Chasing Music: Jammin’ in Jamaica, Day Last

I’m a horrible procrastinator, which is well obvious, because I’ve been promising to do this one forever. The last day of Jamaica.

The Q&A, once again in the Cohobo Lounge, was mainlined by Nick Colionne with Jonathan Butler joining in as well. Now, there’s a reason for my use of the word ‘mainlined’, and that reason is – Nick is a natural emcee. You see it in his shows – and I definitely recommend checking out his tour, as well as the new CD – and it came through in abundance with the panel. While we all know Warren was the brainchild behind this, on this panel, Nick’s interpersonal charm took full lead. Jonathan’s answers showed an abundance of faith – considering his style leans heavily into Gospel, this is not a surprise, but together, this was the most fun panel to date.

<<fast-forward the sun, fun and delicious creme-brulee, as usual>>
*recordscratch* Actually, nope. :)

The final dinner was actually on the beach by the East Lawn, where the stage was set up. Just a hundred feet or so away from the lawn, a short pathway walk down, there is a stretch of beach that was set up with a series of buffet tables with some delicious food, some of it native to Jamaica and oh-my-delicious. I was joined by Estella (hello darling, if you’re reading this!) and several other lovely people. Great conversation, many hugs were had, many numbers exchanged. I’m sure that there are some people that are reading this now, so hello readers :)

The final show was definitely one of the best, and I will admit to being a little sentimental, because in the very short time that this trip was, I got so used to the atmosphere. Surrounded by exotic smells, foods, amazing people, excellent music – that is what dreams and dream vacations were made of, I say.

First up – Mr. Butler.

Now, I am not a religious person by any means, but I do appreciate Gospel music once in a very, very long while. Aside from that, though, I do have one song of Jonathan Butler’s that stands out in a way that I wish I could explain in better words. It calls to me in a certain, very peculiar way, as though it reminds me of words that I wish I could’ve said to one person or another. And I’ve had people – as I’m sure you had too; whether friends or lovers – that you’d ask “What happened to you and I?”.  Hearing that song live firmly puts Jonathan Butler onto my cool list, for good. And yes, I did get a little bit wistful; I do have some people wherein I ask, “What the hell happened there?”

And then…the man of the hour, Warren Hill.

Now, if there is ever a time for me to be surprised, that was truly it. Warren, a Canadian-born Berklee School of Music alum, with a voice that speaks like a Twilight Zone character (I know there’s an episode with a man who speaks exactly like that, no joke) and sings something amazing, proved his versatility on stage. Between the alto and soprano saxophones and his voice, he proved in abundance that he loved his music and held a good degree of appreciation for his fellow musicians on stage. His best number was Still in Love, dedicated to both his wife Tamara and his parents, who were also both in attendance.

A special surprise was in the form of Olivia Hill, who took the stage with a revival of Billie Holiday’s God Bless the Child – and surprised the hell out of everyone. If talent runs in the family, then this is a perfect example; Olivia has an amazing, Broadway-caliber voice that gave the song a classic, full-bodied richness that I didn’t expect to hear. Jonathan’s joining her onstage was the perfect finishing touch.

Then, the rest of the musicians came up to the stage to do a rousing rendition of Hey Jude. That was an excellent touch to finish off the night; the applause was amazing and, of course, there was the after-party.

However, that one I had to miss because I had to – of course – pack up and get a catnap before I had to go to the airport in the morning.

And for breakfast, at the airport lounge…because seriously, I woke up at 6am to make the shuttle, you think I had coffee time?…Jerk sausage. Most delicious thing next to jerk barbecue ribs that I’ve ever had, and that’s excellent.

And that, ladies and gents, was my trip to Warren Hill’s Jammin’ in Jamaica.

Until next year,

K.G.

ETA: Nov. 2009: Jammin’ in Jamaica, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 writeups.

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5 thoughts on “Chasing Music: Jammin’ in Jamaica, Day Last

  1. You hit the nail on the head with your description of the events of our trip to Jamaica. It was great meeting you. I was most impressed with the fact that you were the youngest person there. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the Berk’s Jazz Festival in March.

    1. Thank you!! I loved hanging with you and everyone.

      Berks or bust! And here’s to more chasing music!

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