Castries’ singer Claudia is already reaping the benefits of having performed for the very first time on main stage at the recent St. Lucia Jazz 2010.

Not one month after her performance at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, Claudia was belting it out at a popular nightclub for the stars, compliments Freddy Jackson who said he was blown away by the young singer’s performance at Jazz coupled with her flexibility and roaring voice highlighted in her just released album “Mic Check”.

Claudia relives the story of how she came to meet the multi-talented world renowned Freddy Jackson: “I was introduced to Freddy by Irene, whom I had spoken to over the phone arranging her stay at Windjammer Landing where I work. We had some nice chats and she seemed to fall in love with my personality; when she arrived at the hotel after numerous phone calls making all the arrangements, she immediately asked for me at the Front Desk.”

Punctuated by her infectious laugh, she continued: “After I met her, we started talking almost every day, when I told her I was performing at jazz, she was quite intrigued. She asked me for one of my CDs to pass onto Freddy Jackson and then invited my manager and me to meet Freddy whom I have admired for many years, I was very excited!!!

Upon meeting with the star, Claudia said they spent hours talking about music and life in general. “He has such a calm and pleasant demeanour” she exclaimed, “… he gave me so much to think about…We spoke about his struggle in the world of music and about the hardships that artistes often face in pursuit ofthe dream’,” she remembers.

Reminiscing on that meeting that she will never forget, Claudia holds close one key statement Freddy Jackson made that has in turn become her mantra: “Sacrifices make you stronger and more appreciative

Immediately after their meeting, in fact the very next day, Claudia said Freddy Jackson called and invited her to New York to perform with him at the “Sugar Bar” an establishment owned and run by the legendary singing duo – Ashford and Simpson.

Well, you don’t want to know the excitement and butterflies that filled my stomach! Of course I quickly said yes and on the evening of Thursday May 20, I met with Freddy and performed at the cozy jazz lounge in New York City.”

As Claudia recounts, it was truly a memorable event. “I met the owners, the great Ashford and Simpson and in the crowd it was easy to spot many celebrities who actually stopped by!

Living up to the moment I must say that my performance was amazing, and I got a standing ovation after doing the song God bless the child.”

Freddy & Claudia

Freddy & Claudia

Meeting with Freddy Jackson the young singer says has singularly been the most exciting experience in her singing career.

In their heart-to-heart chat at Windjammer, Claudia says Jackson was kind enough to give her tips for caring for her vocals and gave her pointers for her music styles as well as recording tips. “He is absolutely amazing and meeting him was an experience that I will always hold close to my heart,” she gushed.

Claudia who is now preparing for a whirlwind tour of the United States, Canada and UK says she is grateful to the St. Lucia Tourist Board for opening this door for her.

It was an incredible experience meeting Freddy Jackson and what was most heart -warming is that after listening to my CD the great man says he is a fan of mine…wow! He said he couldn’t believe the talent he heard in every song. He even told me he had two favourite songs on my album Mic Check: The Struggle” and I Wish You Were Here

At the Sugar Bar in New York, owned by Ashford & Simpson

Claudia, Freddy Jackson with patrons at the Sugar Bar in New York, owned by Ashford & Simpson

And what happens now? “There are so many more plans with Freddy and let’s say we are looking forward to a packed summer. No doubt my band Naked Chordswill be with me during my planned tours overseas” said Claudia.

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