Singer Rojjah blooms in 'The Gardens'

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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Fast-rising entertainer Rojjah was the brightest star in a galaxy of stellar performers at Jazz In The Gardens, held at Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston on Sunday.

The second of two festival song contestants on the show, he closed it with a set as colourful as his red and white costume. It was the highlight of the event which was staged under the theme 'Flavours of June'.

Rojjah raved from start to finish with his dancing, singing and audience interaction. His energetic performance of All Night Long, To Love Somebody, The Harder They Come, Iron Lion Zion, Could You Be Loved, Forever Young and his festival entry, I Love Jamaica, which he saved for last, was entertainment at its best.

As promised by emcee Michael Anthony Cuffe, it was an evening of amazing presentations. There were others standout performances from Andre Shepherd, who got the event's only encore for his renditions of Cruising, You Are So Beautiful, Jealousy, A Change Is Gonna Come, Halilullah and his encore, Bob Marley's Is This Love.

There were no jitters for first-timer D' Suave, who showcased his talent with I Want to be With You, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Are You Ready For Love and Who Is Loving You. Another first-timer, Leonardo Carmichael, continued the groove with a short and spicy stint, hitting the right notes on the jazz standard Straighten Up and Fly Right as well as a medley of Motown classics.

Tanice Morrison, the other festival song contestant, was in her element. The “Reggae Soul Child,” as she dubs herself, was in fine form with renditions of Hello, Walk On By, One Moment In Time and her Festival entry, Jamaica Yuh Nice Yuh Nuh, during which chairman of that competition, Vernon Derby, joined her on stage and showed off his folk dance moves.

“I always wanted to enter the festival song contest…I guess timing is important and the inspiration just came to me and I wrote the song,” said Morrison, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in literary education at the University of the West Indies' Mona campus.

Maria Myrie proved why she is a staple on the bi-monthly fare. Her repertoire included songs like It's Only Make Believe, Mas Que Nada, Perfidia, Israelites, You Raise Me Up and Fix You, a tribute to her father.

Benjy Myaz started his set with some smooth jazz pieces such as People Make the World Go Round, Teach Me Tonight and What You Won't Do For Love. He gradually expanded his set with Love Will Find A Way, Time and Love You Higher to end on a high note.

— Basil Walters

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