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Jaggasar thrills with music blends

News day / Jaggasar held the second edition of her concert La Casa de Fusion at Kaiso Blues Cafe on Woodford Street, Newtown, last Saturday and provided her audience with memorable music that will last a lifetime.

No one in the audience was expecting what was performed during the two-hour concert.

Jaggasar presented music genres from Brazil (samba/bossa), Cuba (mambo), Puerto Rico/Cuba (salsa), the Dominican Republic (bachata), Venezuela (parang), TT and India (bollyrang), French islands (zouk) and the Portuguese- influenced mozambique.

Best of all, Jaggasar and her band under the musical direction of Jeanine Ruiz gave soca and calypso music breathing space.

This blending and merging of Latin music with our music pumped new life into the genres and the audience showed its appreciation.

The sensual, mid-tempo, acoustic version of Voice’s Far From Finished (bachata) was mind-blowing. Ruiz’s interpretation and vocal arrangements were off the charts.

The concert began with the introduction, Cantando in Zouk, followed by Portrait of Trinidad in salsa to thunderous applause.

Todo Lo Que Soy followed before the band took on Calypso Rose’s Leave Me Alone which was done in a bossa/salsa.

The audience got its first taste of parang as the group played Music, an original piece by Jaggasar.

Another original Es Su Amor was done with a groovy salsa beat and the audience just loved it.

It was then the first surprise came with Far From Finished done in mambo/salsa style. This was followed with Cuando Yo Pienso.

Engineer for the night Carl Jacobs had a big smile on his face as Jaggasar and her chorus, Lorraine and Lisa, moved into From Now On, a 1987 love song made popular by Jacobs and his wife Carol. It was music for dancing.

Jaggasar closed off the first half with a samba version of Lord Nelson’s La La and had the audience singing.

The band returned to the stage with a salsa version of Solamente, this was followed by the Portuguese-infused mozambique version of Rikki Jai’s Sumintra which left some people in the audience stunned. To bring them back to earth, Jaggasar kicked off a salsa version of Explainer’s classic Lloraine and the audience became one big chorus.

The excitement continued as the band moved into a Cuban 6/8 beat and a smiling Jaggasar began Sparrow’s Magarita and again had the audience lapping it up. Still wanting to show what they can do, the merengue version of Scrunter’s Woman on the Bass mashed up Kaiso Blues Cafe.

The audience settled and returned to normal with the salsa version of Vivir Mi Vida.

Jaggasar then introduced her guest Neval Chatelal. The duo performed Tukur Tukur, a song from the romantic comedy Dilwale made popular by Sha Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanori in a style they call bollyrang. Jaggasar showed her versatility in what was the second surprise of the night. They received a standing ovation for their performance.

Keeping it on the edge, Jaggasar called out John Thomas from the audience and the popular tenor sung a verse and chorus of the classic Spanish love song Besame Mucho to the delight of the audience.

The 2017 Road March, Full Extreme, done in salsa/meringue style brought the curtain down on a very well-put-together concert and the audience left Kaiso Blues still jamming to the Latin songs of calypso and soca music.

In an interview after the show Jaggasar said the reason behind La Casa de Fusion is twofold.

“First I want to keep parang musicians relevant throughout the year. They should not be heard and seen only at Christmas time.

“Secondly, I want to penetrate the Carnival market, the all-inclusive fetes. I want to bring something different with the same music soca artistes are performing.” Asked about the songs they played, Jaggasar said, “I choose the songs I feel the people would like. I then send them to Jeanine and allow her the freedom to do as she sees fit. I must say I am very pleased with her arrangements.” There is a repeat of La Casa de Fusion this today at Kaiso Blues Cafe but this time the guest artiste will be sweet soca man Baron.

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