I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
The Magic of Lionel Cole
As a lover of jazz and blues, I take every opportunity to frequently visit venues that have live music of the jazz and blues genre. Blues had been described as musical form and jazz as a musical art form, but for me they are both a creative form of music.
Blues originated from the Deep South of America, towards the end of the 19th century, from African-American communities. Their songs are spirituals, field chants and hollers, with blues notes and sad lyrics. Hence by listening to such music brings forth a sense of a magic. And as I close my eyes and savour the palatable sounds that feeds my soul, I can almost imagine being in New Orleans, trolling the streets, which are littered with jazz and blues bars.
Alas when the opportunity had risen to listen and watch Lionel Cole perform, I jumped at the chance. Lionel is a Pianist, Songwriter, Composer, Music Editor, Music Supervisor and a Public Speaker. He is a regular touring member with Mariah Carey and as well as co-wrote the single "Through the Rain". Lionel had also re-mixed the million selling single "Its Hard To Say I'm Sorry" by boy band AZ Yet. His work also extends into film and television, composing "Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored" for the Tim Reid film of the same name.
He descended from a family of musical geniuses. He is the son of Freddy Cole, who had been a Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, a nephew of Nat King Cole and the cousin of Natalie Cole. Music definitely does run into his veins.
I dragged along my daughter to the White Horse Hotel where he was performing. We arrived at the venue and were greeted by this larger than life musician. He was busy rehearsing and making sure that the sound equipment was all working. It didn't take long before he got in to the full swing of the show. An American that sings funk, soul and RnB, clad in a kilted skirt. His voice is full, rich and strong, hitting the songs in perfect pitch. Belting out songs like 'Georgia', and a few renditions of Prince and Michael Jackson. He was jiving and gyrating with the music. The audience, mostly young, hip, and funky were enthralled, and I was mesmerised.
He captivated everyone with his talent and charm. Lionel mixed with the crowd, making sure that he greeted and acknowledged us all. The lounge were we were seated is comfortable, sipping a nice red wine, I felt that I was in the "IT" crowd and was privileged to be there. It had the atmosphere of being at your neighbour's, with a great entertainment.
The ambience was relaxed, and the word that came to my mind is "class"
Lionel is now a resident performing artist at the White Horse Hotel. You can watch him perform on Wednesday nights which usually starts approximately around 7:30PM to 10PM. It is a good idea to arrive an hour or two earlier. The White Horse Hotel do have a restaurant, which caters for à la carte menu or a set menu. The place is quite spacious and the upper level has an outside garden.
We then headed downstairs to enjoy the high calibre performance of Lionel Cole. When we left the venue, quoting from the movie Wizard of Oz, I said to my daughter "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore". And so with that thought, I would like to see Lionel Cole perform again.