Young guitarist Hay will be major performer
15th Annual Bermuda Guitar Festival, presented by the Bermuda School of Music on Friday May 25 at the Bermuda School of Music. Conor Hay, Jerremiah Smith, Steve Crawford — guitars, La Tannia Ellerbe — violin.
Conor Hay, 16, kicked off the evening with John Dowland’s Frog Galliard, followed by two Heitor Villa-Lobos waltzes.
The music was clearly voiced and well executed and his talent has obviously been clearly identified and well nurtured.
There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to grow into a major performer and that we’re going to be seeing a lot more of him in future.
Up next, Jerremiah Smith played a number of his own compositions for us which included Joy, a fun and furious progression of chords which sounded like a speeded-up version of Sweet Georgia Brown and then acharming three-movement Bermuda Suite, which consisted of Barcarolle, Reverie and Modinha.
Jerremiah was joined by Steve Crawford and together they launched into unamplified jazz guitar duets, effectively reconstituting the sound of Django Reinhardt’s 1930s Hot Club de France, including the numbers All of Me and How High The Moon.
The second half of the evening was taken up with Steve Crawford on guitar and La Tannia Ellerbe on violin reprising their 2017 concert debut by playing a new set of classic rock, fusion, reggae and jazz numbers.
Guitar and violin blend together well with an overall folky, ceilidh, almost spontaneous atmosphere which involves the audience immediately.
La Tannia’s playing is deeply felt and intensely lyrical, giving emotive soul and punch to the music, almost as if she were scanning and weighing the lyrics to the songs and, in real time, adding an emotional interpretation, while Steve was doing the same with his guitar.
No wonder Steve and La Tannia brought us all to our feet.