Tobago’s serene coastal village of Speyside is known for some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean, but every April it switches gear and transforms into a hub of activity on land as it hosts the opening night of the annual Tobago Jazz Experience (TJE).
Just after sunset on Saturday, the Jazz in the East concert got under way at Speyside Recreational Ground, signalling the official start of the fifth annual jazz festival.
Delivering on its promise to satisfy a variety of musical tastes, the event’s line-up featured the perfect mix of Caribbean beats and traditional jazz, veteran acts and new sounds.
Residents and visitors alike arrived early and stayed till the very end, entertained by soca heavyweights Kes the Band, SuperBlue and K Rich, as well as local acts Unity, Fire Fusion, Guardah Knight and successful TJE audition candidate, Kervern Carter.
TJE’s opening night also provided the ideal debut for the Trinidad-based jazz band Hyjnx. The group of young musicians demonstrated their vocal and instrumental skills with an impressive set. Their unique cover of All Rounder’s hit, “Garlic Sauce”, won the resounding approval of the audience.
Internationally-renowned Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin did not disappoint the thousands in attendance. He dazzled fans with his extensive repertoire and shared the stage briefly with Tobagonian violinist, Caryll Warner.
After making his way into the crowd he even treated patrons to his version of PSY’s “Gangnam Style”.
A fixture on the TJE roster, Tappin returns to the stage at Mt Irvine Bay on Friday for Jazz on the Beach.
The Tobago Jazz Experience continued last night with Hillside Jazz at Signal Hill Recreational Ground.
The Tobago House of Assembly Division of Tourism and Transportation and all TJE corporate sponsors have invited music lovers to join them on a musical journey across Tobago as they make their way to the grand finale at Pigeon Point Heritage Park this weekend.