Bernie Williams

Elan Trotman

Nestor Torres

Kareem Thompson

Saturday, April 14 / 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
The Caribbean Connection
featuring KAREEM THOMPSON (steel pans)

Club ECP: The Jazz Cruises of Entertainment Cruise Productions
DoubleTree by Hilton Reading
Tickets: $39 (General Admission)

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Bernie Williams discovered his love for baseball and music at roughly the same time, when at the age of eight he fell in love with the sounds of a flamenco guitar his merchant-marine father brought home from Spain, and also felt the same exhilaration when he first picked up a baseball bat. The young student-athlete quickly excelled in both pursuits.

When Williams signed a contract with the New York Yankees at age 17, he brought his love of music with him.  In his 16-year career playing center field for the New York Yankees, Williams was a four-time World Series champion and a five-time All-Star.

Throughout Williams’ years with the Yankees, his passion for music never waned, and the sound of a guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights. Whether acoustic or electric, a guitar was a constant presence in the star’s locker or equipment bag, and it was no surprise in 2003 when he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first album, The Journey Within. The record featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams’ heritage and was met with both strong critical praise and instant chart success, reaching No. 3 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart.

Williams raised his musical game even further with the release of his second album Moving Forward. Featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, and an All-Star cast of renowned studio musicians, Moving Forward debuted as Billboard’s No. 2 Contemporary Jazz album in the country and spawned two consecutive Billboard No. 1 singles, “Go For It,” and “Ritmo de Otono.” The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album in 2009.

One of the most exciting up-and-comers among his generation of saxophonists, Elan Trotman explores the contemporary jazz field in his own way. While much of his music is radio friendly, in his live performances he prefers to stretch out, take chances, and add an edge to his solos. He brings all of his different influences into his music. Inspired by Arturo Tappin, Grover Washington Jr., Kirk Whalum and the calypsos and reggae of his Barbados childhood, Trotman’s music is never predictable and is full of surprises.

Latin Grammy Award-winning Nestor Torres’ rhythmic and mellifluous flute sound remains apart in a class all by itself. His 14 recordings as a soloist, four Latin Grammy nominations, one Grammy nomination and one Latin Grammy Award along with collaborations with diverse artists such as Gloria Estefan, Kenny Loggins, Dave Mathews, Herbie Hancock, Tito Puente, Michael Camilo, Paquito D’ Rivera and Arturo Sandoval are testament to the remarkable journey of an artist who continues to grow and enrich the lives of those who experience his talents.

Kareem Thompson’s love affair with the steelpan instrument began at the age of eight. It has been and continues to be, a magnificent story. Thoughtful, cerebral, gifted, spiritual and introspective — Thompson brings that rare blend of intellect, talent and selflessness. He is indeed an artist and an entertainer. Mature beyond his years, he brings a unique musical perspective to the table and is a major influence on this generation of steelpan music players.