Jan. 15, 2003 – VI Art Ensemble will provide the music and Mother Nature, as usual, is in charge of the lighting and special effects for Friday's Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted concert, which will take place in Veterans Park along the waterfront from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Founded eight years ago by its director, bassist Fred Williams, VI Art Ensemble has been a Friday night fixture at the Blue Moon pretty much even since.
Williams got his early exposure to music from his father, band leader and saxophonist Ohaldo Williams, and Fred Thomas. His studies took him to Berklee College of Music, City College of New York and Winthrop University, where he earned a master's degree in educational leadership. He has performed and recorded with such jazz artists as Ornette Coleman, Pharoah Sanders and James "Blood" Ulmer.
He teaches music at Ricardo Richards Elementary School, where he also directs the Creative Arts Ensemble, and is finishing work on a primary school music textbook, "Our Heritage," that has its focus on Caribbean people.
Other VI Art Ensemble members are Marcus Rabb on trumpet, Demitri "Pikey" Copemann on saxophone, Benjamin Jacobs-El on piano, Dave McKean on drums, Rene Encarnacion on congas and Junie Bomba on bongos.
Friday's concert will features special guests, too — Elias "Safari" Henry on congas and high school students Shakila Rosado and Rodney Williams on vocals and trumpet, respectively.
Sunset Jazz is sponsored by the Frederiksted Economic Development Association. Admission is free, families with children are warmly welcome, and the organizers suggest that everyone bring folding chairs or blankets for sitting on the grass. As usual, FEDA will operate a cash bar, and Hispanos Unidos will be selling food. And with the early hours of the concert, attendees are encouraged to stay in downtown Frederiksted for dinner or to enjoy further entertainment to get the weekend off to an enjoyable start.
FEDA presents Sunset Jazz concerts the third Friday of each month. The Feb. 21 artist is yet to be announced. Vocalist Catalina George & Company are booked for March 21, and the St. Thomas band Paradise, which made its series debut on Dec. 20, will be back on April 18. For more information, call 719-3672 or e-mail to Sunset Jazz.
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