Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Drumming and dance festival to rock Kingston, Mammee Bay

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2016 | 12:00 AMPaul H. Williams

"Jamaica ah go deh pon fiyah in Mammee Bay!" is how the organisers are billing the inaugural 'Jamaica African Dance Arts and Culture Festival' to be held at JAMVilla, Mammee Bay Estates, Ocho Rios, St Ann, from today, February 11 to Sunday the 15th.

The event is being produced by Amaniyea Payne and Sophia Walsh-Newman (APSWN) in collaboration with Reggae To Reggae Radio.TV, 'The Indigenous People's Media'.

"RTR Media Concepts

(owners of Reggae To Reggae) decided to partner with Amaniyea Payne and Sophia Walsh-Newman, because of the opportunity to live stream another aspect of our rich heritage and our mandate as the 'Indigenous Peoples Media' to showcase only positives from the Jamaican People," Carl A. Layne, founder and chief operating officer of RTR Media Concepts, said.

In supporting Layne, APSWN said, "As a celebration of the rich African heritage and retention found throughout every cultural practise, nuance, language, food and areas in Jamaica and Jamaican life, this festival will focus on and highlight the dance, drumming, arts and culture of this rich island."

It will be "four to five days of fun, culture, dance and drumming in the beautiful Jamaica sun", the organisers are saying, including "three days of non-stop drumming and dance". The event includes dancing and drumming workshops, a movie screening and performances.

Today, there will be a West African dance class led by Youssouf Koumbassa, also from Guinea, at Edna Manley College's School of Dance starting at 12:30 p.m. Also on today, at Edna Manley, there will be a drum circle, free of cost, at 5 p.m. People with drums are encouraged to join the circle.

At Mammee Bay, there will be full days of drum and dance classes on Friday and Saturday, and half-day on Sunday, with a meet-and-greet on Friday, an all-white pool party on Saturday, and cultural presentations and an awards function on Sunday. The event will culminate on Monday, February 15, with a cultural tour of Accompong Town, Maroon Village, in St Elizabeth. The

bus departs Mammee Bay at

6 a.m.

The sessions will be conducted by experienced facilitators, including confirmed master teachers Youssouf Koumbassa, L'Antoinette Stines, Abdoulaye Toure, Idy Ciss, Carolyn Russell-Smith, Amansu Eason, Sauda Jackson, Amanyea Stines, Linda Johnson, co-host Amaniyea Payne, "with Moustafa Reds holding it down on the indigenous and African drums".