Broken Music

Plymouth, TT
Recreation Groundwith Vanessa Williams
Sting rocks Plymouth Jazz Festival...

There was a collective sigh of relief at 10pm on Sunday at the Plymouth Festival grounds when English superstar Sting was announced. Patrons began scampering, the majority heading in the direction of the stage. They were seen running from the bar, food court and even toilets to get closer to see and hear the iconic Sting.

It took them just about 50 hours before they got to see and hear the main attraction of the second annual jazz festival. Sting came on stage with his band members numbering three.

Before he started, Sting's stage crew made a clean sweep of all the instruments and even the backdrop of the stage. They ripped the stage clean and even placed carpet on the floor. It did not take very long for patrons to understand why the stage set was changed.

The crew moved in with their own monitors, drum set, carpet, sound engineer and even lighting technician. Sting did not disappoint as he delivered a performance befitting his age and experience. It did not matter what the 60-year plus entertainer sang, he had the entire audience clapping their hands and singing chorus. For just about an hour. Sting delivered hit after hit and just when you felt he was finished he came back on stage.

This time he brought on Stevie Wonder, the duo performed Sting's massive hit 'Every Breath You Take'. With Sting playing his bass guitar and singing while the blind music genius played the harmonica and provided vocals also.

Sting's performance ended with a bang as the audience was treated to ten minutes of fireworks. Before Sting, Grammy award winner Vanessa Williams had lovers in the audience dancing cheek to cheek as she performed some of her hit songs. From 'Dreaming', 'Colours of The Wind' and a duet with New Yorker Darius on 'Love Hurts' to 'Save The Best for Last'. Williams' performance was superb. Her ability to sing and dance and interact with the audience shows how far she has come as an entertainer. Local R&B Soca group H2O Phlo had the early bird patrons singing along with them as they I performed several of their songs as well as Lionel Ritchie's 'All Night Long'.

Machel Montano and Xtatic wrapped up the three-day festival with their fast-paced performance accentuated by vigorous moko jumbie dancers.

(c) Newsday by Gray Cardinez (thanks to Pangea for typing this up)

Sting and Machel thrill at Jazz Festival...

British singer/musician Sting is joined by Stevie Wonder during his performance of 'Every Breath You Take' at the Plymouth Jazz Festival in Tobago on Sunday.

With his phenomenal acrobatic pelvic twists, Machel Montano on Sunday capped what had been an eventful second edition of the Plymouth Jazz Festival in Tobago.

The soca star had thousands, including some of the international artistes and celebrities linking arms while singing the 2006 National Road March ''Band Of The Year'' with him.

Montano did Trinidad and Tobago proud with a performance that had proven as exciting as any of the international acts that graced the stage over the weekend.

The festival's headline act, however, delivered a performance that left many, especially the local musicians that were present, in awe.

British singer Sting and his band presented a set that was as pristine as it was mind blowing.

Backed by a four-man band, Sting's vocals sounded as crystal clear as if you were listening to a CD rather than standing looking at a live performance.

He not only performed songs from the era when he fronted the band called The Police but sang a few of the many classics from his solo career, including 'Fields of Gold' and 'Desert Rose'.

Sting thrilled the patrons who sang along with him throughout his set.

The climax of his set came at the third encore when Stevie Wonder joined Sting on stage to perform 'Every Breath You Take' with him.

The people went wild as Wonder delivered a harmonica solo that even seemed to impress Sting who was obviously beaming.

Too short was the performance of Vanessa Williams who had the men in a trance from the moment the former Miss America stepped on the stage.

Backed by a band led by Ricky Minor, which accompanied many of the foreign acts over the weekend, Williams sang several of now classic love songs including 'Colours On The Wind', 'Saved The Best For Last' and 'Love Breaks Your Heart'.

Jamaican reggae artiste Barrington Levy also impressed with what turned out to be one of the longest sets of the festival.

The audience was treated to the singer's fantastic vocal acrobatics as he performed roughly 20 hits from his expansive repertoire.

People sang along as Levy sang reggae anthems such as 'Broader Than Broadway', 'Work', 'Vice Versa Love' and 'Twenty-one Girl Salute'.

Opening the final evening's show was local quartet H2O PHLO, which also pleased the audience.

This was the first time the group performed at a major event accompanied by a live band, which was led by their producer Richard ''Charsu'' Ahong.

The audience seemed pleased with the performance during which the group delivered about five songs including their popular singles 'Come Baby', 'High On The Dance Floor' and their cover of Lionel Richie's, 'All Night Long'.

Over the weekend the community of Plymouth came alive as thousands flocked to it for the second edition of the festival that was initiated by the Tobago House of Assembly, but eventually taken control of by insurance group CL Financial Ltd.

THA Chief Secretary Orville London said the Plymouth Jazz Festival was definitely here to stay and has in just one year proven a strong competitor on the international jazz festival circuit.

The line-up over the weekend included the likes of Patti LaBelle, Vanessa Williams, Stevie Wonder, Doug-E-Fresh, Sting, Diddy, Najee alongside our own Roy Cape, Destra, Shurwayne Winchester, Maximus Dan and Machel Montano who all represented not only the soca art form, but music in Trinidad and Tobago as well.

In spite of several hiccups, the festival received a thumbs-up from the people based on the quality of performances presented.

Plans for next year are already afoot.

(c) The Trinidad & Tobago Express by Wayne Bowman