On Sunday Sept. 6, the ninth consecutive season of the St. Croix Reformed Church Jazz Vespers will begin. Over the years, all quarters of the St. Croix community have come out for dynamic performances by a virtual who’s who of musicians: Horace Clark, Marsvyn David, Eddie Russell, Dan Dixon, Adjoa, Quiet Fire Fred Williams, Jack Peterson, Venus, Stanley and the 10 Sleepless Nights, Joel Press, Don Moors ,Ronnie Russell, Native Rhythms, Forever Yours Band, Stan Joines, Rhythmix, Elvis Pedro and others.
During this season there will sometimes be a “listen and learn” aspect for school-age youth to connect with the music and the musicians. SCRC is also in pursuit of sponsorship to bring guest artists from St. Thomas and St. John, and will feature a line up including Regan Willock, Santa Cruz Brass, Jack Peterson, Mitch Hennes, Venus, Quiet Fire, Renaissance, Frederick Williams and Brian Silber. The season will begin with an ensemble led by Marsvyn David.
Marsvyn David has been director/arranger for concerts on St. Croix including FEDA’s Sunset Jazz Christmas Specials and Jazz Arts VI’s Wine A Woman and Song Cabarets. He has led the VI Rhythm Section at the Blue Bay Jazz Festival, Sunset Jazz and other shows. He also writes and produces musical ads for radio and TV. Prior to returning to the USVI in 1998, Marsvyn was director of Orchestra Toboga –Atlanta’s premier Latin Band, and for Brenda Cole, the 1998 Country Music Singer of the Year. Clips of the VI Rhythm Section and singers are on YOUTUBE – just type in modtsx.
Pedro, Dimitri “Pikey” Copemann, and Afra Dailey, well-known, highly respected musicians, join Marsvyn. Pikey is a St. Croix native, who began playing tenor sax in sixth grade and developed in the public school music programs. The skill he exhibits playing quelbe, jazz, calypso has put him onstage with Jamesie, Lord Nelson, Joe Parris, Rico and the All Stars, poet Sonia Sanchez, Mighty Duke, and the WWS Ensemble. He is a published poet, and teaches art at Lew Muckle School. Elvis Pedro is a native Crucian who has always had a strong interest in music and art. His guitar studies began in 1975 when he was inspired by Wes Montgomery and George Benson, and, later, by Fred Thomas, and Devin Carrington. Like Wes, Elvis has had no formal music training, but availed himself of books, acquired an extensive collection of music, and studied and practiced for thousands of hours. His dedication , skill, and talent has landed him on stage with Jimmy Owens, George Benson, The Drifters, Sister Sledge, Najee, Mighty Sparrow, Shadow, Lord Kitchener, Bunny Wailer, Lillias White and the WWS Ensemble. Elvis performed throughout the world as a member of the National Guard 73rd Army Band. Ken Afra Dailey is a native if Philadelphia whose first instruments were flute and clarinet. His first drum gig was with the Modern Ink Spots, but he has stretched out considerably since his days with Sigma Sound Studio. In the upper 48, he toured with Grover Washington, Betty Carter, and the Dells. In the V.I., he has held it down for the Barracuda Blues Band, Green Flash, the Roy Davis Trio, and more recently with the St. Croix Blues Society, Trailer View and Ocean View, and the WWS Ensemble.
SCRC invites the community to come to this family-oriented event held from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., on the first Sunday of every month, from September through June. There is no admission charge and light refreshments are complimentary. Ads in the attractive program booklet and free will offerings
support the program. Claudette Young Hinds produces Jazz Vespers for SCRC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org