THE curtain came down on the Tobago Jazz Experience 2019 on Sunday night with American artistes Michael Bolton and Toni Braxton stealing the final hours of “the experience” at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park.
Dubbed International Night, the show featured Bolton and Braxton in their appealing adult contemporary mode, along with other headline acts for the three-day festival, including Rodriguez “Jacquees” Broadnax,
The rich array of music and the enjoyment began on the Scarborough Waterfront, attracting hundreds over the following three days. They expressed their enjoyment by moving in sync to the electric slide at the Speyside Jazz in the East on Saturday night, before the closing show.
This final show was off to a smooth start at 4 pm with an appearance by Desperadoes Steel Orchestra and Tobago All Star band, featuring Cannon Jack, a Tobagonian panman who has made appearances on Sesame Street and the Cosby Show.
By 7 pm some 8,000 music lovers were at the venue, with more trickling in.
Even before Broadnax took the stage, the audience was already screaming for Bolton and he gave Tobago a performance that had fans chanting his name for more. The Soul Provider singer delivered a smooth, relaxing and interactive hour of award-winning hits, including When a Man Loves a Woman, Said I Love you but I Lied and a big favourite with the crowd, How Am I Supposed to Live Without You.
He responded to every request shouted to him from the audience and took time to interact with screaming fans, giving them a brief history of each song and inviting them to sing along.
Bolton left the stage relatively early but returned when the crowd chanted for an encore.
Although he was not the artiste billed to end the show, he gave an extraordinary closing performance, leaving the audience elated.But Braxton, the closing act, was able to keep the excitement and energy of the event going. Before ending the show she sat on the edge of the stage, where she shook the hands of fans before asking them to sing along to her hit single Unbreak my Heart. Those who tried to climb the barrier to get closer to Braxton were thanked for their love and appreciation of her music.
After the show Newsday spoke to some patrons, who described the event as well organised and planned to return to Tobago to enjoy another jazz experience. For many, Michael Bolton was the highlight of the event.
But Shaunna Sankar from Trinidad, who told Newsday this was her first time at Tobago Jazz, said, “I love Toni,” before adding, “Well done, Tobago. I coming back next year. Well done. Everything stood out for me.”
Another fan, also from Trinidad, said, “I have been going to jazz since it was hosted in Plymouth. Nothing has touched Plymouth since then, because it is a totally different environment – but the jazz has been improving. I enjoyed Speyside jazz and tonight Michael Bolton blew us away. The vibes of the people was excellent.”
These sentiments were repeated by several others as they walked away at the close of the show, clearly satisfied with the climax of this year’s Tobago Jazz Experience.