This Saturday, September 9, music lovers will enjoy the beautiful sunset and the sweet sounds of jazz, R&B, zouk and reggae at the newly renovated Seaview Pool-Bar and Restaurant in Philipsburg. Here, talented singer Ilismo will be joined by singer Rubia and the Focus Band for a musical night from 5:00 to 8:00pm.
On this “Elements of R&B, Zouk and Reggae” night, Rubia will be singing well-known R&B songs that the audience can relate too – and maybe even sing along to! Ilismo will be performing a fusion of jazz, zouk and reggae – mostly original music, including some remakes of songs the audience is bound to recognize.
Formerly known as Cutie Johnson from the Johnson sisters, Ilismo grew up in St. Peters and began singing duets at home with her twin sister Lynn at the age 11. Ilismo eventually joined the church choir and during choir rehearsals, she and her sister would learn the harmonies of all the different sections to amuse themselves. Ilismo started singing professionally at 14 years old.
Taking a break from singing to attend college in 2004, Ilismo graduated with a degree in Computer Information Systems and Video & Radio production. She later pursued the field of Visual Arts with a concentration in Photojournalism and Graphic arts, which helped her direct some of her own music videos. Together with her twin sister, she released three award winning Gospel albums in 1996, 2008 and 2009. In 2009 Ilismo recorded her song “I see love”, which won the Marlin award for best Jazz recording the same year.
The singer currently resides in Florida where her son goes to school. From there, she travels back and forth to the rest of the United States, the Caribbean, and sometimes even Europe to perform her music, which she describes as a mixture of Caribbean soul and jazz.
Ilismo just finished the music video for her original song “Motion Emotion” which she will be performing this Saturday. The artist shot the video in St. Maarten, Florida and Anguilla, together with local dancers Jonathan van Arneman, Dashaun Prince and dance group Anaïs Dance Fusion, choreographed by Hillianthe Lynch-Simon.
This Saturday, Ilismo is looking forward to showcasing the island’s cultural diversity through her performance. “It will be a fusion of different genres and languages. Because St. Maarten is a melting pot, I want to represent the different cultures on the island though my music,” she says. In this case, the musical melting pot will include golden oldies such as Stevie Wonder’s “Master Blaster,” Hispanic classics and Indian songs.
The artist is also enthusiastic about performing with the Focus Band’s Kerry Connor on the keyboards, Kirby Louis Jeune on the drums, Jojo on the guitar and LightShine on the bass. “The ensemble is made up of really good musicians. I’m excited because I haven’t played with some of them for a very long time,” she says. “And I’m having them work extra hard with all my remakes,” Ilismo jokes.
The Elements of R&B, Zouk and Reggae Night will take place this Saturday, September 9, at the Seaview Beach Hotel on the Boardwalk in Philipsburg. The doors open at 5:00pm and tickets cost $20. For tickets, reservation and more information, call +1 (721) 527-1326. See you there!