U.S. Embassy Bridgetown Supports the 2013 Christmas Jazz

On Saturday, December 7th, in cooperation with Deryck Walcott Productions, the Embassy of the United States to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS hosted a free jazz workshop led by the 2013 Christmas Jazz musicians Frank McComb, Nelson Rangell, John Roberts, Everette Harp, Giovanni Hidalgo and Jubu Smith.

2013 Christmas Jazz concert at Ilaro Court

2013 Christmas Jazz concert at Ilaro Court

The workshop was held at Dining Club in Christ Church and was well attended by local musicians, music students, and jazz enthusiasts of all ages. Those in attendance were treated to an enlightening experience that was part lesson and part jam session, as the American musicians shared their extensive knowledge of the music industry.

In her opening remarks, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, Krystle Norman, highlighted the rich legacy and tradition of jazz music that both the United States and Barbados share. She also mentioned that music is the universal language that helps to bridge social, economic, and political divides. The American musicians started the workshop with a free-flowing, improvised jazz session that featured solos from each musician in the group.

During the question and answer part of the program, the musicians gave practical tips on techniques and arranging, as well as heartfelt advice on the need for aspiring musicians to develop their own style. Former American Idol participant Melinda Doolittle then joined the musicians on stage for their second performance of the day. At the end of the workshop, the musicians invited the students and workshop participants to come on stage to practice their technique and get feedback on their performances.

American Idol participant Melinda Doolittle on stage with 2013 Christmas Jazz musicians during a free jazz workshop at the Dining Club.

American Idol participant Melinda Doolittle on stage with 2013 Christmas Jazz musicians during a free jazz workshop at the Dining Club.

This year the U.S. Embassy is also pleased to support Mylon Clarke, winner of the Berkelee College of Music prize package, in the form of a grant of up to US$5,000 to cover travel-related expenses for Berkelee’s summer music program. Promoting academic and cultural exchanges is at the core of the Embassy’s public diplomacy efforts in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, and it remains committed to supporting innovative ways to inspire the next generation of emerging Caribbean artists.

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