Courtesy of: The Morning News
By Rosalie Klein
Aruba was proud to once again host the annual Soul Beach Music Festival over Memorial Day weekend, this year welcoming back its founder, famous comedian Sinbad, for the opening comedy night concert on Friday May 24.
This year, the multi-faceted performer demonstrated not only his wit, but a distinct talent for playing the guitar and that he also blows a mighty mean whistle. His show featured some classic funk, along with lots of laughs, justifying the “Night of Funk & Comedy.” Vocalist Paige Bryan was also featured with Memphis Red and the Funk Stank Nasty Band. Ably warming up the audience prior to Sinbad’s performance was hot young comedian Damon Williams. Last year, the very funny Chase Anthony so impressed the audience and festival organizers, he returned this year as MC for all the concerts.
Saturday night, the festival moved to Nikky Beach by the Surfside, the traditional home of the concerts, which embodies that casual, shores front ambiance that brings thousands down to Aruba each year.
Saturday’s concert opened with one of Aruba’s top singers and composer, Claudius Phillips and his band, O.R.E.O. Six-time Grammy nominee Tamia sent temperatures soaring with a hot rendition of her classic hit, “So Into You.”
It was obvious the audience was so into Tamia!
Then leather-clad D’Angelo took over the stage, to remind the audiences it is all about the funk! The artist’s period sabbaticals and selectivity in recording and concert tours, made this appearance at the 2013 SBMF a particularly unique and memorable experience for the festival’s fans. Accurately described for Billboard Magazine as “potent” when he takes to the stage, he proved it again on Aruba this past Saturday night.
The beach at Surfside was filled to capacity for the final night of the Soul Beach Music Festival 2013, which delivered an overdose of soul with star performer Elle Varner. The sexy, soulful singer may very well walk away with a BET Best Female R&B/POP Artist Award in June, or not, but she certainly captured the heart of the audience on Sunday night.
In perfect counterpoint were the smooth dance moves of NE-YO and his troupe. The audience chanted his name as he took to the stage, eager to see some of the famous dancing he did in films such as “Save the Last Dance 2,” and “Stomp the Yard;” they were not disappointed.
His familiar face from other films such as “Battle Los Angeles” and “Red Tails,” may have been hidden by a low-slung hat, but it did not diminish in anyway the dynamic, kinetic performance by NE-YO and his crew.
Opening for the headliners was popular local band “Le Groove,” which ably warmed up the final tropical night of great soul music. This final concert ended yet another successful SBMF festival, providing days and nights of fantastic beach parties, music and comedy concerts, and after parties, while attendees enjoy the best Aruba has to offer.