Brian McKnight to headline Eat, Drink, Jazz
American R&B legend Brian McKnight will headline this year's Eat, Drink, Jazz.
McKnight will headline a star-studded EDJ cast that includes: soca crossover act Kes the Band, reggae star Jamelody, jazz guitarist Clifford Charles, starlet Nisa (Genisa St. Hilaire) and founder of EDJ, Ancil Valley.
McKnight, speaking via a video recording on Wednesday, appeared over the moon about the prospect of performing in Trinidad and Tobago.
The “Back at One” singer will appear with his acclaimed band Brian McKnight 4 which includes McKnight on keys, Isaiah Sharkey on guitar, Chris Loftlin on bass and Gregory Daniel on drums/percussion.
“Baby I can’t wait to get next to you,” McKnight sang in his trademark falsetto while fingering a melody on his keyboard during a video played at the launch of EDJ 2018 at the Kaiso Blues Café, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.
The “Anytime” singer smiled widely from behind a grey beard as he added: “Trinidad and Tobago that’s right it’s Brian McKnight and I’m coming Saturday, October 13 to Eat, Drink and Jazz music festival so go out and get your tickets early and join us at the Jean Pierre Complex. I’ll see you then.”
Valley, a former Digicel Rising Star winner, said it was a two-year process in securing a date for McKnight. Despite not being in the full glare of the entertainment limelight the eleven-time Grammy nominee has maintained an incredibly hectic tour schedule.
“We are very happy to have a legend like Brian McKnight grace the Eat Drink Jazz stage and I must say Brian was adamant that he get an early spot on the show when the people are at the height of their energy,” Valley said at Wednesday’s launch.
Coming to Port-of-Spain
Valley, who was accompanied by cast members Clifford Charles and Nisa at the launch, said he took the decision to move EDJ from San Fernando Hill to Port-of-Spain simply to accommodate the R&B icon. The last four editions of EDJ were held atop the iconic southern show space.
“San Fernando Hill is very special to us, it has been our home and it is with a heavy heart that we moved to Port-of-Spain this year. The truth is we knew with a headliner like McKnight we needed a bigger space that allowed us to put on a bigger production. We needed to provide an adequate space for him to share his music it’s as simple as that, but we want our South family to come to the new space and celebrate with us,” Valley said.
The EDJ founder said this year’s event will also feature for the first time a cooler zone where patrons who so choose can come with their own drinks to the venue. There will also be a premium all-inclusive option for those who prefer to come with their hands swinging.
“There is a place and a space for everyone and any budget at EDJ 2018. Brian has indicated that he wants to go on early when the crowd is at its peak so expect him on stage by 10 pm and Kes The Band will close the show. Can you imagine?” Valley concluded with a wink.
Eat, Drink, Jazz will be held on October 13 at Jean Pierre Complex. Tickets are available at NLCB outlets and Cache stores nationwide, Michael and Jody’s Gulf City, Suddies Point Fortin, Marty’s Barbershop, 519 C3 Centre, Woodford Café Price Plaza, Desigual Boutique Movietowne and online at www.ticketgateway.com