A Creole Christmas Gift: Concert and Cocktails, featuring 7-time Grammy award winning jazz pianist Chucho Valdés and Guggenheim Fellow Etienne Charles, is a once in a lifetime event that signals HADCO Experiences’ expansion from authentically Trinbagonian ecotourism experiences into the premium event experiences space with a decidedly Caribbean flavour.
Set for Saturday December 16, 2023, from 7:00PM-9:00PM, at the prestigious Lord Kitchener Auditorium within the National Academy for the Performing Arts, this event will showcase the extraordinary talents of Caribbean music legend Valdés within his Royal Quartet and globe-trotting Trinidadian musician Charles and his Creole Soul band, in a celebration showing appreciation through music, food and festivity with a focus on how we in the wider Caribbean celebrate the Christmas season.
Upon arrival, savour a welcome drink, then immerse yourself in the captivating performances as Charles and friends — Robbie Greenidge, Vaughnette Bigford, David ‘Happy’ Williams, and more folk and jazz musicians from around the world — take the stage at 7:00 PM, followed by Valdés with his band, to deliver an authentic taste of Trinidad and Tobago combined with a unique blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and contemporary jazz. After the concert, venture into the upper- and lower-level foyers where an exquisite selection of premium spirits and fine wines will await you, thoughtfully paired with locally sourced, gourmet delicacies. This is more than a jazz concert; it is a creole holiday celebration!
Tickets start at $400.00 each for the concert experience only, and TT$800.00 each for the full concert and cocktail experience; and can be purchased online at IslandeTickets.com, at all Häagen-Dazs locations, at all Peppercorns shops, at the Fresh Organics outlet (in Maraval), and at NAPA’s Box Office. Doors open at 5:00 PM, showtime 7:00 PM. This is an event not to be missed!
We invite you to join in this splendid must-attend celebration of Caribbean spirit and brio and look forward to seeing you there!
In the meantime, you can read more about the outstanding line-up of performers below.
Tickets are TT$800.00 each and can be purchased online at IslandeTickets.com, at all Häagen-Dazs locations, at all Peppercorns shops, at the Fresh Organics outlet (in Maraval), and at NAPA’s Box Office. Doors open at 5:00 PM, showtime 7:00 PM. This is an event not to be missed!
Cuban pianist, composer, and arranger Chucho Valdés is the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz. In a career spanning more than 60 years, both as a solo artist and bandleader, Mr. Valdés has distilled elements of the Afro-Cuban music tradition, jazz, classical music, rock, and more, into a deeply personal style.
Winner of seven GRAMMY® and five Latin GRAMMY® Awards, Mr. Valdés, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Science last year and was also inducted into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Mr. Valdés celebrated his 80th birthday on October 9, 2021, completing La Creación (The Creation), a three-movement suite for a small ensemble, voices, and a big band. The piece, the most ambitious work of his career, tells the history of Creation according to the Regla de Ocha, the Afro-Cuban religion known as Santería.
Trinidad born Etienne Charles is a performer, composer and storyteller, who is continuously searching for untold stories and sounds with which to tell them.
His lush trumpet sound, varied compositional textures and pulsating percussive grooves enable him to invoke trance, soothing and exciting listeners while referencing touchy and sometimes controversial subjects in his music.
A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow and 2022 Creative Capital Awardee, he researches his compositions by travelling to the regions on which he is focused, meeting with musicians and cultural leaders then observing and participating in rituals to be fully immersed into the cultures that he is studying.
As an Afro-descendant, his work is actively connecting the diaspora and drawing lines to regions at the roots of migrations. Highlighting marginalized communities and engaging with them has been his mission, evident with projects such as Carnival: The Sound of a People Vol. 1, San Jose Suite, Creole Soul, and Folklore.
David Williams‘ route to the top of the jazz world has been somewhat unconventional: it has taken him from Trinidad to London to New York to Washington, DC to Los Angeles and back to New York. But there is nothing conventional about brilliance, and as a bassist, that is what David Williams exemplifies. His sound is deep and resonant, his section playing seems effortless, his solos are rhythmic and compelling, and his intonation is flawless.
Robert Greenidge was born in Success Village, Laventille, Trinidad, West Indies. He began playing under the direction of his uncle, Carl Greenidge, a renowned arranger and tuner. At eight he joined the Savoy Steel Orchestra where he was taught scales and chords on a blackboard. Since he possessed an ear for playing all types of compositions, he was recruited by The Desperadoes Steel Orchestra at 18. Under the musical guidance of Rudolph Charles, the bands leader, and the great Emmanuel “Corbeau Jack” Riley, Greenidge’s solid performing skills were shaped.
Latin Grammy-winning cuatro player, mandolinist and musical producer, Jorge Glem is without a doubt one of Venezuela’s musical treasures. Glem, presents the national instrument of his country as a universal and fully versatile one. Mastering the cuatro, Glem is able to imitate percussion instruments and uses electronic elements based on acoustic sounds, while offering a repertoire that travels through diverse music genres such as jazz, rock, pop and fusing them with traditional Venezuelan genres, all while highlighting harmony, rhythm and melody.
Adriel Shane Vincent-Brown is a Trinidadian born drummer and composer currently based in New York City. A graduate of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, Adriel has already established himself as an in-demand, first-call musician on both the local and international scenes, having appeared on MTV alongside rapper Trinidad James and performed as a featured player in esteemed New York jazz clubs such as Smalls, Dizzys, Zinc bar and Smoke alongside the likes of Wallace Roney Jr. Giveton Gelin, Immanuel Wilkins, Peter Evans, Jonathan Michel and Jovan Alexandre.
Growing up in Trinidad, his love for music began as a child watching his father Kenneth Vincent-Brown play the drums, the instrument that he would eventually claim as his own. Adriel began working professionally while still in elementary school, playing in church and with the local steel pan bands. Now considered one of the most versatile and diverse sidemen of his generation, he brings the richness of his Caribbean heritage to his electrifyingly fresh approach to the drums and cymbals.
Vaughnette Bigford is a jazz vocalist, entertainment entrepreneur, band leader, and new host of the revamped, iconic, youth talent show, 12 and Under.
She has been featured at every major jazz event in Trinidad and at the Tobago Jazz Experience, Barbados Jazz Excursion and the Berklee Summer Concert Series among others.
Vaughnette has studied at Boston’s Berklee School of Music; trained with US based artists Armstead Christian, Dominique Earle, Donna McElroy, and Trinidad & Tobago’s own Jesse Murray. A dynamic and versatile vocal talent and stage performer, Vaughnette has also worked alongside Ron Reid, Frankie McIntosh, Raf Robertson, Elan Trotman, Carlton Zanda, Boogsie Sharpe, and Ray Holman.
Godwin Louis, alto saxophonist, was born in Harlem, New York and began playing saxophone at age nine. Godwin grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Port au Prince, Haiti. Godwin was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Saxophone Competition. He has performed around the globe including: Mali, Senegal, Togo, France, Finland, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Venezuela, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia. Godwin is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Performance. Godwin has studied and performed with Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Roger Dickerson, Ron Carter, Al Foster, Jack Dejohnette, Jimmy Heath, Billy Preston, Patti Labelle, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Barry Harris, Howard Shore, David Baker, Mulatu Astakte, Mahmoud Ahmed, Wynton Marsalis, and Terence Blanchard just to name a few.
In addition, Godwin has performed as a sideman, guest soloist and has conducted clinics and master classes worldwide. As a composer, Godwin has received the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, and the Jazz Gallery’s “New Works Commission”. As an educator, humanitarian and ambassador, Godwin has traveled from Benin to China to help promote cross-cultural understanding and introduce thousands to America’s indigenous art form, through public concerts, master classes, and jam sessions. Godwin is the founder of Experience Ayiti, a nonprofit educational, multidisciplinary arts organization. Godwin is currently an Assistant Professor at the prestigious Berklee College Of Music’s Woodwind Department.