SAXOPHONISTS Romaro Greaves and Michael Lington, trombonist
Wycliffe Gordon, and singer Candice Glover were the icing on the cake that was Yello Christmas Jazz 2018.
Every note they played and sang at the annual Deryck Walcott Production Sunday night at Ilaro Court, seemed to be in celebration of the 16th edition of the event that music lovers can’t seem to get enough of.
Their outstanding performances complemented those of the Nicholas Brancker Christmas Jazz Band
who excited the huge audience with their talent, earning robust applause.
From the playing of the first song – Angels We Have Heard On High
– right down to the 15-minute jam session done after the band received an encore, they had the audience captivated.
The show started about 40 minutes after the advertised 7 p.m. time owing to the large number of patrons entering the Two Mile Hill, St Michael venue. At one point, the line snaked from the adjoining car park of the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
It moved quickly, though, allowing people to enter and find a spot on the slopes or a chair on the lawn in front of the stage to soak in those happy Christmas vibes that the band has been dishing out for the third consecutive year. SINGER CANDICE GLOVER was a treat.
That “duel” between Greaves and Lington in Hark The Herald Angels was awesome and the energy they had is hard to capture in words. Gordon, who did magical things with his instrument all night, and keyboardist Darien Bailey, also featured during this song but the call and response between the saxophonists was memorable.
O Holy Night featuring Brancker, Lington, and trombonist Justin
Baird started out soft and sweet but intensified as they continued, and the audience loved it.
Among the other seasonal favourites the band played were
Silent Night, Deck The Halls, O Come All Ye Faithful, Silver Bells, We Three Kings with the mashup of Crazy Baldhead, that never grows old, God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen, Muh Gallon of Rum, Drink Ah Rum, Wuh Ya Gotta Gimme Fuh Christmas and Maizie. They also played How Great Thou Art and a mash-up of Joaquin and krosfyah’s Tiny Winey with Joy To The World that was fantastic.
Drummer Melvin Alick was “wicked” in Little Drummer Boy.
He clearly enjoyed himself as much as the audience enjoyed him playing.
Glover, who won the 12th season of American Idol, sang The First Noel, Away In A Manger with a mash-up of Journey’s Africa that was sweet and Have Yourself
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TROMBONIST Wycliffe Gordon was delightful.
NICHOLAS BRANCKER (second left) and his merry band of musicians (from left) Xavier Jhon-clare, Just Baird, Kevin Lynch and Romaro Greaves kept the mood festive.