Backstage Pass at the Jamaica Jazz Festival Weekend – The Show (Part 2)

Mornings in Jamaica are a beautiful thing.  There’s a gentle hush in the air as people wake to start a new day.  Besides those who were working at the resort, many guests had already been out early to claim their spot on the beach marking a chair with a towel.  It’s nice when your biggest concern is to ensure you have to grab a chair before they’re all gone.

We all woke at different times but made a point to come together for breakfast. We were all joking and laughing about events to date.  You would have never known that this group was just hours away from performing to celebrate Jamaica’s 50th year of independence.

As breakfast finished, we had a few moments to enjoy some time.  I went back to my room to gather all my needs as we wouldn’t be returning to the hotel before the show.  I grabbed my stuff and headed over to Jully’s room.

Her well-known stylist Peter Papapetrou (lovingly referred to as “Papa”) worked his magic by putting together various ensembles for Jully to wear through the course of the evening.

With make-up and clothing complete, we were now ready to head to the venue where Jully and her crew were scheduled for a sound check to ensure the vibe would be on point!

Getting into the mini bus....

We were on our way to the Trelawny Stadium!

When we arrived I was surprised at the size of the stadium.  It was amazing to know that in a few hours it would be filled with people.

Beautiful Stands
Appleton...yum!

We were ushered to the artists green room where we set our baggage down and waited  until the dressing rooms were ready.  While we were waiting, we heard someone else doing sound check on stage.  It was none other than Celine Dion!

Squint tight - Celine's in the red pants

Unfortunately my camera wouldn’t zoom in any further.  Of course I figured out how to do that after the show :..(

While Celine was doing her sound check, some early birds were entertained to a quick preview of what to expect in the evening.  She brought out Diana King to collaborate on “Treat Her Like a Lady”.  They sounded great!

Jully’s team was up next for sound check.  We made our way down to the stage as Celine was finishing up.  Everyone took their place.  Jully had a moment to show us her sexy mic.

Mic check!!

 I’d like to introduce you to her band.

Jully and Andrew (wicked guitarist!!)

Andrew has been in Jully’s band for well over 10 years!  He’s an amazing guitarist and extremely intelligent!  He’s such a peaceful soul : )

Don't let this pic fool you... DJ Shine is electric!!

DJ Shine was on the ones and twos. He always brings an extra “wow factor” to every show making the performance explosive!

D.Shon chillin..

D.Shon is a great vocalist and a good friend of Jully’s.  I have no doubt that their 17 year friendship is the key factor that takes their performances to another level.  Besides supporting vocals, he adds flavour to the show itself.  He’s fun and caring and loves to take long walks on the beach…..I’m joking!  He is fun and caring though. He was my roomie and we shared a lot of laughs!

Young Pete Alexander and Andres

Here’s Andres and Young Pete Alexander.  Andres along with Jeremy (not in picture) worked hard to ensure the sound was on point, a goal which they surpassed.

Young Pete Alexander is Jully’s producer and drummer.  There are no words to express how amazing he is on the drums – and like any true artist, he makes it look effortless.  You have to witness it in person to feel what I’m trying to say.  Jully, Pete and well-known choreographer Luther Brown are collectively known as “The Officials”.  They worked on Jully’s new album (8)ight which is scheduled to be released this year!

Little did the people of Jamaica know they would be treated to a collaboration with one of their own home-grown artists.  Leftside A.K.A. Dr. Evil added his flavour to Set It Off.

YoungPete, Jully and Leftside

Here’s Papa..

Papa's feelin out the crowd...

After sound check, we headed back to the dressing room to relax for a bit before the show.  I have to say, I just loved this group!  One of my favourite things to do is laugh and they always had me laughing.  I loved every moment of it.

Finally it was show time.  We made our way back down stairs where we were escorted backstage.  Though I must have looked like a true foreigner, I didn’t care that I was wearing high heels walking around on a grass soccer field.  It just meant that I had to walk on my tippy toes which made me look a little “Stush” in others words “Posh”.  At 5’2, you will often find me in heels claiming height whenever I can.  And this was such a big event, I couldn’t walk around in flats, it just didn’t feel right..lol.

Me ina mi red heel shoe...

The show was just amazing.  Jully and the whole crew killed it!  They were sensational and, in my opinion, I felt sorry for the following acts leading up to Celine as they couldn’t hold a light next to Jully and her crew!

The sounds and lighting were phenomenal and everyone was feeling the vibe.  She definitely woke the crowd up!  If you’ve ever been to a Jully Black show, you know what I’m saying – if you haven’t, you need to check one out!

Jully giving a spectacular show!
Jully and D.Shon setting the mood.
Jully sharing her love for Jamaica!

Seeing the masses in the stadium was surreal.  Over 30,000 people and 1.1 million online viewers!

What I didn’t realize was that after the performance, Jully’s work still wasn’t done.  She had to meet the press for a number of interviews.  So, it was back to the dressing room for a quick change and make-up touch up.

There was such a buzz in the press room. Etalk, HBO, FlowTV and a number of other media members was there covering the show.  I found out TMZ was in the audience!

Jully and YoungPete gracefully answered all questions asked of them.

Jully and YoungPete talking to the press.

Finally it was time to go.  We left the show a little early to beat the traffic and thank God we did that.  The next day, we heard that it took some people 3 hours to get back to their resorts/homes.

I feel truly blessed to have had this opportunity to see the show first hand and see what really goes on behind the scenes to make these type of events a success.

Here is a good summary of the show on the night Jully performed! http://youtu.be/XMwY4nIthAo