Mary J Blige gives her all at Jamaica Jazz

Mary J Blige gives her all at Jamaica Jazz

Written by Editor

Topics: Music, Parties & Festivals

She hit the stage with a regal groove that ignited the Jamaica Jazz & Blues crowd on January 25, and from that point on there was no holding back, as Mary J Blige uncompromisingly shared her art and her heart with the thousands of patrons gathered in the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium. Always as real as it gets, Blige blanketed the venue with her exceptional midrange vocals that dripped with unadulterated soul and resonated with raw emotion.

Mary J Blige

Dressed in a subtly sparkling white jacket and matching pants, she opened her performance with an infectious cover of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody”, before unleashing the Dr. Dre-produced party jam “Family Affair”. She expertly straddled smooth and sassy on the self-affirming “Enough Cryin” and followed it up with “Real Love”, one of the signature joints off her 1992 debut album “What’s the 411?”, which earned her the title “Queen of Hip-hop Soul”.

Following performances of songs such as “Good Woman Down” and “Everything”, Blige exited the stage for a wardrobe change and reappeared wearing a bright red tie front jumpsuit. The set took on greater emotional intensity at this juncture, as she soulfully delivered “Not Gon’ Cry” from the “Waiting to Exhale” soundtrack and powerfully belted out her cover of Rose Royce’s 1976 hit “I’m Goin’ Down”.

The urgency was palpable throughout her performance of “No More Drama”, which was richly textured with ad libs and almost seemed like live catharsis on the stage. She served up another nod to her dear friend Chaka Khan on the cover of “Sweet Thing” and treated the crowd to other hits such as “Be Happy”, “Just Fine” and “Love No Limit”. She capped off her show-closing set with the beautiful ballad “Be Without You”, and the enchanted crowd sang along with her word for word.

The night also featured performances from blue-eyed soul man Michael Bolton, Barbadian saxophonist Arturo Tappin, who was thoroughly entertaining, reggae singer Etana and fast rising band Raging Fyah.

This patron at the 2013 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival sings along with Michael Bolton during his performance.

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