3 Days of Smooth Jazz In Chester County
Friday's show included C.P. Lacey, Point Blank Band, Peter White and Tom Braxton
Peter White, Tom Braxton, Warren Hill, Point Blank and Ronnie Laws Performed At This Festival
Chester County's first #Smooth Jazz Festival, was a spectacular event filled with scintillating music, resplendent comedy and a variety of vendors with businesses throughout the area. Friday's show emerged with Richard Blackwell, who served as Host and is producer of the twenty four hour internet music sensation, Jazz On My Mind.
The opening act was the comedic stylings of C.P. Lacey, an extremely talented comedian who has received standing ovations from audiences all over the world. Lacey's hilarious characters began with a Jamaican, who asked if the audience wanted to hear, hip hop or American music. He then expressed how they would hear neither today. A few seconds later, he evolved into one of his most popular characters, the late Michael Jackson. There was an outcry of laughter and applause as Lacey performed, Rock With Me. He was then emboldened to pull volunteers from the audience to play the roles of Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon and Tito Jackson. The four audience volunteers received afro wigs and two bass guitars. The Jackson Five imitators sang I'll Be There, without a glimpse of harmony. Lacey reminded them that they should be thrilled to work and they needed to learn the words. The audience roared into constant laughter at the creativity of this talented comedian, who was not only funny but completely avoided vulgar overtones within his standup act. C.P. Lacey, is a comedian that can be seen by people of all ages.
Point Blank Performs The Ultimate Source of Jazz
This talented array of men perform lucid #instrumental jazz that appeals to a variety of music lovers. Their explosive original tune, In the Name of Love had various audience members singing along with them in this grand tribute. Dorden Bivings, on keyboard and lead vocals, joined by Jerry Blake, on saxophone and backup vocals along with Gerald Chavis, on flugelhorn, trumphet and backup vocals pulsated the stage with their next song, You're On My Mind. Other intensely talented members of Point Blank include, Winston Ferguson on bass, Steve Pratt on guitar, Raleigh Lewis on percussion, Paul Lee a songwriter, who plays piano, snythesizer and Hammond B-3. Kerrie Little is the volatile drummer which complements the intriguing mixture of R&B, stunning instrumentals and good old fashion vocals by Point Blank. For more information on the members of this talented group and if you would like a copy of their new CD entitled, Point of View, go to my article on hubpages entitled, Jazz and Fine Dining at the World Cafe Live.
The Headliner on Friday was Peter White
Peter White, is one of the most prolific contemporary jazz guitarist. His unique style of performance on the nylon string guitar, gives White the propensity to excel beyond other guitarist in his field. When asked, "Why do you play nylon string guitar? He stated, 'I didn't choose the nylon string guitar - it chose me!'" At the age of twenty, White started to play a spanish guitar with Al Stewart, entitled On the Border. This musical masterpiece was recorded and loved by numeruous fans. Even after playing the steel string acoustic or electric guitar, Peter discovered that he was exemplary on the nylon string guitar. A self taught musician at the age of eight, Peter White, is playfully consumed in his music. This creates an interesting perspective from the audience's standpoint, as they watch him move all over the stage like a rock performer. He also acknowledged how listening to Barry White and Al Greene as well as rock, was a source of inspiration for his musical talent. Other sources of influence for Peter were Hank Marvin, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Dave Koz. For upcoming concerts or to obtain his new CD entitled, Here We Go, #Peter White's website is www.peterwhite.com
Saturday's Performances at the Chester County Jazz Festival
Through stifling heat at Hoopes Park, located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, such jazz greats as Warren Hill, endured and entertained the audience with dynamic precision. He is an internationally known jazz saxophonist, Hill performs such sultry instrumentals as Mambo 2000. Other acts that participated included young jazz artist, The Nathaniel Vito Quartet, composer Acoustic which performed an up-tempo harmonizing blend of classic and smooth jazz, B.D. Lenz an outstanding jazz guitarist, composer and producer. Olivia Rox a young soulful vocalist also performed, along with Aniya who did a blend of traditional, smooth and neo-soul jazz, Susan Pereira, Sabor Brasil, Hidden Treasure, Gary Davis another dynamic and soulful saxophonist and Dotsero Jazz Band, who performed comtemporary jazz on the edge.
The Closing Performances on Sunday For Chester County Jazz Festival
Through the intense heat again on Sunday, Ronnie Laws with his original soulful sound on tenor, served as headliner. Considered to be an R&B player, he has mingled with such greats as Quincy Jones, Ramsey Lewis and Earth Wind and Fire. Laws has a meritorious reputation for comtemporary jazz as well. His discography includes such music as Friends and Strangers, Every Generation, Pressure Sensitive and Fever. Other temendously talented musicians helped close the jazz festival out such as, Melanie Roberts a talented singer, songwriter and jazz vocalist, Karen Rodriquez Latin Jazz Ensemble-Cuban, Salsa, Brazilian vocalist and Gerald Veasley. Tom Braxton also closed the festival out on Sunday. He is, "a versatile, instrumentalist, charismatic performer and gifted composer whose distinct melodic sound thrills audiences of all ages." Tom explained how the extreme heat did not really bother him because he was from Texas and was use to this type of weather. He has recorded more than seven albums including such favorites as Endless Highway, Imagine This and Bounce. Tom Braxton, also performed with Peter White on Friday night. Their musical styles complemented each other formidably. Braxton commented that "Peter White is a consumate performer, a great writer and excellent musician." Both Tom and Peter know how to reach out to the audience and grab their attention due to the "fluidity and order" of their performances. The two never had an opportunity to rehearse for the show but they entertained us with compelling, jazzy sounds that just brought pure joy to hearts of their listeners.
The Festival Producers
The 2012 Producers of the first Chester County Jazz Festival was Sugarbaby Events, LLC, owned and operated by Anita and Selwyn Broady. These two along with their staff worked diligently to plan and organize this event. Hats off to Anita and Selwyn, for their diligent efforts. We look forward to the next Chester County Jazz Festival and Sugarbaby Events.
To order Tom Braxton's CDs, "Endless Highway" or "Imagine This," go to the website listed below.
- Tom Braxton Official Website
Saxophonist and composer Tom Braxton's Official Website with news, blog, tour dates, bio, music, photos and more.