Tobago Jazz Festival: World Music Night

VIP and general admission audience members mingle at the stage.
VIP and general admission audience members mingle at the stage.

They might not have known much of his music but the audience at the Tobago Jazz Experience left appreciating the craft and talent of 29-year-old American singer Miguel.

He is best known in Trinidad & Tobago for his massive 2011 hit Adorn, the song which drew comparisons with Prince because of his singing style, fashion sense and haircut at the time.

Miguel brought a slick performance with impeccable vocals and support from a super tight band featuring two fantastic guitarists last Friday evening. He fused soul, neo-soul and rock and roll, highly reminiscent of Lenny Kravitz.

Miguel gave lots of love to the younger people in the crow.
Miguel gave lots of love to the younger people in the crow.

The layout at the event was changed so that patrons from the general admission and VIP sections could access the front of the stage.

Those who were familiar with Miguel’s music – the younger set – were at the front singing along, waving and giving him lots of love.

Asked by reporters about the limited audience response, Miguel said: “I just try to lock it out; it can become very challenging if you think ‘maybe they’re not feeling it.’ But I just concentrate on the ones who are familiar.”

Those in the know lapped up his near perfect renditions of songs like Do You, How Many Drinks, All I Want Is You and of course, Adorn.

It was unfortunate that so many people who attended – with those in VIP paying $1,200 for a ticket – didn’t take the time to get familiar with Miguel’s music.

The audience was definitely more familiar with the music of award-winner Jennifer Hudson who showed why she was worthy of many awards and accolades, including an Academy Award for her performance in Showgirls.

The Chicago native had a warm and easy rapport with the audience and though she took a bit of time to get warmed up, by the time she sang Spotlight from her 2008 album Jennifer Hudson, people were singing right along.

Jennifer Hudson joked, “I’ve got to know how to wine.”
Jennifer Hudson joked, “I’ve got to know how to wine.”

“That girl have real throat,” said one impressed audience member after Hudson sang the popular ballads, Where You At, If This Isnt Love and her signature song, And I Am Telling You.

In a nod to her appearance on the TV drama Empire, Hudson sang Remember the Music.

She truly came alive when she did the uptempo song Its Your World.

At one point, she had the audience laughing when she said, “My hairdresser asked if I know how to wine, I’ve got to know how to wine.” She went to the end of the stage and gyrated a bit saying, “I can’t do this in Chicago!”

Soca Monarch Machel Montano closed the show at Pigeon Point Heritage Park on a high note with a dynamic performance. Montano had the crowd going with hits like 2015 Road March Like Ah Boss, Remedy, Pop A Bottle, Haunted and more.

The band Karma opened the show with a wide ranging set.

While the show was of a very high standard, the organizers still haven’t managed to get the post-show maxi shuttle service right. Like last year, the number of cars leaving the venue created a build up and patrons again had to walk a long distance to return to their cars.

The Tobago Jazz Experience concluded on Monday tonight with veteran soul and funk band Kool and the Gang and neo-soul star Jill Scott.

From the Trinidad Guardian