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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, March 21, 2023


March 1, 2004 – Singing a string of his hits from three decades of recording, Jeffrey Osborne rocked the house at the Reichhold Center for the Arts on Saturday night on St. Thomas. We could not think of a better person than Jeffrey Osborne to kick off our 25th anniversary season, Reichhold director David Edgecombe stated at the start of the show.
The nearly full house came to hear the veteran singer, who for the past 30 years has been known mostly for his ballads and love songs. During his on-stage banter, Osborne remarked: "I think I've been a part of more weddings than I can count," noting the fact that his music is used so often for nuptials, rivaling Luther Vandross for the most-requested use of his music at weddings.
He also commented on the gracious hospitality he had received on St. Thomas from the media and everyone he encountered on his visit. At one point he said he was still waiting for someone to bring him some local kallaloo.
On Friday night, there was an informal cocktail reception at the Reichhold for the artist, providing an opportunity for Virgin Islanders to meet and talk with him prior to the Saturday show. He, too, was gracious and very approachable at the reception.
Appearing relaxed and exuding an air of total confidence, no doubt gained from performing on stage for so many years, beginning with the R & B group L.T.D., which stands for Love, Togetherness and Devotion, Jeffrey Osborne did not disappoint his fans. He was obviously well rehearsed and in charge on stage right down to the sultry body movements punctuating the up-tempo dance tunes.
But it's the love songs that sent chills and thrills to his adoring fans made up of couples, some snuggling and holding hands during the 90-minute performance. Also known for his health consciousness, Osborne, who came out wearing a suit and tie, proceeded to disrobe first the tie, then the jacket … and as he sang one song after another, he ended up in a black muscle shirt displaying a well-developed torso, much to the audience's delight. His bumps and grinds on the slower numbers did much to titillate the ladies, who screamed for more.
This was a show well worth the escalated price. (Covered seats went for $65, and the uncovered ones started at $45.) With a wide and varied repertoire of music from which to choose, Osborne went from the early days up to his current CD, titled "Music Is My Life," and the hit single "The Rest of Our Lives."
Overall, there was definitely a party atmosphere spurred by the pulsating rhythms emanating from his five-piece combo — drums, bass guitar, percussion and electric guitar headed by music director and keyboard artist Frankie Crawford. One female backup singer, Shannon Pierson, and one male singer, Joey Diggs, rounded out the performers on stage, adding to the sheer pleasure of the evening.
Jeffrey Osborne sounds as good as, if not better than, some of his hit recordings, which indicates how well, prepared he was for this performance.

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