Big Chef Steakhouse and Tapas on The Bay were the places to be last weekend for an injection of jazz to kick off the Jazz Festival. And what could be better than sitting at a table, rather than on the grass, with great food served elegantly in intimate surroundings, drink in a glass (no plastic cups here!) and sweet, sweet music?
2016 was the inaugural ‘Voices on The Bay/Boo, Jazz and Big Chef’ celebration and it won such acclaim that it had to be repeated this year. The opening night last Saturday at Big Chef Steakhouse featured the renowned, the talented, the indefatigable Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson and friends. Boy, the man can play guitar! Was he born with that instrument? It’s like an extension of Boo – he was able to carry on a conversation with a fan while still playing and without missing a note or a beat.
Boo played for three hours non-stop! Yes, he’s a real trooper who’ll always please the crowd but he should have been joined by saxophonist Barbara Cadet who, for reasons beyond her control, was unable to reach the venue. The good news is that Barbara will appear at Big Chef tonight with Boo and vocalist Semi Werner Francis. It’s a winning combination so don’t miss it!
Boo has a fine stable of musician friends; hats off to him for promoting the youth of this island which is one of the reasons for these jazz events, especially Voices on The Bay. Last Saturday he was accompanied by Danyl Daniel on keyboard, Denzil Leon on drums, Nicky Pamphile on bass guitar and Hilary Lewis on trombone, with the melodious voice of Semi Werner Francis. The guys jammed in jazzy style and had the audience foot-tapping, loudly applauding and dancing. So infectious was the fun that two diners even took to the stage to sing along.
On Sunday the daytime attraction at Tapas on The Bay was Barbara Cadet at a Heineken-sponsored brunch. Tantalizingly it featured a specialty menu of Heineken beer-infused soup, entrees and desserts (Heineken poached apple crumble and Heineken ice cream!) and some intriguing Heineken cocktails. Even Betsy, the resident cat, was observed enjoying the tempura shrimps with Heineken mayo!
Like Boo, Barbara Cadet’s batteries just keep on running and she entertained the afternoon crowd for over two hours! Where does she get the energy to blow that sax for so long? Could it be the Heineken?! The gal was a delight, delivering a diverse selection of tunes to please jazz enthusiasts, lovers of soul and pop princesses. Some of the ladies took to the floor while others swooned when singer-songwriter Sherwinn Dupes Brice joined Barbara on stage for a spot of ‘Barbara-oke’.
Sherwinn was back in action at Tapas on The Bay on Saturday night for Voices on The Bay, a Boo Hinkson production that showcases some of Saint Lucia’s finest rising stars. Kenson Hippolyte, a popular pianist who plays regularly at Big Chef, kept the crowd happy with his solo performances. When he was joined by an elegantly-attired and powerful-voiced Linda ‘Chocolate’ Berthier the magic increased. Then the temperature soared when she and Sherwinn duetted.
Performers at Wednesday night’s event included Irvin ‘Ace’ Loctar, Olivia Abraham, Shannon Pinel and Aiyah who dazzled the audience with spirited performances.
The ‘Voices on The Bay/Boo, Jazz and Big Chef’ celebration continues tonight and during this week. Go experience great music, talented artists, delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere. This week’s big night at Tapas on The Bay will be on Wednesday 17th May when Shannon Pinel, Wilburne, Shanne James and Shayne Ross will be singing their hearts out. Check out ‘Upstairs on The Bay’ – presentations by young entrepreneurial Saint Lucians of their hand-made products: food, art, crafts and crocheted garments. Add to the mix a special Voices on The Bay menu of tapas and main courses (those wonderful Heineken options are still available!) plus innovative Dewar’s cocktails and a selection of Barefoot Wine, and you have all the ingredients for a memorable, belly-filling, soul-satisfying night out. Make your reservation now for the best in dinner and jazz.
For a full review of performances at Voices on the Bay, see this week’s 2NITE magazine.