Review: Jazz Extravaganza At Leopards Club

January 10, 2024 | 1 Comment

[Written by Dale Butler]

Bermudian drummer Stefan Furbert came from a misty cloud of performances to the forefront when he organized the return from the UK of pianist James Richardson. There were great expectations that he would organize additional events but that was not to be until he was ready.

Stefan’s return on Saturday, January 6, 2024 to the iconic Leopards Club was greatly appreciated by a debonair audience hungry for live music. With noted entertainers Joy Barnum, Dennis Fox, Shine Hayward, and Charo Hollis in the audience, he was never daunted by the challenge because, as was predicted at birth by his father Wayne Furbert, “a drummer is born.” This was soon followed by a drum set at age one, according to his mom Lynelle Furbert, and many other experiences that prepared him for a night of serious jazz.

Stefan Furbert Birthday Jazz Extravaganza At Leopards' Club Bermuda January 2024_1

News that popular MC Wendell Dill was unable to make it allowed Stefan to take on that mantle and show without the slightest hesitation; he was prepared and had indeed arrived as a professional without using “um” or saying “I don’t know what to say.” He called his birthday jazz celebration a “milestone” and stood with confidence and told stories that gave us an insight into who inspired him, trials along the way and how he finally reached the finish line where he can swing and do the standards by Joe Henderson, Bobby Timmons [Moanin’] and Thelonious Monk without a blink.

This was his night but he did not overwhelm his band with long solos but found a perfect balance where his entourage of professionals were allowed to solo and shine all night with songs like:

  • Oleo – Miles Davis
  • Blue Monk – Thelonious Monk
  • Footprints – Wayne Shorter
  • Night And Day – Cole Porter
  • Recorda-Me – Joe Henderson
  • Midnight Voyage – Joe Henderson
  • Moanin’ – Bobby Timmons
  • Georgia on My Mind – Hoagy Carmichael
  • And many other serious classics, leaving the outstanding Joy Barnum to do a dazzling “Summertime” and “My Funny Valentine” with her “agile, athletic, mind-boggling vocal gymnastics” like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan or Anita Day

Stefan Furbert Birthday Jazz Extravaganza At Leopards' Club Bermuda January 2024_3

The audience was mesmerized from the minute she walked on the stage in a beautiful formal emerald green dress. She stepped it up and stood with pride as the band latched on to her passion that turned out fast, hot, and furious solos from Graham Maul [trombone], Kent Hayward [trumpet], Tino Martinez [tenor sax], Raymond George [piano] and Leroy “Tubby” Richardson [bass], with Stefan smiling all night and not missing a beat with this outstanding night of jazz.

Having avoided the popular “Smooth Jazz,” the band posted a challenge to the New Orleans veterans with a very energetic “When the Saints Go Marching In,” which made it impossible for the audience to remain in their seats during this rapture of a well-known song that came at us like blazing guns. “Song of My Father” by Horace Silver put the icing on the cake.

It was obvious that as the night evolved the house was filled with melophiles—determined not to go home, and the band took the bait. Many felt they were at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York, known for having only the best. With each artist often giving passionate, saucy and sweet solos on each song, the audience left very satisfied with a great selection of songs and filled with information about this often quiet drummer, Stefan, who led the Bermuda Regiment on Front Street in full dress and a drum at the age of four and is now a grown star who has been pushed to excel by Bermudian drummers and teachers Ossie Matthews, Kevin Maybury and Professor Eddie Ming.

Stefan Furbert Birthday Jazz Extravaganza At Leopards' Club Bermuda January 2024_2

During his 40 years of living, Stefan had the courage and foresight to attend concerts and afterwards introduce himself to international jazz stars like Ron Carter and Louis Hayes. In Bermuda he even had the opportunity to perform before USA Presidential hopeful and Bermuda resident Henry Ross Perot, Sr [1930-2019]. But alas, the hour was nigh and the Leopards Club had met the challenge once again to highlight Bermuda’s talented. The band took us to Parkers Hill and made it a magical night of classics and a few light pieces, but a broad exhibition of style that captured solos will blaze the memories of the audience for life.

All of this just a stone’s throw from the old Musicians Club at Joell’s Arcade; long gone, but now a steel structure beside the funeral parlor.


Happy birthday Stefan! You did not work on your birthday. You celebrated your journey with enthusiasm on a music mountaintop with some first class local musicians who gave us more than the $30 admission [with comp, soup, sandwiches and birthday cake]. Indeed, a night loved and captured by an appreciative audience who can’t wait to hear more of you in 2024. The bar has been raised very high, and locals are encouraged to support these activities. I’ll drink to that.

- Dale Butler is the Professor of Bermuda Music and will be releasing his 8th play later this year to rival his successful musical “ Pickles and Spiced Ham” and Volume 1 of “The Big Book of Music – December 2024” that will add to Bermuda music books on Charles Michael ‘Curtis’ Clarke; Music on the Rock; Jazz on the Rock; My Blue Heaven: The ‘Ghandi’ Burgess Story, and others, along with his documentaries: “5 Profiles in Harmony, My Blue Heaven: The ‘Ghandi’ Burgess Story and Havana Tap.” He can be reached at or 595-9841.

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Comments (1)

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  1. Black says:

    Well Done!!! Very Proud of you Brother keep it up!!!!

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