I was not present for this event but I really like this review of the concert by Celia Sorhanido. Enjoy and make sure to click the link to view her pics!

In January I attended the 1st Dominica “Year of the Child” Concert held at Krazy Kokonuts in Roseau. It was a top class reggae event with an impressive line-up of stars including Tony Rebel, Queen Ifrica & Duane Stephenson as well as our own local talent in the form of Nelly Stharre, Fanatik Band, Aima Moses, Dr. Silk, Natural Vybz and others. Most agreed it was a success and the trouble free, “good vibes”, entertaining event raised ECD$20,000 for Camp Rescue, a charity organization providing much needed life skills to at risk youth.

When I heard that the 2nd concert was going to be a Jazz concert held at the State House grounds, I must admit I thought it was a seriously brave move and I was a little worried for the organisers. It’s one thing for the hard working and well respected Nelly Stharre to have the support of her friends in organising a reggae event at a popular venue but a whole other thing to organise a Jazz event at a venue I have never seen used for a music concert. Although we have our share of die-hard Jazz fans, the genre has not received massive popularity in Dominica as shown in the demise of the missed “Jazz Walk”.

The event was held on March 27th and was due to start at 6pm. The weather was great and people started arriving before 6pm which was an encouraging sign but took the organisers by surprise; the food and drink stalls were not ready (for most events you can normally safely expect that things will not get going until at least half an hour after the scheduled start time). From then on there was a steady flow of people and soon it was apparent that the crowd numbers were going to be good.

Arturo Tappin captured in a candid moment! (Photo by Celia Sorhaindo)

Dominican flutists opened the proceedings with the National Anthem and Athie Martin was the competent MC. The line up was: Steel pan with Athie Martin, his brother Julie & friends (DMA), Kannick (GLP), Gelina Fontaine and Ross Leblanc (DMA), Armstrong James and his “Jazz Walk” band (DMA), Jahkoostick Musical Ensemble (JAM), Nelly Stharre (DMA), Free Joseph and friends (DMA), Marie-Claire Giraud (DMA), Arturo Tappin (BRB), Cornell Phillip & Athie Martin (DMA) and Arturo Sandoval (CUB).
There was also a surprise visit from Ms Barbados Leah Marville who has a charity called The Love Campaign which helps children with HIV/AIDS.

All the bands looked like they were genuinely having a good time and the crowd seemed to be enjoying the mellow vibe too. It was probably a long time since many had heard live Jazz in Dominica.

I enjoyed them all but my personal favourite of the night was Arturo Tappin. What a cool dude with his super long locks. I just loved his “down to earth” energy. An amazing entertainer, at one point he took off his shoes, rolled up his trousers and jumped of the stage to play bare foot walking through the crowd. He was also really approachable and accommodating for signatures and photos.

It turned out to be a fab concert and I was so glad my worries were allayed.
The rain, although needed, delayed things slightly and sent some people scurrying for shelter and sent others home prematurely. There were also some minor mike/sound issues and a couple of the performances went on a little too long but overall I thought the Jazz concert was a resounding success.

What really made this event extra special was not just the great line up, it was the attention to the little details which hinted that some serious effort and thought had been invested. Bamboo flambeau’s, potted plants, draped fabric for stage back drop, seating, tables with candles and an area for local artisans to display and sell their arts & craft on the venue grounds, created just the right ambience for this type of concert. Paintings by local artists Earl Etienne, Ellingsworth Moses and Petros Meaza & CDs, body oils and hand made greeting cards were on sale but it was a shame more artisans did not take up the offer to display.

Patrons enjoying local art! (Photo by Celia Sorhaindo)

Year of The Child Organisers: Nelly Stharre, Anna Raffoul, Emile Raffoul, Cornell Phillip and Marie-Claire Giraud.

Sponsors: BET Centric, LIAT, Dominica Beverage and Brewery Ltd., Fort Young Hotel, LIME, Papillote Wilderness Retreat

Click HERE to view Year of the Child Jazz Concert Images.

Click HERE to view Celia's blog, and read the rest of the review!


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