Producer Ebonnie Rowe should take a bow after the beauties who graced the Frank Collymore Hall stage last Saturday night shone splendidly with their outstanding performances at the Honey Jazz Gala.
The exceptional talent on stage was simply bewitching, as Gigi opened the night with a sultry and silky rendition of My Funny Valentine. Enjoying herself immensely on stage, she was playful, mischievous and seductive, evoking laughter and amazement at different points from members of the modest audience.
In the second half, she returned to the stage in a fashionable black ensemble to perform Is You Is or Is You Ain’t, Agua de Beber and Settle Down. Most daring was her performance of Settle Down which caused a few jaws to drop as she moved through the audience and randomly sat down on a male patron.
Leigh Phillips was equally captivating during her performances of Hey Big Spender with the Riddim Tribe dancers and Cheek to Cheek. There was even a dash of Spanish flavour, as she thrilled the audience with Mas Que Neda.
Vocal powerhouse Kenya Joseph received a standing ovation for her high energy and soulful rendition of And I Am Telling You that simply blew the audience away.
Ava Marissa Lee was another stand out performer on the night, hitting all the right cords and tugging at the heartstrings of many with her passionate delivery of Valerie and It’s A Man’s World.
Honey Jazz alumnus Jessica Rose was a force to be reckoned with as she recounted the pain of a break up during her performance of Good Morning Heartbreak. She came back in the second half of the show to deliver a stellar performance of her self-composed single, I Just Can’t.
With a sassy and entertaining introduction Rhea Layne had the audience eating out of her hands by the time she was ready to belt out Jill Scott’s Getting In The Way.
However, Vanessa Phillips was clearly a crowd favourite based on the applause and cheers she received for her performances of Straight Up and Fly Right and My Baby Just Cares For Me. Valentine Meniuad also stirred patrons with her rendition of Bourbon In Your Eyes.
The night’s headliner Shakura S’Aida brought the house down with her emotional, bluesy performance of God Bless The Child. She followed that up with a lively and energetic delivery of Blues Jam in Eb. By the end of the live performances, members of the appreciative audience were fully satisfied and voluntarily rose to their feet as the full Honey Jazz cast, led by Rowe, joined S’Aida on stage for an awesome final shebang.
But the night was not over just yet, as the NJ30 Band continued the party well after 11 p.m.