Nov. 18, 2007 — "Let's make St. Croix happy grounds," said Rupert Ross, Jr., chairman of the board of directors of Frederiksted Economic Development Association, organizers of the Blue Bay Jazz Fest.
His goal seemed accomplished Saturday night as the vendors, musicians and hundreds of people in the crowd of listeners had smiles on their faces. The free event provided six hours of lively music on Strand Street on the waterfront near the Caribbean Museum of Art.
We had so much fun on St. Croix we hate to go back home," said trumpeter Christian Scott in a pre-show interview. "St Croix's culture, architecture and cuisine are really special."
Scott said his music blurs the lines between neo-soul, indie rock and 19th century Western classical music.His sextet performed selections such as "Like That" from their latest CD, "Anthem."
Mixing music with Scott were Matt Stevens on guitar, Louis Fouché on alto saxophone, David Bryant on keyboards, Joe Sanders on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums.
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews and his band Orleans Avenue, got the evening heated up with funk, pop, hip-hop and a mix of jazz in tunes "I Want My Money Back, "Orleans Claiborne" and "Act Bad 5th Ward Weebie." Mike Ballard played bass, James Martin was on tenor sax, with Pete Murano on guitar, and Joey Peebles on drums.
Their performance transcended generations. "This is doin' it," said Harold DeMund, dancing with his wife Norma, both in their 60s.
"These young lions amaze me," said Jerry Jones, DJ from Mongoose radio 104.9, and master of ceremonies for jazz fest. "It sounds like they have been playing and playing together for 40 or 50 years."
Headliner Donald Harrison Jr. and his band started off set with Louis Armstrong's classic tune, "What a Wonderful World." Their rendition of the Jackson Five's "Want You Back," got the crowd shaking.
Joining alto saxophonist Harrison in a jam session was pianist Henry Butler, Harrison's nephew Scott and Andrews.
"I really hate to leave," said Harrison at the end of the show. "There's no party like a St. Croix party."
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