SVG Celebrates International Jazz Day Looking For Shake Keane

International Jazz Day 2021, dedicated to the memory of national treasure Ellsworth Shake Keane, is being celebrated in SVG this Friday 30 April.  It is perhaps fitting that this celebration of jazz is being organized even as SVG continues to grapple with the aftermath of the ongoing eruptions of the volcano La Soufriere which was the subject of a poem by the world renowned flugelhorn player and poet.

The event, which is being celebrated here for the third consecutive year, is being organized by The Artists Club SVG Inc.  The  main activities this Friday will include  a symposium to be carried on Facebook and other social media platforms with the participation of musicians, intellectuals and historians discussing the Legacy of Shake Keane.  This will run from 9.00 to 11.00 a.m.  and will be moderated by journalist and host of the programme Jazz Tropical Dexter Rose.

The second activity, which kicks off at 7.00 p.m. and will end at 8.30, will be a celebratory concert under the direction of Cuban-born guitarist and music teacher at the Thomas Saunders Secondary School Rey Escobar.

The lineup features Vincentian singers Andy Cruickshank, Joie Parris, Hanifah Simon, Andrez Bascombe, Lancelot “Da Vinci” Chapman and Brent Williams.

They will be joined by pianists/keyboardists Andrew James of SVG, Cuban-Vincentian Zahily Sariol Laidlow, Vincentian  Deryn Taylor and Scottish talent “Uncle” Louis O’Neil with violinist Samuel Toca who hails from Nigeria.  The concert will also hear two saxophonists Jan Smith from England and Vincentian Oswald Williams.

This concert, which will be carried via social media platforms Facebook and You Tube, will also feature bassists in  Joffe Venner, the veteran music teacher and Kamaro Williams.

The percussions will be in the charge of David Morgan, Roger Mwata Ballantyne-Rose {formerly of Clymax} Stephan Taylor and Dion Allen,  A Special Guest Performer will be poet and dramatist David Darkie Williams who lists   Shake Keane as one of his inspirations.

A third event is carded for May 2,  a concert offered by the Epsilon Music Academy which will feature students of that institution which is directed by Zahily Sariol Laidlow.

In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people in all corners of the globe. International Jazz Day is chaired and led by UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay and legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, who serves as a UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue and Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz. The Institute is the nonprofit charged with planning, promoting and producing this annual celebration.

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