Ocho Rios Jazz tribute for Seymour 'Foggy' Mullings
Mention the late Seymour 'Foggy' Mullings and the first thing that comes to mind is his role as a politician as a member of the People's National Party, where he left an outstanding legacy as touching the lives of thousands of persons while he served as member of parliament in North East St Ann.
What many persons might not know is that the late consummate politician, who served as minister of finance, agriculture and foreign affairs and foreign trade and also deputy prime minister, had another burning passion: that of music.
When the curtains go up on the 25th Annual Jamaica Ocho Rios International Jazz Festival this evening at the new and intimate setting of The Ashe Performing Arts Company's Cargill Avenue location, patrons will be treated to history lessons on the brilliant musical career of the late politician.
Mullings, who earned the nickname 'Foggy' through a musical rendition during his school days at Jamaica College, worked as a jazz pianist from the 1940s to the 1960s, playing with the likes of legendary Jamaican musicians like trumpeter Sonny Bradshaw, saxophonist Bertie King, and bassist Cluett Johnson. He was also organist at the Anglican Church in Cayman. Mullings also served as president of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians and was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1997.
Bringing Mullings' music to life on stage will be inimitable keyboardists Ozou'ne and Lloyd Denton. The commencement of the celebrations of the 25th milestone of the festival will also showcase the return of South African diva Lorraine Klassen, bringing her vibrant vocals to the opening night along with the distinguished musician and cultural researcher Marjorie Whylie. Drummer extraordinaire Desi Jones and Friends will be in charge of musical accompaniment and direction.
Browne for Jazz Brunch
After what is expected to be an exhilarating opening night, patrons can ease into Sunday morning with Jazz Brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel at 11 a.m., where the sweet sounds of more jazz will emanate from prolific guitarist Robert Browne, who promises to entertain with a fusion of the jazz genre with reggae and rock.
Other events to take place during jazz week are two free Jazz Jams (June 2 and 5) at the Four Seasons Hotel and a free music seminar and workshop for music students and teachers titled 'History of Jazz in the Caribbean', scheduled for The Mico University College on Thursday, June 4, at 10 a.m. The event will be facilitated by festival director Myrna Hague Bradshaw, and curator of the Jamaica Music Museum at the Institute of Jamaica, Herbie Miller, and other visiting performers in the festival.
The festival will close on Sunday, June 7, at the Hope Botanical Gardens, 12 p.m.
to 6 p.m.
Sponsors for the festival include The Jamaica Tourist Board, KOOL FM, Ashe, Hotel Four Seasons, Labels and Supplies, and The Gleaner Company.