Tuesday 12 November 2019

21 Songs – “Vaughnette Bigford Live in Concert,” a review

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For those who are counting, Vaughnette Bigford sang 21 songs at her sold-out Live in Concert event at the Central Bank auditorium in Port of Spain on Saturday 9 November 2019, and in those 21 songs, the world outside of Trinidad and Tobago opened up to us. 

That world of music that has become a staple of Vaughnette's concerts is alive and accessible. We, as audience members and patrons who are open to the possibilities of future engagements with The Creole Chanteuse, have an opportunity, and dare I say, an obligation to engage with the higher sensibilities of our nature as we recognize excellence. 
21 songs took us on a journey that we have made before. The jazz, local and World Music songbooks of decades were again laid open for us to enter with an assurance that we would come out on the other side enlightened. That journey in 2019 held the surprise of discovering the new beyond the vapid leitmotif of the familiar “pop songs done jazzily.” 21 songs of enhanced harmonic promise were laid bare. Ennui was eschewed, elation ensued. 

Friday 1 November 2019

Playlist (November/December 2019) | Music reviewsª

Grafted Ijó

(Spielzart Entertainment)

Caribbean jazz, like its North American precursor, has been a collaborative effort: a musical conversation, despite singular stars in the pantheon. Ijó, out of Trinidad, seek to fulfil the role of eminent conversationalists within the context of the myriad musical influences that bathe their island nation. This new band on the Caribbean jazz scene is made up of top individual session musicians, a kind of supergroup that does not disappoint on their first effort. Orisha drumming is captured on “Black Rose”, alongside a hint of the transplanted Indian presence in “Nari” and world fusion gone mad on the track “Ijó” — just some of the soundscapes one may traverse on this album. Long in gestation, Grafted takes its time to grow on the listener. So powerful are the individual voices that the “accents” are sometimes hard to decipher within the elegance of the melodies and harmonies.


  1. This review appears in the November/December 2019 issue of Caribbean Beat magazine.
© 2019, Nigel A. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.