Tue | Jan 24, 2017

Greenwich Town celebrates heritage with Culture Fest

Published:Friday | October 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Max Romeo
Derrick Morgan
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Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

As Jamaica celebrates its heritage in general, with a special focus on heroic figures - including the musical standouts who will be among those invested with national honours on Monday, October 20 - the community of Greenwich Town will be celebrating its titans of music the day before.

The first Greenwich Town Kingston 13 Culture Fest will be held on Sunday, October 19, at the community's resource centre. It is an extended celebration, as it will start at 12 p.m., with activities focused especially on children, with a major concert in the night.

There is no charge to attend the festival.

Anthony 'Tony Mack' McLaren, who has been hosting events and engaging in other music-related activities in the community for more than four decades, told The Gleaner, "The intention is to make it an annual event and to get sponsors on board."

He is confident that it will develop to be "massive", pointing out the rich output of the area. And although Trench Town and East Kingston are heavily touted as central creative spots in Jamaica, which have had tremendous impact on the world, McLaren insists on Greenwich Town's place of pride, pointing especially to the pivotal role of musician Val Bennett.

During the day at the festival, students of primary and all-age schools in the community will participate in a cultural poem contest as well as a dance competition, with the best of each institution facing off. The winners will receive a trophy and $5,000.

The Community Upliftment Award will be presented to Bunny Lee, Derrick Morgan, Max Romeo and the dance duo Sparky and Pluggy.

Then, during the night, Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke, Prince Allah, Phillip Frazer, History Man, Ruffi-Ann, Blacka Devon, Leroy King, Steve Tulloch, Tuffy Melody, Iyah Medz and renowned guitarist Earl 'Chinna' Smith, along with Inna De Yard, will take part in the musical showcase.

Tony Mack and Istachoules will host, with the Woos supporting the artistes and City Love Disco providing recorded music.

And, McLaren points out, artistes from the community continue to record and perform, in the process "providing an alternative to the madness out there".