Hundreds of music fans flocked to the Barbados Hilton over the weekend to experience the 2017 edition of the Barbados Jazz Excursion. The event, now in its fourth year, is the brainchild of Elan Trotman, an award-winning Barbadian saxophonist who resides in the United States.
Though the event started an hour behind schedule, it did not dampen the spirit of patrons who patiently sat and waited for what turned out to be an excellent show. The first act to grace the stage was the Head Start Music Programme, a local charity funded by Trotman’s Never Lose Your Drive Foundation and other donors. The students received a standing ovation from the audience as they played their interpretation of Walk Holy by Sister Marshall.
The next act was recording artiste Jeanette Harris from the United States. Her performance was animated. Harris embodied her original songs as she danced while playing the saxophone. She also engaged members of the audience as she came to the front of the stage and delighted them with the riffs that she played on her instrument.
However, it was her performance of the song All I do by Stevie Wonder that truly captured the audience’s attention as they sang along and grooved to the beat in their seats. This performance was moving as Harris engaged with one member of the band in a sound off which was truly entertaining.
The surprise of the night would have to be reserved for Bernie Williams, retired centerfielder with the New York Yankees who came to the stage to accompany Trotman with his bass guitar. The audience roared and cheered the performance which could be described as master class.
Members of the audience had an opportunity at the event to interact with Williams and other international and local celebrities including A.J Calloway, host of Extra, and local musicians Nicholas Brancker and Arturo Tappin who grooved along to the musical selections.
Billy Griffith, chief executive officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., expressed the government entity’s support for Trotman and what he was doing not only to promote Barbados but also to educate the youth of Barbados through music.
“It is a tremendous effort made by
the young man who lives in Boston, who is very much a Barbadian, tours as a talented musician all over the US and has done great things. He has done two things, promoting Barbados while he carries out his craft in the US,” Griffith said.