Negril, Estelle, but no Javaughn

It is sooo hard to blog about Jamaica in the daytime. Perfect sunny weather, endless daiquiries to be had–why am I inside? Because it is harder to blog about Jamaica in the nighttime, when everyone else is out at the clubs. Or, this week, at Jazz & Blues.

I’ve been at Jazz & Blues two nights running, and have many pictures to show you, mostly of Estelle,  AKA Miss “You’ll be my American Boy” protege of Kanye West. I always wondered what it was about her that got Kanye, who is one of the most over-competitive and non-chivalrous producers currently in existence, to roll over on his back like a puppy for Estelle. You don’t see him doing that for Beyonce, Rihanna, hell even Lady Gaga. But having seen Estelle live, I now understand all. The woman has charisma, she has a powerhouse voice, she has Tina Turner legs in a tiny silver spangle dress, and a sexy cute attitude that transcends all male chauvinism. Seriously. She got some Jamaican dude up on the stage, demanded that he bump and grind with her, and then teased him mercilessly for not knowing how to move his hips.  She schooled him and rocked his world in front of thousands of his countrymen. Then she gave him a kiss and sent him home. Go Estelle! Love that girl. 

I spent much of the rest of Jazz & Blues that nite in the manner I’d begun earlier in the day, which was: laze about, have no set plans, and drink as many Red Stripes as possible. This worked out well for me. We arrived in Negril around mid-afternoon, and spent sunset at the Rockhouse Hotel, which has to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It’s on limestone cliffs, with lots of little cabana-type lodgings, little wooden bridges spanning crevasses where you can see the ocean 50 feet below, a stairway leading down to sea level, where people actually go swimming if the water’s calm and/or they don’t mind taking their lives in hand… and then a swimming pool set into a ledge that lips the sea. I could probably spend every day at their outdoor bar, watching the daredevils jump off the cliffs, and everyone else just sort of moon about thinking how lucky they are to be there…

Because my friend knew the owner, I learned that Rockhouse is opening a new restaurant called Pushcart this very night–and this is where I achieved my one significant thing for the day, which was to score myself an invitation to opening night.  What can I say–I like to be first. So tonite, if I can convince someone to drive me to Negril, I am back to Rockhouse.

Otherwise it’s third night of Jazz & Blues, which is a fun festival, as long as you remember the Jamaican principles of:  relax, be nice, and don’t worry too much about schedules or getting work done off business hours. I forgot this for a short time yesterday, when two of the Jazz & Blues PR girls waxed so enthusiastic about this  16-year-old Damien Marley protege named Javaughn that I decided to make a point of seeing his set, then  interview him. It didn’t work out so well. There was no set time he’d be performing–no finalized lineup in fact. By the time I got to the show, he’d already played–only no one knew where or what time. They also didn’t know where he’d gone.  Since I couldn’t see myself roaming thru a crowd of 15,000 Jamaicans in search of a 16 year old boy–local celebrity though he might be–I betook myself to the VIP tent (AKA free food/booze tent, nice seats) and told his reps to text me if he returned. They never did. Ah well. I guess teens have better things to do with their Friday nights than worry about their careers, Marley protege or no. 

At any rate, off I go. I do have pictures…or anyway, someone has pictures, definitely my friend Robert because he’s a photographer & took at least 17,000 snaps of the concert, including a few of me.  But they will wait. They must. I need to go be lazy.

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January 2009

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