The Jazz Trip took us to San Nicolas

We went to SN last week for the 23rd edition of the Jazz Trip. It was my second musical helping. The first one brought me mid last year to the New Pueblito Paisa, where a combo of musicians with Serghio Jansen, Reno Steba and Richard Holmond entertained over dinner. I enjoyed a plentiful Bandeja Paisa.

The memorable evening organized by Ali Hector left a taste for more.

Ali shared that the Jazz Trip has since moved into the Astoria hotel patio, and welcomed us at the gate, while Gwen made sure we had a good time over snacks, chased by cocktails.

Gwen’s brother was at the bar, serving drinks including his own artisanal beer.

The Astoria Hotel has been in business in San Nicolas since the 40s. It played host to ex-pats working at the refinery.  I also knew the hotel restaurant well — we loved driving down to the oil town for a Chinese food fix. The owners, members of the Croes-Wong family, served delicious Chinese specialties in that famous patio under the tree.

Today, members of the family’s fourth generation are making efforts to breathe new life into the Astoria — open the restaurant and a beer brewery, host concerts and special events.

The Jazz Trip music, on the night following Valentine’s Day was mostly sweet, romantic too. I did not know all numbers — some sounded familiar, all were soothing. They all let my mind wonder and unwind.

Vocalist Watra was the featured singer. She has delightful vocals. She tells small anecdotes between songs and exudes a laid-back, easy-going stage presence. A guest singer, Osdely Lacroes, harmonized nicely with Watra, while guitarist Kit and drummer Pierre Koolman played. The evening offered two sets of great tunes, including Abo So, by Padu Lampe, Etta James’ At Last, and original compositions by Watra.

Watra is a multilingual vocalist, a songwriter and a musician, born in the Netherlands, raised in Aruba of Surinam-Haitian heritage.

The Jazz Trip is a monthly midweek jazz and bites experience, @thejazztrip
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Location: The Astoria, San Nicolas, Aruba
Ali Hector – A Personal and Commercial Stylist based in Aruba Island Girl with a NY State of Mind.


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February 21, 2024
Rona Coster