I was out and about last evening, but not what some of you might think. Those with the dirty minds, stop right there...right now....
The year has opened with a bang, so to speak, with several social engagements on my plate.
Of course with it being Jazz Season, there was no doubt in my mind that those events would be foremost on my schedule of engagements. Last evening, my girlfriend and I attended a free Sunset Jazz Concert at the Frank Collymore Hall, to see Roger Gittens...."A Taste of Me".
Roger is a music teacher, composer, arranger and pianist.
Roger, yes I can call him by his first name, since he and I became quite close during the performance.
With the exception of the first two tunes, namely "I am so Glad" and "Be Still", all the others were wonderfully self-composed tunes.
Roger is a devout Methodist, and the evening's performance started out with "I am so Glad" (that Jesus loves me), artfully rearranged to a jazz beat. I myself did not pick it up until about three verses into the tune. I just wish I had a recording to replay for you.
Followed by "Be Still" (and know that I am God) based on Psalm 46, which was sung by Kellie Cadogan, a fantastic vocalist.
He was accompanied on the Bass by Richard Evans and Errol Bradshaw on the drums. I am still enthralled at Errol Bradshaw who is an older gentleman, but was a mean drummer, he actually reminded me of Animal on the Muppet Show....he made those drums "talk" as we say here.
As I was settling in, there appeared on stage the two Andres, Andre Woodvine, a well-loved jazz saxophonist, and Andre Forde, a fantastic steel pannist.
With all these mean masters on stage, we sailed along with tunes like "The things I write for you", "Boom Boom" which was a CP (Crowd Participation) tune, "Jazz Benjamin" written for his son Benjamin, "She's Here" written for his wife Sharon Rose, and finishing with "Artful Dodger".
"She's Here" was an emotionally charged and tender tune which I fell in love with....wish he would write me a tune too.
As a welcomed bonus surprise, Roger's son Miles appeared on stage with his friend, and those two little guys played a lovely violin duet, which left me speechless, and the crowd in total appreciation.
A little background on Roger from the programme: "Roger Gittens, Department Head of the Barbados Community College's Performing Arts Department holds a Bachelor in Music Education from Berklee College of Music and a Masters in Music Education from the University of North Texas.
Roger continues to contribute to the local music scene, in all genres of music, particularly jazz, calypso, and of course, religious music. He was the opening act for Kenny G in the 1999 Barbados Jazz Festival and has appeared as a keyboardist in the presentation of other local artistes at local and regional jazz festivals."
A lovely musical evening...........I enjoyed it immensely.