Lovers from all over Monrovia are lining up for the big one: tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day Affair with the compelling bassist, Ernie, and his amazing pianist, Kennedy Harris, performing together in what is being billed as the Living Room’s most exciting event of the year; and it is planned for the Royal Grand Hotel on Tubman Boulevard in Monrovia.
Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine “…is an annual holiday, celebrated of February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical (service, praise, worship) feast day, honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.”
“According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed ‘Your Valentine,’ as a farewell.”
“The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love to each other by presenting flowers, offering confectioneries (sweets, pies, candies, etc.) and sending greeting cards (known as valentines).”
Over the year-end holidays, a few weeks ago, the indefatigable bassist, Ernie Bruce, was called to treat his many local fans to some jazz music – for a change. Music aficionados (maestros, experts) that filled the Royal Grand Hotel’s Living Room to capacity on one of those exciting Friday nights knew what to expect; and Ernie delivered…in spades.
Some in attendance were amazed that Ernie’s music repertoire (stock, catalog) included jazz. With his newfound sidekick, pianist Kennedy, Ernie took his place with the hauteur of the seasoned performer that he is. Looking over his audience with a smile, he recalled the many happy hours he had spent, when a boy, fine-tuning his musical skills as he sat at the feet of his famous grand uncle, Father J. D. K. Baker, of sainted memory. Now his commitment to honing his craft was paying off.
Who would have expected the newer members of that night’s guests to go wild when the virtuoso performer broke into an upbeat jazz piece that he knew would change their lives forever?
It was a departure from what often comprised Ernie’s more meditative Christmas concertos and the audience seemed to agree from the ‘get-go’ that they were getting their money’s worth – and more.
The bassist’s audience responded appreciatively as he segued (shifted) from one rhapsody (blissful item) to the other, out of the choice jazz pieces he had devoted so much of his time to mastering. He was on a cruise, and the fans knew it.
Tomorrow night, with an assist from his able pianist, Kennedy Harris, Ernie finds himself in a more challenging mind-frame. Like jazz, and religious music, songs from the heart – and about love – are an important part of his repertoire.
He considers himself on a crusade: a mission that with the right props and hi-tech effects – including uninhibited sounds and the right ambience – will keep the audience lightly stamping their feet and snapping their fingers with the emotion-filled tunes he has selected.
It will be a Valentine night that will be talked about promoting upcoming engagements, as Ernie finds himself gracing the “Living Room” of the Royal Grand, one week after the other, surrendering to the dictates of the lyrics and the notes that will keep the audience rhythmically (in a certain pattern or style) rocking in their seats, making moves in response to love dillies; moves they thought they had forgotten.
Tomorrow’s performance promises to translate into a long-term and inspiring collaboration between Ernie and Kennedy, a precocious (gifted) 25 year-old music enthusiast, who literally dropped into Ernie’s musical sphere, and the Royal Grand Hotel.
Fans are going to be struck by the musical versatility of the duo and the great love music that together, the duo (two) will make happen. Be there!