Hanson, NYOJ rock Redbones

Monday, March 31, 2014

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LAST Friday's benefit concert at Redbones Blues Café in St Andrew drew a strong turnout who were thoroughly entertained by trumpeter Mickey Hanson and the National Youth Orchestra of Jamaica (NYOJ).

The show raised funds for Canada Dream Tour — NYOJ 2014. The NYOJ has been invited to Canada by Jamaica's High Commissioner to perform for Jamaican Independence Day celebrations in August.

The audience included legendary Jamaican bandleader Carlos Malcolm of the Afro-Jamaican Rhythms fame. They were highly entertained by Hanson and friends. Among them, classical pianist Orville Hammond, cabaret singer Judi Emmanuel, keyboardist Kamla Hamilton, and violinist Darron Andrews.

Violinist Raphiq Williams, Obed Davis on drums, percussionist Robert Malcolm and bassist Michael Kennedy completed a quality line-up.

In the first set, Hanson blew up a storm on Cantelope Island and Recardo Bossa Nova, while Hamilton made her mark with Morning Dance.

Andrews impressed with My Favourite Things followed by Ain't Nobody. Hammond displayed his virtuosity with Redemption Song and St Thomas.

But it was in the second half that things really took off with Hanson's rendition of Turn Your Lights Down Low and Land of Make Believe. Andrews returned with support from fellow violinist Raphiq Williams to do Autumn Leaves.

Singer Judi Emmanuel was captivating with her dynamic interpretations of Turn The Beat Around, My Funny Valentine, Love Me, For You, Sing Our Own Song and Reach.

"I just seized the opportunity to put on a show in benefit for these young musicians. I'm honoured to be involved, to get the opportunity to do something I've always wanted to do. It's a new experience for me and the kids in the NYOJ are enjoying it," Hanson told the Jamaica Observer.

Ann McNamee, music director for the three-year-old NYOJ, said its 25 members were selected from eight schools: Kingston College, St George's College, Excelsior, Camperdown, Alpha Boys School, Vauxhall, Clan Carty, and St Andrew Technical High School.

— Basil Walters




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