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US Embassy hosts Brent Birckhead Quartet in tour of Eastern Caribbean

US Embassy hosts Brent Birckhead Quartet in tour of Eastern Caribbean

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After completing a very successful tour of Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, and Dominica, earlier this year, the US Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS was pleased to host the Brent Birckhead Quartet in an encore tour. This time, the quartet played to enthusiastic crowds in St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.

The quartet’s second stop was St Vincent and the Grenadines on September 18, where the ensemble performed during a free public concert at the Peace Memorial Hall. {{more}}The US Embassy presented the quartet in this series of public concerts to underscore the excellence and diversity of American music.

The four award-winning Americans of the quartet include saxophonist Brent Birckhead; pianist, Mark Meadows; percussionist, Carroll Dashiell III; and bassist, Romeir Mendez. The ensemble thrilled the audience with a programme of jazz standards and original compositions. Distinguished guests in attendance included Governor-General of St Vincent and the Grenadines Sir Frederick Ballantyne.

When asked what he wanted audiences to remember about him, Birckhead said “Music is a conversation and all students of jazz, myself included, have to learn the language of jazz. It’s just like a child learning to talk. You listened to your parents, your vocabulary grew, and eventually, you were able to express yourself. Music is no different, and we’re here to have a conversation with our audience.” Yolonda Kerney, US Embassy Bridgetown’s public affairs officer and a former Library of Congress music historian, offered her assessment of the quartet: “They are masterful, both technically and artistically, and they are the present and future of jazz. Like so many great artistes, their music is a reflection of their personalities — individually and as a group. The Birckhead Quartet is confidence without arrogance; commentary without hyperbole; expansion without excess.”

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