Jazz, Soul and Blues: George Benson and Patti Austin at the Big Dome

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September 5, 2013 – The Big Dome was transcended to the age of jazz, soul and blues as two of the prominent artists of the era graced the Manila stage for a night of pure classic music. Grammy Award winning artists Patti Austin and George Benson treated their audience to a trip down the good, old memory lane with the songs that captivated their generation’s hearts at one point in time.

The crowd was sizable, composed mainly of people who are in their 30s and above. They are not to be taken lightly though, because even with their age, they do know how to enjoy the show. Throughout the concert, the hoots and cheers were undying. Anyone can tell that people were having a great time, enthralled with the classic hits performed by the two.

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The dazzling Patti Austin was the first to take the stage, coming out strong with “Do You Love Me?” and “All Behind Us Now”. Her voice was powerful yet graceful as her songs echoed throughout the Dome. To further highlight her vocal prowess, she lightheartedly performed “Baby, Come to Me” with an impressive impersonation of James Ingram’s voice. With humor, she ended the song by saying “So now you don’t miss James Ingram too much, right?” She also performed the slow melody of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, the wistful tunes of “If I Believe” and the dance song “Rhythm of the Street”.

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The audience was up for a surprise guest for the evening whom Patti introduced as “a marvelous artist”. The guest turned out to be Joe Pizzulo, formerly a lead singer for Sergio Mendes. He sang “Take This Love”.

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Bursting with energy was the man of the evening, George Benson. Starting off with “Feel Like Making Love” and “Kisses in the Moonlight”, he immediately got the crowd’s ardor. With his band, George Benson gave out one a soulful performance. His voice was as strong as it used to be years ago. As he played songs from the 1976 album “Breezin’”, he proved that his masterful soul/jazz guitar-playing had not become rusty over the decades.

Halfway through his set, he called in Patti Austin for a duet of “Moody’s Mood” from the 1980 album titled “Give Me the Night”. He also played the classic hit “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You” and the cover of Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable”. The improvised vocalizations along with the resonating interplay of the guitar with the beats added color to the show, making it more dynamic. For the encore, George Benson performed “This Masquerade” and “On Broadway”, leaving the audience with a lasting upbeat note as he shouted at the end “Manila! I love you! Thank you very much! Nothing’s gonna change my love for you!”

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Written by Sandra Mae Laureano
Photos by Glenn Michael Tan

* Special thanks to Ovation Productions

Upcoming Shows by Ovation Productions
Tiesto Live in Manila (Oct 3 at Smart Araneta Coliseum)
Alicia Keys Live in Manila (Nov 25 at Mall of Asia Arena)
Two Door Cinema Club Live in Manila (Nov 26 at NBC Tent)
-Don Moen Concert (November 2013 – more info soon!)
-The Lettermen Concert (November 2013 – more info soon!)



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