Hague highlights PJ's 'Day Two'
Jazz great Myrna Hague brought An Evening of Jazz with PJ to a crescendo last Saturday night in what can only be described as one of the classiest events to be staged on the lawns of the Devon House in years.
Hague, accompanied by Marjorie Whylie on piano and Jon Williams on violin, was hand-picked among some of Jamaica's best musicians to perform on 'Day Two' of former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson's 80th birthday celebrations.
Patterson's team had found a winning combination, and this was obvious on the faces of the guests, who came from as far as Africa, the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, the Caribbean and across of Jamaica to celebrate the milestone achievement.
Hague, a musical maestro, came prepared to deliver a string of hit songs from Broadway and her jazz repertoire, and she succeeded in stirring the souls of the music lovers with Falling in Love with Love, Days of Wine and Roses, St Louis Blues and Our Love is Here to Stay.
Mellowing like fine wine, her performance was the icing on the cake, baked and decorated by the likes of renowned guitarist and composer Ernie Ranglin, Jamaica's most sought-after drummer Desi Jones, Nicholas LaRoque on saxophone and flute, Dale Haslam on bass, and Adrian Henry.
The quartet of Desi Jones and Friends, who started the evening, relied on a selection of jazz standards, moving into more contemporary hits from composers like Antonio Carlos Jobin, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. Appealing to a variety of tastes, patrons enjoyed all-time favourites such as Wave, Billies Bounce, Walking and Chameleon.
When master of ceremonies extraordinaire Fae Ellington introduced surprise guest Ernest Ranglin, an artiste the birthday boy and music connoisseur is very fond of, he got things going in a bluesy direction, before ending on a reggae note with Surfin'.
A standing ovation was the most befitting response to the stellar and classy performances.
Saturday night was the second night of musical energy for Patterson, who commenced his celebration with a major soirÃe at the Sunken Gardens at Hope Gardens on Friday night.
For that fabulous event, highlighted by fireworks, the organising team brought out the incredibly talented Fab Five.
The party band seem to have got better with age, because it would have taken a lot of coercing to get the hundreds of people in attendance off the dance floor. In fact, the Friday night crowd was one of the most obedient when it came to following musical instructions.
The former prime minister closed off the weekend activities on Sunday with a church service and a luncheon at his home.