During the final performance of the Barbados Jazz Festival on January 17 at Farley Hill National Park, music fans were once again treated to world class Barbadian and international talent. Appearances included Warren Hill, Babyface, Arturo Tappin (with a special appearance by Toni Norville), Marisa Lindsay and Alex M.
Tappin, a Barbadian contemporary jazz saxophonist, expertly delivered the goods to his home crowd. Toward the end of the concert, he stepped into the massive audience and played his way back up to the stage. When asked by one of the reporters about his music, he said that he tries to figure out what kind of music they like, try to give it to them and make them happy. While pleasing fans appears to be a priority, make no mistake...this artist pays respect to rich history of jazz by naming some of his influences to include artists like John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Grover Washington Jr. He did have a chance a while back to meet Grover (who performed at the Barbados Jazz Festival previously) and found talking to him to be "really special."
Lindsay added a womanly sense of star power to the evening in an exquisite dress and presentation that reminded me of the confidence and fashion sense of Tina Turner. The Barbadian vocalist commanded your attention before she even sang a note, which was a component that Lalah Hathaway chose not utilize earlier in the week.
This level of professionalism is also reflected in the respect the Barbadian artists have for one another. During the press interview, Norville (whose performance this reported missed during Sunday evening) spoke a bit about the closeness of the Barbadian music community. "I love Arturo," she said. She considers him both a fantastic musician and friend. In turn, a glowing Gilbert Rowe (Festival Producer), couldn't say enough good things about Norville and felt the time for Barbadian music had arrived.
The attending audience felt a sense of connection as well. Gordon Brown, a Warren Hill fan from Toronto, took a moment to talk about Hill's performance that night. "It was absolutely fabulous. The Toronto connection was closer to my heart...Toronto has a huge Caribbean community. When he [Warren Hill] said he was from Toronto, it meant a lot to the audience. You'd be surprised."
If you'd like to visit Barbados and experience a taste of the island, please visit www.barbados.org.
Picture above right: Arturo Tappin
Editor's Note: Our thanks to the fabulous staff at the Barbados Tourism Authority, Barbados Jazz Festival, Savannah Hotel, Chris Taxi Service (fabulous tour of Barbados) and all the wonderful people that took extra special care of the visiting journalists. FTC Compliance: This trip was sponsored and paid for by the Barbados Tourism Authority. (updated 1/7/14)