October 8, 2004 – October's Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted concert is Friday, Oct. 15, with St. Croix's own Adjoa and Friends providing the musical score for the setting sun. September's Sunset Jazz was washed away by what is now known as Hurricane Jeanne. The Frederiksted Economic Development Association, sponsor and producer of Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted, has declared October's event a time of celebration in honor of our being spared the brunt of so many of the storms associated with this year's very active hurricane season. This month's concert features a return date for jazz vocalist Claudette "Adjoa" Young-Hinds and Friends. Adjoa and Friends wowed the Sunset Jazz concertgoers for the Veteran's Park opening performance of Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted back in early 2002. Establishing the bar for the level of professional performances associated with Sunset Jazz, Adjoa should thrill the audience with yet another evening of some of the best jazz this side of Bourbon Street, according to a press release from FEDA.
Adjoa cannot recall a time when music was not a significant thread in the fiber of her life, from childhood songs with her mom and siblings in three-, four- and five-part harmonies to performing in Boston with Akwaaba, Hugh Masekela and Adjoa's Mosaic. In the mid-80's she appeared at Cruzan Elegance, Captain's Table, and was heard four nights a week at Grape Tree Hotel accompanied by the James DeBerry. In the "Motown to Memphis" concerts she was allowed her to get her funk on, but returned to vintage jazz singing nightly with the Yusef Saleem/Freeman Ledbetter Group at the 1993 St. Croix Jazz in Paradise festival With Adjoa and Friends you're as likely to hear Ellington and Gershwin as Joabim or Leon Russell; Cannonball Adderly, Caiphus Semanya or an endearing Muppet song. Simply put, Adjoin likes a good song, and has delivered some of the best with "Friends" that have included Ben Jacob-El, Ronnie Russell, Warren Pedersen, Lee Caitlin, Mario Thomas, Louis Taylor, Devin Carrington, Larry Bough, Ronnie Benjamin and Fred Williams.
You can catch Adjoa with her "Friends" Marsvyn David, Elvis Pedro, Roy Davis and Ken Afra at regular gigs on St. Croix. "I'm not given to vocal pyrotechnics, nor do I possess a once-in-a-lifetime instrument," she says with more humility than is warranted. "I simply sing, and hope you will enjoy."
Looking ahead to November's Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted, Saxophonist Jack Petersen will be doing the honors! Mark Dec. 17 on your calendars now. Frederiksted will host the kick-off of the holiday Festival season with a very special Sunset Jazz Crucian Christmas Concert!
Sunset Jazz concerts, which start at 6 p.m. and last for two hours, are free with families encouraged to attend. They're presented by the non-profit community organization, the Frederiksted Economic Development Association. FEDA is joined in its efforts to present Sunset Jazz by WTJX/ Channel 12, the local PBS station, which assists with video taping of Sunset Jazz which airs on Channel 12 Saturday nights at 8 p.m.
Bridget Cox-Dawson, Sunset Jazz organizer, reminds concertgoers that FEDA operates a cash bar to help defray the expenses associated with producing this free concert to the community, while the group Hispanos Unidos sells food to assist in their community projects. For more information about the concert series, send an e-mail to Sunset Jazz,or call 277-7874.
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