Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | February 4, 2011
Home : Social
A musical treat for all
Felicity Crosswell-Brandt and Leo Williams let their feet follow the beat. Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
Chester Francis-Jackson, Gleaner Writer

And so my dears, 2011 is now off and running and the Chinese are now celebrating the start of their New Year - The Year of the Rabbit.

But a few Wednesdays ago, the very charming Felicity Crosswell-Brandt hosted a musical at her oh so fabulous St Andrew condominium that was such a fabulous do, those who guested are still singing its praises! The beauty of the occasion was that it was not an agenda-driven social, but simply a celebration of life and friends. The evening began with cocktails as Kingston's leading waiters poured nothing but the finest libations, with Moet Chandon being the welcoming cocktail!

And if the preferred champagne did not show this was an evening of civilised distinction, then the fare prepared by chef extraordinaire/singer/songwriter Suzanne Couch would have erased any such doubts!

Guests were promised a musical entertainment and the host was not stinting, as two very talented musicians followed her introduction. Celebrated Rastafarian and master musician Yekengele, at home on the drums and the guitar but is also simply awesome on the piano/keyboard, has a range running from the contemporary arias to the show-tunes of Hollywood and Broadway and European classics. Alternating with the gifted Chris McDonald on the Baby Grand piano, the duo was simply awesome as McDonald went through a repertoire of international hits, singing in the vocal style made popular by some of his idols, such as Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder.

And it was not only about the duo either, as there was an open microphone which saw former army chief and police commissioner Rear Admiral (Ret) Hardley Lewin singing, and yes, he can, equipping himself well with a near nationalistic delivery. The hostess also tantalised with her velvety voice but none of these were the featured 'star'. That was the lovely Velia Espeut! And honeys, what a vocal treat she proved! The Trinidad-born wife of celebrated deacon and environmentalist, Rev Peter Espeut, was in her musical element as she sang from her heart, soul and sole, as she went from R & B to jazz, to soul and Negro Spiritual, that not only warmed the very core of the heart, but also got the feet in a dancing mood as she simply blew her audience away!

Among the guests were: Denis and Diane Lalor; Deacon Peter Espeut; Dianne McConnell; Sydney Abrahams; the lovely Anthea Gore; Mike Sharpe and Betty Ziadie; Peter Junor; Capt Tessa Lewin; Alex and Susan Dougall; the charming Rachel Roberts; Paul and Mateel Galy; Capt David McRae; Leo and Fayval Williams; David and Michelle McKay; Randy Cheeks; Rachel Barrett; Kingsley Chandler; Marlene Williams; Jason Walker; and the lovely Serena Chung; plus a number of others.


Now, happy birthday greetings to: Carla Seaga; musician Mikey Bennett; chef Joseph Kalynuik in Runaway Bay; the lovely Jacquie Williams, and founder and president of the Miss Jamaica UK Pageant June Daley, who all celebrate their birthday today. Tomorrow, journalist, playwright and commentator Barbara Gloudon; Tajh Williams, formerly of Mandeville, now of Pembroke Pines, Florida, share the same birthday!

On Sunday it's Makonnen Blake-Hannah and the lovely Raquel Jones who celebrate their special day. On Monday, attorney Courtney Foster; Olympian Allodin Fothergill; and the ultra-gorgeous Carla Newsam will make it a triple celebration. On Tuesday, Leonora Rueda, Mexico's ambassador to Jamaica; the beautiful Aloima Suarez; newly-wed, the beautiful Shana Newman Brown; the lovely Carol Gonzalez; the charming Claudette Kenlock; the fab Scarlett Beharie; Naulyn Jones; Paul Mullings; and Debbie Estensen, in Washington, all celebrate!

On Wednesday, Jonathan Surtees of Strawberry Hill fame; the lovely Gloria Dawkins; the lovely Henrietta Harris-Delisser and budding media mogul Maxine Tulloch, in Florida, will celebrate! The next day, the fab Nicola DeMercado-Barbar; Ian Rowlands; the lovely Jacqui Neilssen; the fab Tanya Shirley; Christopher Reckord; Adriana Winerz, in Arizona, and American sprinter Justin Gatlin will be making it their very own special day!

Belated wishes to Paul Issa; Alexei Russell; the fab Natasha Ghantous; the beautiful Karona Smith; Ann-Margaret Olmos, in California; who celebrated on Wednesday. On Tuesday, among those celebrating were hotelier extraordinaire Josef Forstmayr; cricketer Franklyn Rose; former Digicel CEO David Hall; Peter Blake; the lovely Simone Smith and Robert Swaby. On Monday, the fab Debbie Birbari; antique dealer Noel Garcia; and Glen McDaniel in Atlanta, Georgia, all shared the same day! The charming Maria Pinchin celebrated last Wednesday, as did model Latoya Samuels. The fab Sandra Kennedy celebrated on Sunday, January 23.

Champagne wishes all around!

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