax, Randell Adams, trumpet and Joshua Pasquale, trombone.
Williams said, “The guys and I are very excited to play on the show. We will be playing bonafide jazz, North American jazz and Caribbean jazz. We are also going to be touching on all other genres of music.
“It is really going to be very exciting because we are all soloists and we will be doing a lot of soloing throughout our performance, because that is what jazz is all about.”
Also appearing at the event will be Xavier Strings, featuring violinists Janine Xavier-Cross and Janelle Xavier. The sisters who are known for their captivating live performances, have been traversing the Caribbean for the past few months and are looking forward to performing in the NCJ.
They said, “We got rave reviews about last year’s epic show. Xavier Strings has been touring some productions recently that we want to share with our North Coast audience. We are honoured and excited to be a part of this cast and intend to bring it!”
And what can patrons expect from their repertoire?
“Expect unexpected combinations and musical ideas. A rollercoaster…stretching the boundaries of our music on strings,” said the sisters.
The show will wrap up with Olatunji Yearwood, the 2015 International Groovy Soca Monarch.
NCJ which is produced by LJMJ Promotions Ltd starts at 4 pm but gates open from 2 pm. Shuttle transport will be available from the Paddock, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain from 11 am to 2 pm. The Return shuttle will begin leaving the Blanchisseuse Recreation Ground from 9 pm for patrons who want to leave early.