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Monday, September 03, 2007

Kathy in Canada

Had great reports about pianiast Kathy Brown's recent perfromance in Toronto.
The following review from Claude Wilson confirms:

Dr. Kathy Brown makes auspicious Canadian debut

She has been captivating audience in her homeland Jamaica; her repertoire includes a range of musical styles, R&B, reggae, soul, calypso, gospel and jazz. Today she is making her Canadian debut, Harbourfront Centre please welcome Dr. Kathy Brown. – Harboutfront show MC

With this introduction and a whoop from the crowd, gifted Jamaican jazz pianist Dr. Kathy Brown made an auspicious overseas debut captivating the thousands of West Indians, predominantly Jamaicans, and international visitors at the recent Island Soul Festival at the main concert stage of the Harbourfront Centre in downtown Toronto, Canada.

The opening act for the annual event, which included the legendary guitarist Ernest Ranglin, Canadian reggae/jazz saxophonist I-Sax Injah and Barrington Levy, Kathy Brown, despite the odds, carved out a lively set that impressed fans and journalists alike.

And, at the end of a 65 minutes presentation, a number of Toronto based newspaper and radio journalists sought and booked interviews while some older white folks took the opportunity to express delight in a “wonderful presentation”

Performing tunes from her one-week old CD Mission: A Musical Journey, Brown, backed by Jason Wilson’s Tabarruk band, straight off established a link with the audience that was sustained throughout the presentation. From the opening duet with percussionist Everton Paul “Rasta Journey”, her improvised version of “By The Rivers of Babylon”, into Get Up, Stand Up elicit spontaneous cheers that rang out into the fine Canadian evening.

She had warned in an opening statement that they would hear familiar songs but with different musical interpretation and so her predominately West Indian audience did.

Performing at the international cultural centre that housed the recently opened Miss Lou Room, Brown became a storyteller recreating a conjured scene at the old downtown Kingston market where a housewife meticulous selects and buys banana, after which she launched into the popular but nostalgic Jamaican folksong “Solas Market”

She closed a well-received presentation with an improvised Marley’s “Could You, Be Love”, using each individual solos to introduced the members of Tabarruk. And so Kathy Brown left the Harbourfront Centre stage on a musical high to make way for guitar maestro Ernest Ranglin.

Ken Stowar, host of Global Rhythm on CIUT FM, described Brown’s set to his live radio audience as “a wonderful one-hour performance”. The show was aired by live remote across Ontario via the University of Toronto radio station.

Stowar signified the performance of the backing band, which, he says, has backed many artists from around the world but noting that although the musicians were barely familiar with Kathy Brown’s work. “They held it down well behind Dr. Brown who put on an excellent debut that went over really well with the whole crowd”,

Adding, “ Everyone seemed to have been listening very intently because at the Harbourfront it is usual for people to be shifting around but this time they were paying extra close attention to Dr. Brown”, the CIUT FM Program Director remarked.

But the perfectionist said afterwards, “The presentation included some on the spot, new and surprising arrangements”. This, Kathy Brown admitted, was due to the minimal rehearsal possible with the new band, “It was crazy and it was a matter of survival and a real test of my ability. It was a real effort to stay the [1-hour] course”.

Backing band Tabarruk comprises Jason Wilson, leader/ keyboard/percussions, Michael Herring, bass, Everton “Pablo” Paul, percussions, Iain Green, drums, Marcus Ali on tenor sax.

Brown revealed that the possibility exists that her debut overseas performance in Canada could be followed by performances in London and South Africa. “I have been talking to some people in those country”, she said .

Can't wait to get my copy of Mission - Claude?

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