The 2012 Hampton Jazz Festival had been a weekend of great R & B music until Saturday Night’s segment featuring legendary saxophonist Kenny G, who immediately took the program to the next level with his melodic and seemingly effortless play of what truly was “smooth” jazz. Kenny entered the Hampton Coliseum arena from the rear of the audience blowing his hoen as only Kenny G can. He then made his way to the center of the audience, stepped onto a small podium and began to mesmerize the thousands of music lovers in witness.
Will Downing opened the Saturday show with a great performance as well, doing all of his romantic love songs and the classics he’s covered as well. Will sounded fabulous and received a huge response from his performance 0f “Nothing’s Ever Felt Like This”, a song he recorded with the lovely Ms. Rachelle Ferrell. Although Rachelle wasn’t there, if you closed your eyes as Will’s background singer stepped in to fill the female vocals, you wouldn’t have known the difference.
Monica looked absolutely beautiful in her first Hampton Jazz Fest appearance and sang that way as well, although her song selection was a little unfamiliar to many of the “grown folks” in attendance, but the true Monica fans enjoyed her show, which ran long. So long that she never performed the one song I wanted to hear her sing, “For You I Will”. All in all, Monica sounded great and performed well.
Rounding out the Saturday show was Ledisi, who as always showed the many “Pieces” that make up this energetic female vocalist, who also went into the audience during her hit song “Pieces Of Me”, which seems to have become somewhat of a women’s anthem. She was in Hampton two years ago and did well but she’s released two albums since and her and gave the sellout crowd their money’s worth with her new hit :Bravo”, and the sultry ballad “In The Morning”.