Symphony Under The Stars was all that and some

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By: Joseph Cunningham
Photography By: Milton Raynor

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"Symphony Under the Stars," featuring Roberta Flack and top Reggae Crooners, was held last Saturday at the Cable & Wireless Golf Academy in New Kingston, Jamaica. It was its second staging, and the quality was symphonic.

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On entering the venue the view was magnificent. Candles were laid
surrounding a body of water close to the V.I.P area and the view was of a seated audience, predominantly dressed in black night gowns.

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The occasion was indeed like a 'Symphony'- with various musical
instruments in harmonious combination, and it was a refreshing concept.

When YardFlex first saw the stage, its design gave a "shock effect". There were different levels of stage, with Co- master of ceremony Francois St. Juste, perched above an orchestra equipped with more than 11 different musical instruments.

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On arrival we were greeted by the sounds of Duane Stephenson. And he held his own with songs still fairly new to the public. However, his professional delivery will be remembered and should augur well for his relatively young solo career. Courtney John, formerly hailed as "Yogie" represented himself decently, and stepped it up a notch with the delivery of his hit song, "When I Look In Your Eyes I Go Crazy."

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Dressed in all-white was cabaret specialist, AJ Brown. He received the first encore of the night after performing a Luciano Pavarotti selection. His delivery was laced with Italian, and the audience had to request more of AJ.

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Arguably, the best performance of the night was given by the star-studded L.U.S.T. Their current hit, "Just As I Am," was well received by the audience. All their deliveries were conducted with the kind of professionalism that must have surprised a few, even in the absence of Thriller U for an undisclosed reason.

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Chalice, the reunited legendary group performed most of their greatest hits to decent response from the audience. According to lead singer, Dave Stevens, performances such as the one given last Saturday are a build-up towards the release of a double CD later this year; to be followed by a world tour.

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Then it was time for the lady of the moment, Roberta Flack, a six-time Grammy Award winner. She was cool and in control, whilst delivering, "Killing Me Softly" and "Where Is The Love," mixed with newer selections. Her soothing voice was in unison with the cool atmosphere and the dignified ambiance. Equipped with a piano she played skillfully, sang and "worked" the stage well.

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At the end of it, exiting the venue was as easy as entering, because
parking accommodations and traffic control were excellent.

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