Jazzy Doha – Trini style

When I first saw him play in 2009, I’d gone to hear the extempo and steel pan virtuosos Relator and Andy Narrel. Yet, Etienne led me to an appreciation of the trumpet. I have played his album Folklore so many times that when he struck up ‘Douens’ on Saturday afternoon, Kwame exclaimed that he’d heard it before.

This week I’m celebrating another fellow country man. But he’s alive, jiving and swinging with his quintet at Jazz at Lincoln Center, St Regis hotel, Doha.

On Friday he took us on a journey from his worshipful interpretation of Monk’s ‘Green Chimneys’ via a transcendental version of Marley’s ‘Turn The Lights Down Low’  to a sensuous farewell by Kitchener’s ‘Audrey’, it was one of those joyous nights that makes the pain of Doha worth it.

And there was a lagniappe – a children’s concert the following day – Kwame high on sweet stuff but even higher on music, interacting with professional musicians and having validation from them of his musical and dancing talent  even to the suggestion that he take up the drums. Seriously?

When was the last time you thought it was worth living where you do?

Ravi as inspiration

At first I wanted to laugh – a mirthless creature which was not accompanied by shining eyes nor gleaming teeth – at the fact that a Trinbagonian was one of the victims of the Kenyan mall atrocities.

The cheerless chuckle was an attempt to mask the hurricane of emotions that threatened to devastate me.

Reading the post that only a friend could write, in all its contradictions and with a subtext of disbelief was the final catalyst for the tears. Tears for Ravi, for his parents and their sacrifices and  for our world now further impoverished by the absence of his gifts. Also tears for the others lost and the lost potential.

Clichés abound and sometimes grate, they are so often apt for the reactions we have when the unthinkable happens. One such is to use the fallen’s lives as inspiration to live my best life.

That’s my lesson from this debacle. What’s yours?