Vaughnette Bigford, one of TT’s leading jazz singers, took a bold step to introduce a jazz event with a local, festive touch in the height of the Carnival season and what a success it was.
Patrons who packed the Lions Cultural Centre on Sunday, were over elated with the fact that they were present at the inaugural Vaughnette Bigford Jazz Brunch.
A woman for detail, Bigford left no stone unturned when it came to decor, ambience and delivery of services.
The crowd, already having been entertained by Marva Newton and Kairi Kaiso with traditional kaiso, pannist Sherwin Cooper and the Codrington Pan Family, and not to mention their fill of morsels such as chicken pelau, cheese puffs, accra, corn soup, chicken, beef and veggie kebabs, sandwiches, sliders, doubles, local sweets, ice cream, ice tea, cocktails and other regular beverages, were ready for the big moment. And that, the lady with the velvet voice gave them.
Passionate and graceful with everything that she does, Bigford glided onto the stage, and accompanied by crack-shot musicians Michael “Ming” Low Chew Tung on keyboard, Theron Shaw - guitar, Anthony Woodroffe - sax, Rodney Alexander - bass, Shaquille Noel - drums and Sheena Richardson on percussion, she immediately got her cheerleaders on both sides of the stage responding to the first note of her very first number Morning Love by the defunct TT band Fireflight.
She then had them swaying to Rocking Chair (Gwen McCrae) and a medley of Oh La La La (Kool & The Gang) and All Night Long (Lionel Richie).
The jazz diva continued to mesmerise with her jazz interpretations of Overdue (Erphaan Alves), Caribbean Connection (Merchant), We Wanna Live (Carl and Carol Jacobs) and the Till You Come Back to Me (Stevie Wonder)/Make Love to You (Nadie La Fond) medley.
By this time the cheerleaders became more vocal, adding to the chorus of Gyal Owner (Blaxx), Iron Love (Nailah Blackman) and Back in Love (LTD).
But it was when Bigford began Wrong Again (Skinny Banton), the most popular song for the Carnival season thus far, that just about every one at the venue moved some part of their body.
Bigford even extempoed about not getting the attention of her ‘secret love’, Attorney General Faris Al Rawi, and wanted to know what she did wrong again, that sent the crowd in stitches.
She left the stage at the end of that number but the fans would have it. She returned and give them Pata Pata (Miriam Makeba) and Luv Up (Shandileer), a capella style with her background vocalists, Aneesa Paul, Afiya Gokool and Genisa St Hillaire.
She told Newsday after the show she was very relieved that the show was done extremely happy that it went well.
On the night before the show in a FB post, Bigford stated her mother always told her she was born to shine. And shone she did on Sunday.
She said: “Everybody knows, it’s not a secret, I was very anxious. It was the first of this kind of event in the Carnival for me so I am just happy that people did come out, and I think generally from the comments everyone had a good time, they enjoyed the music, they enjoyed the food they enjoyed the ambience and that in itself is a win for me.”
Bigford then expressed her excitement about what next year’s show would be like, committing herself to do it again, but said: “I am very happy with the outcome and for me it is only forward movements now.”