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Soca rules at Speyside Jazz

Travelling to Speyside last Saturday evening was indeed an experience. The long winding road with reckless drivers, both trucks and cars zipping at high speed around the sharp corners with poor street lighting was indeed a challenge. However, from the top of the Speyside hill looking down to the recreation ground; surely a festival was taking place. It was the multi-million dollar THA sponsored 'Tobago Jazz Experience'.

This most beautiful community of Speyside was a picture of pure magnificence. The houses high on Top Hill and those of Crapaud Village illuminated the night time while the calm waters of Lucy Vale's beach front provided the picture perfect back drop for the big stage at the recreation ground for the performance. Although the event was a big free show for the public, there were those who preferred to spend their time in the small pubs in the village or at the beach bar with the back in times music.

The big action was on the sports ground. Tobago's LAJ chose to do variety of musical styles, a Trinidad based jazz quintet took some time on the stage but although they were executing pure jazz, it was quite clear most of the crowd could not be moved by the offerings.

The two masters of the ceremonies sounded more like imports from the United States mainland rather than homegrown 'yardies'. Although the THA has continued to promote the event as a jazz festival, it was Trinidad and Tobago's soca music which stole the show on the night.

Trinidad based female soca artiste Nadia Batson came on stage will her all female band and held the crowd's attention with some of her better known songs such as 'How Could You Do Me Dat' They also did some of the late African American soul singer's Whitney Houston's hit songs.

Then it was the turn of soca's latest 'hot boy' Kerwin Du Bois to 'mash up the place' with monsters hits including his mega hit 'Bachanalist' and 'More Soca To Come'. Du Bois who is one of the most prolific writers in the soca business came on stage dressed in full suit, stripped down to his three quarter pants soca outfit during his performance. He even came off the stage to interact with the crowd and he was called back to once more render the 'Bachanalist' song.

It was then left to the legendary Roy Cape All Stars to emphasise the power of soca music. Lead singer Blaxx showcased his exceptional talent with heated up display of soca singing. Among his big hits were 'Breathless' and 'J'Ouvert'.

It was then time to leave the unforgettable Speyside community.

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