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“THE BEST OF JAZZ 2017” CLOSES ON A HIGH NOTE!

 Top: Myrna Hague
Bottom: Tony Gregory —

IT was a cadre of shining stars that brought the curtain down last Sunday on this year’s series of the bi-monthly Jazz Concert at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. Artists and musicians on the event dubbed ‘The Best of Jazz 2017’ had the audience swinging and singing along to a diverse playlist, with the Osoune-led Pon Fyah band doing main backing duties.

Among the emerging entertainers who made their mark were Marsha Beckford with a unique, spoken word style, and Jasmine Black who went over well with The Four Tops’ McArthur Park, The Supremes’ Stop In The Name of Love and the Dinah Washington standard, What A Difference A Day Makes.

Veteran singer Tony Gregory lit a spark with his renditions of Every Beat of My Heart, I’ll Never Turn My Back On You, Three Little Birds, Donna You’re the One I Love, and Gypsy Girl.

Maria Myrie picked up where Gregory left off with performances of Dreamland, Feel Like Jumping, One Life to Live, How Glad I Am, All By Myself and River Deep Ocean Wide. The audience warmed to The Energy Plus Mento Band’s medley of traditional folk songs like Wheel And Tun Mi and Broom Weed.

A mainstay of this annual series is keyboardist/vocalist Harold Davis and Friends.

“This season is a feel-good season and there is nothing like some feel-good music to complement a feel-good season,” said Davis, before diving into an amusing interactive set which included Let’s Stay Together, Me And Mrs Jones, followed by an exciting medley of Bam Bam, Murder She Wrote, Dem A Bleach, Carry Go Bring Come, Wings of A Dove, Sammy Dead, It’s You, Wash Wash and Amen.

Myrna Hague, accompanied by Marjorie Whylie on keyboards, enthralled patrons with Call Me, I Wish You Love, Who Can I Turn To, Send In The Clowns, Falling In Love With Love and Have Yourself A Merry Christmas.

Dean Fraser

Dean Fraser

Putting the lid on the evening was singer/trumpeter Dwight Richards and Friends who did so in fine style. On vocals, he began with Members Only then, supported by Chris McDonald on vocals and keyboards, did Never Gonna Fall In Love Again, You’ll Never Find Another Love Like This, You’re Gonna Miss My Loving, Hold Me Tight, Silver Words and Satisfaction.

There was a special guest appearance from saxophonist Dean Fraser who was also in his element on vocals. His presentation comprised Sea of Love and Diamonds On The Soles of My Shoes.

Richards put the icing on the cake with Let The Good Times Roll and a medley of gospel choruses.

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