Tobago’s World Music Night wows audience

The Tobago Jazz Experience World Music Night left the captivated audience wanting more; well, at least that’s what popular Jamaican singer Barrington Levy said (giving reason for his long performance)—as Lisa Jessamy reports for Trinidad’s Guardian. The packed event—held at Pigeon Point, started a few minutes before 8 pm on Friday night and featured top local and foreign headliners, including Dil E Nadan, Kes the Band, America’s Janelle Monae, UK’s chart topping Emeli Sande and Barrington Levy, of Jamaica.

First to perform was Dil E Nadan who proved to be a popular draw as their lively Indian fusion brought the right amount of energy to the appreciative spectators. By 8.30 pm, everyone was up and dancing as Kes the Band performed most of their 2012 Soca hits like Stress Away and Girl Bend Ova and included a cover of the Mighty Shadow’s Dingolay.

After his performance, Kees Dieffenthaller said he was was pleased with the outcome. “Tobago has as an atmosphere of purity…Tobago’s setting is perfect for concerts like these,” he said. Kees believes that with the right thought and development, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean as a whole, can become a global force.

“It’s all about planting seeds all over…It’s all about the music,” said an enthusiastic Kees. “There is a lot more work to be done and we need to start thinking collectively in order to move forward. “It is important for us at events like these to set the stage for us to be seen.”

Tobago is Scottish-born Emeli Sande’s first Caribbean experience. She was just as cool as her hairstyle as she sauntered onstage in a sharp black dress, and ignited the crown with her soulful vibe, belting out her chart topping pop songs Heaven and Tiger. From crowd response, Emeli may have garnered some new Caribbean fans.

“My mission is to introduce my music to new audiences, in a non-exclusionary and culturally inclusive fashion,” she said. “It’s very different from back home, so I wanted to make a difference. “I have never done a festival like this…It’s really fantastic,” she said, adding that she hopes she can experience some soca music while in Tobago.

Each performer played for their exact stated times, but Barrington Levy literally changed the timings as he swung into his signature reggae rhythms around 11 pm. Everyone was on their feet, swaying and singing along until he ended just two minutes short of 12.30 am.

Janelle Monae’s set stayed true to her eccentricities. The singer—famous for her unique tuxedo outfits and funky, upbeat sounds—did not disappoint her fans. Despite a hair mishap, she served up some hip-shaking moves, reminding everyone what the 2012 Tobago Jazz Experience is all about.

A very happy John Arnold, of the THA’s Department of Tourism, said this new brand is catching, based on what he saw at Friday night’s performances.  “We planned to bring a new mixture of world music by incorporating Dil E Nadan with Indian fusion, plus new approaches like Janelle Monae who is in contemporary R&B, and Emeli Sande who is UK pop,” he said.

“We will continue to build on this model and we look forward to more coming in 2013.”

For the original report go to

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