Barbados' First Lady of Jazz



Calgary CD Release Party Review

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From the Calgary Music section in Yahoo Groups.
August 14, 2008
by Michael Gothreau

Were you there?

If you were at the Beat Niq on the evening of July 25th then you probably were well entertained by one of Calgary's newest jazz talents. She's known as the First Lady of Jazz in her native country, the Caribbean island of Barbados, but she has adopted Canada as her home and base for the newest phase of her much celebrated career.

The event was a party for CiCi's CD Release for "Live At The Beat Niq" which was recorded in the same room a little more than a year ago. While the current show and band line up did not match perfectly with the magical night documented on the CD, the night was still magical and a triumph for the talented singer and her top notch band of local jazz cream.

The show was standing room only throughout the night. Among the crowd were friends and fans who came in from Edmonton and Lethbridge for the show, and local jazz figures such as Brian Buchanan and Carlos Najir. There were also some representatives of the local blues scene including The Jazzmatiks and Lou Rye.

The evening was not without its imperfections, mostly technical: when CiCi's wireless microphone ceased operations the tech people sprang into action but CiCi just kept on singing, letting her powerful voice fill the crowded room. Everyone was very impressed. Clearly, she did not even need that microphone.

The material was varied but my personal favorites were a great reggae treatment of the classic Summertime, an energetic reading of Route 66, a version of That Old Black Magic that was a tribute to classic jazz versions throughout history, and a heartfelt rendition of Beautiful Barbados (I felt like I was there).

I had the honor of introducing CiCi to the stage that evening and in return I was treated to a great and inspiring performance. If you were there, you had a good time too.

Michael Gothreau, (2008).  Were You There.  Yahoo Calgary Music Group, (August 14, 2008).

2008 Michael Gothreau

 

 

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