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Anita Baker Live at the Barbados Jazz Festival 2007

An air of both impatience and anticipation hangs in the air at Sir Garfield Sobers Auditorium on the outskirts of Bridgetown, the capital of the Caribbean island nation of Barbados. Legendary singer Anita Baker is set to take the stage to perform at the 2007 Barbados Jazz Festival. First, everyone stands to sing the Barbados national anthem. Then the curtains part to reveal Anita’s band and then Anita herself.

Having kept the fans waiting for more than an hour, Anita apologizes obliquely by dancing and swirling around the stage while executing elaborate hand gestures as she curtsies to both sides. Anita remarks glowingly that "I’ve just been treated with such love and abundance," and "I’m working for you tonight." Later she encourages the audience to sing along, but "keep it clean ’cause it’s a family show" (an apparent reference to pop singer Macy Gray’s on-stage near arrest for using curse words during her act the previous evening).

Behind her she has three backup singers (dressed in black and white) along with a guitarist, bass player, conga player, keyboardist, and, last but not least, legendary drummer Ricky Lawson who co-founded the Yellowjackets.

Pianist Barry Eastmond sits quietly on the front part of the stage and is introduced by Anita only as "being from Barbados." No typical sideman, Eastmond is a successful producer who has worked with more than 75 gold and platinum albums which have sold some 50 million copies. He’s co-written some of Anita’s songs, produced her albums and CDs, and has worked with the likes of Britney Spears ("Oops I Did It Again") and Chaka Khan. Anita performs many of her hit tunes from her albums (which have sold more than 13 millions records and won her six Grammies) including "Rapture," "Sweet Love," and "Giving You The Best That I Got." Later in the act, she asks for audience requests and then tells a fan that her request "isn’t on the list." At the set’s end, she adds a sax player for "You Bring Me Joy," before leaving the stage to return for an encore, after which her hour-and-a-quarter performance draws to its dramatic close.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Anita Baker
  • Concert Date: 4/1/2007
  • City State Country: Barbados
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