Friday, 29 May 2015

On the Other Side

It's been a long while since I attended an evening jazz concert at the Frank Collymore Hall.
Hence I found myself last Wednesday (May 20th) attending a concert by saxophonist Joseph Callender.

The early 6.15pm start meant that there was still some light about when I arrived and I was able to watch workers hustling home from work.  Not all of them went towards their parked cars though, some of them joined me on the balcony to attend the show.

Joseph Leo Callender is a saxophonist, composer and teacher.
He studied music at Christ Church Foundation Secondary School and the Barbados Community College where he earned his Associate Degree in Music.

A gifted musician no doubt, (mentored by Arturo Tappin), he held us captive for the entire performance with numbers like "September" (one of my Earth Wind & Fire favourites), "Pure Simple Bliss", "Roxy Roundabout", "On The Other Side", "Donna Lee", "My One And  Only Love", and "De Last Song". 
"On the Other Side" is his first original recorded single.
He was accompanied by his "band of friends" (The 1688 Orchestra and Collective) who played exceptionally well.
Joseph himself on Alto Sax and Flute, along with Mylon Clarke on Tenor Sax, Kweku Jelani on Trumpet, Jewel Morris on Bass, Mario Porchetta on Percussion, Keron Prescod on Trombone, Stefan Walcott on Piano and Keys, and Petra Welch on Drums blended the music so smoothly, it was relaxing and held me spellbound for the entire performance.
When veteran jazz pianist Ebe Gilkes was invited on stage to perform with Joseph, they welcomed each other like old friends, and complemented each other brilliantly during their performance.
Joseph also invited his parents on to the stage at one point, and it was endearing to hear this humble guy say "Come Mummy and Daddy, come up here with me."

The evening's performance was a fundraising effort to assist this amazingly talented artiste to pursue further studies.
It was a wonderful show, and it is one that I am not likely to ever forget.
It makes me feel so proud to see youngsters embracing the arts and doing something that they love.

Joseph is also a member of the band NJ30+ which I have written about before here.
Earlier this year, Joseph was fortunate to travel to Toronto, Canada, where he auditioned and was accepted for the Music Program at Humber College....Congrats to him.
He will be off in September on a new adventure and to follow his dream of obtaining a Master's Degree in Music.
I'm wishing him all the best in his studies.

I must give an honorary mention to the drummer Petra Welch, she was exceptionally GOOD!


  1. It is always encouraging to experience new talent. I often wonder where they will end up (probably long after I'm gone).

    1. New talent is great, but new talent from youngsters I simply admire.
      It's good to see them starting out and making a name for themselves in their career.
      Joseph is such an endearing young man, so humble and respectful, I hope he goes a long way, he truly deserves it.

  2. Virginia, thank you so much for attending and for this lovely summary which I've only just read! I'm just completing my first year of studies at Humber and feeling very lifted and extremely grateful! Thank you again and I hope to see you when I return home in June! Joseph.


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