The hallowed halls of the Little Carib Theatre in Woodbrook reverberated with a musical fusion of jazz, reggae, soul, East Indian and even Australian instruments last Thursday night, as Caroline Mair staged her first concert performance of 2013.
Patrons of all ages packed the venue for the much-anticipated performance by the multi-talented lawyer, painter and singer, who did not disappoint at all. Accompanied by members of the Malay band, including, Gregg Assing on piano, Modupe Onilu on drums, Busco Juman on guitar, Douglas Redon on bass, Solman and band on drums and didgeridoo, as well as special guests, Sharda Patasar on sitar and former lead singer of UK Band, Attica Blues, Roba Ifili.
The daughter of World music icon, Mungal Patasar expressed her excitement about what she described as her “first jazz collaboration” and the pair combined for an awe-inspiring conversational piece, in addition to Patasar’s features on two other songs in the set.
“I have to thank Caroline for inviting me to perform here with her and this fabulous cast,” said Patasar on stage just before their conversation piece.
“I chose this particular mould for want of a better word because it fits the jazz/blues scale, so I thought it would mesh nicely in this show tonight. The name of it is Raga Jog and the word Jog comes from the word Jogi, which is someone who has renounced the world and the song is a romantic song, but it can have a spiritual meaning as well because a lot of times the spiritual and the secular sort of mix it up, but you can feel free to interpret it however you wish.”
Opening act, Solman certainly lived up to their description as a Roots/Reggae outfit with Jazz-influenced harmony, passionate melodies and powerful poetry that expresses messages of redemption, consciousness and spiritual upliftment. The band set the stage for Mair and company and also joined her for a couple of her original pieces as well. Event promoter, Michelle Hart expressed great satisfaction with the turnout and the performance.
“At least two people told me it felt like a show in New York on Broadway,” she said, “and Caroline did a fabulous job of building a great rapport with the audience and executing her notes and the songs to perfection. I’m happy that we still have people who can appreciate great music and would come out and support local acts who can deliver at this level. We want to take this show up the islands and even to different parts of the world. My next event will feature Etienne Charles on the weekend of November 30 and December 1, so we’re looking forward to that and Caroline has a couple more shows before then as well...”
For Mair, this was the first of a series of events designed to showcase her vocal abilities, while enabling her to express her creative side and share her God-given talents. Exhausted by the end of the night, after a grueling week of interviews and rehearsals Mair was obliged to recharge her batteries quickly and prepare for an encore performance on Saturday night at Chaud Cafe in One Woodbrook Place.
“I think it went really well,” she commented.
“It was really fulfilling for me to be able to express that side of myself and with so many dear friends and family members as well as my parents and my husband there, it was a really special moment for me, personally. Professionally as well it was a major achievement and milestone and I am happy to be able to donate part of the proceeds to the Cotton Tree Foundation and assist them in the great work that they do with underprivileged children. My sincerest thanks and love and appreciation goes out to Sharda, Roba, Greg, Modupe, Dougie, Busco, Solman and the guys, Michelle Hart, Trevor Jadunath, Robin Foster, Kiwan and everyone who assisted in any way with this production.”
Songs performed by Mair included: “The Very Thought of You”, “Summertime”, “My Funny Valentine”, “At Last”, “I Wish You Love” and her original pieces, “Time”, “Stronger Than Me”, “100 Days”, “Sweet Jamaica” and “Chicken Little”.