Patrons who attended the second staging of Caribbean Jazz Matazz at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, June 14, departed the venue on a musical high, many describing the show as the “best” in a long time. The event was a fundraiser presented by the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) and produced by Riddims Marketing.
“Last year was good, this year is the best,” stated one satisfied supporter after the show, “this show was worth more than I paid.” The evening featured performances by guitarist Eugene Grey, vocalist Dobby Dobson, who filled in for A. J. Brown who was originally scheduled to perform and the inimitable and classy Myrna Hague. Fans who purchased VIP tickets were treated to a pre-show reception where they were able to meet the performers and network with sponsors, AFUWI Board Members and executives.
Mr. Wesley Wainwright, Board Member of AFUWI and Patron for the event welcomed the audience and expressed appreciation for their support and the value of supporting education through the scholarships provided by the Foundation to UWI students. MC Eddy Edwards urged the audience to complete the pledge cards available as this would make them eligible for the many prizes which will be given away to “lucky” patrons. It was Showtime!
Guitarist Eugene Grey opened the show and immediately had the audience grooving to his selection of original materials and closed with a re-arranged Latin flavored “Evening Time” the popular folk song written by Louise Bennet-Cloverley. Dobby Dobson was next and he immediately had the audience singing and moving in rhythm to many of his hits such as “Loving Pauper”, “Sweet Dreams” and a medley of classics. His performance was sprinkled with humor as he interacted with the audience and serenaded a particular female, all in good sportsmanship.
Myrna Hague took the stage to a warm welcome and immediately began to wow the audience opening with the timeless “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and moving into jazz classics such as “Come Closer to Me” and “Only Love Sets You Free”. Myrna displayed her awesome versatility when she rolled into the reggae version of “What About Me” a song she recorded at Studio One with Coxsone Dodd and paid tribute to the late John Holt with “Only a Smile”. The audience was in an uproar when she performed “Whatever Lola Wants” as she worked her way through the audience and teased the men, rubbing their bald heads and sitting in their laps as she sang.
At the end of her set the audience was on their feet begging for more and Myrna returned to the stage to oblige with a magnificent rendition of the classic “The Days of Wine and Roses”, this brought the room to its feet with shouts of “Encore Bravo” and a rousing applause bringing the evening to a close. Attorney Georgia D. Robinson summed it up by saying “Best of what Jamaica has to offer – Jazz Matazz – Thanks again for an elegant event”.