THE fund-raising event held at Hadco Phase II panyard on Saturday night was billed as a jam down session. And, that indeed was what it turned out to be as patrons jammed down to sweet pan, brass and soca music.
Taking the stage first was master trumpeter Etienne Charles and his band that included a stellar cast of musicians, among them, prolific composer and arranger Leston Paul on keyboard and jazz guitarist Dean Williams.
They treated the audience with a new track from Charles called Guh Calypso, followed by Andre Tanker’s Hold The Bull, after which vocalists Lima Calbio, Roger George and Designer (Keith Prescott) joined the band on stage and got the party in full swing.
Calbio sang a medley of old love songs, soca-style, then switched music genres to give patrons some reggae.
George next sang You Need More Calypso, a track that Charles composed in collaboration with famed American percussionist, the late Ralph MacDonald.
The crowd loved it.
By the time Designer delivered Sparrow’s Melda, Arrow’s Hot Hot Hot and SuperBlue’s Rebecca, patrons were dancing with gay abandon at the front of the stage.
Calbio then had some fun with Charles as she sang Weakness for Sweetness before the band went into the playbook of Shadow for Dingolay.
Designer followed with Baron’s Somebody, then switched to pop and gave the crowd Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) recorded by the Jacksons; went back to calypso with Lorraine from the pen of Explainer, before closing with Earth Wind and Fire’s September, that prompted a large number of people to do the electric slide. And instantaneously, Charles got the band to do an impromptu mix of the Electric Slide and September. By this time the party reached fever pitch.
The 3canal team of Wendell Manwarren, Stanton Kewley and Roger Roberts rocked the yard with Good Morning, Run The Rhythm, Try Yuh Best and Talk Yuh Talk that they dedicated to Minister of Finance Colm Imbert. Charles joined them on stage and soloed on his trumpet. Charles and 3canal continued with Bring It Down, Blue, Walk in Beauty and Give Thanks.
Hadco Phase II took the stage next and opened their repertoire with Merchant’s Caribbean Connection, with a solo by band arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, then played Nelson’s La La, and got everyone present to sing along, followed by the Third World version of Now That We Found Love with Boogsie ramajaying on his pans, and Bob Marley’s Redemption Song.
Trini-American singer-songwriter and producer Angela Hunte joined the steelband on stage and delivered Mon Bon Ami. Once again, Charles mounted the stage as Hunte sang Party Done. As she left the stage the band and Charles thrilled patrons with Woman is Boss, and Hello.
The event was indeed a musical treat that patrons would no doubt remember for a long time.