KOTE 2016 opens at Redbones
There was artwork in myriad spaces, a succession of bands on stage, and the buzz of people everywhere on Friday night as the 2016 Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) urban arts festival opened at Redbones Blues Cafe, New Kingston.
Physically, art and music came closest at the semicircular stage's front as, during the concert, Richard Nattoo and Shaundel Campbell, stationed at either end, applied themselves to the medium mounted on an easel. They had a diverse serving of music to create, the musicians slated for the evening being Phuzzion Band, 6 Points, Jermaine Blake, the Free Willies and Winston McAnuff & Fixi.
Works by Patrick Planter, Michael Steffen, Rohan Simms, Marcella Seivwright, Marina Fitzgerald, Jermaine Morgan, Dane Hucey, Jean Andre Lawrence and Ranford Anderson were scheduled for display in the Redbones Gallery. But with an extensive list of artists for the night, all areas of the New Kingston restaurant and nightspot were pressed into service.
There were many artists to accommodate, as the programme also named Kid Bazzle, Summer Eldemire, Anji Worton, John Campbell, Chandis, Lisa Lej, Audrey Lynch, Shawn Ashman, Tricia Gordon-Johnson, Inansi, Winroy Messam, Dan Tho, Rico Nagase, and Girl & The Magpie as participants.
So artwork was mounted on the fence running along the walkway from the entrance to stage area, along the perimeter behind and around the stage, as well as close to a gazebo beyond the raised dining area. It was there that the dazzle of jewellery also held sway.
On the stage, singer Jermaine Blake's fancy footwork was intertwined with Love You Baby and Peter Tosh's Equal Rights and Justice, among other songs. Omar Francis led the Free Willies, his stance as he sang, eyes closed, while playing guitar on the opening song suggesting forging a close connection with the audience.
Winston McAnuff is known as the Electric Dread, and, on Friday night, he proved eclectic as well, singing lead on an engaging suite of songs, which included Garden of Love. Dreadlocks flashing as he moved closer to Fixi on keyboards and Bo Pee on guitar, or spread on the stage as he lay flat on his back, McAnuff was intense. It did not hurt that a little boy stuck close to the singer whether he was on the raised stage or closer to the audience, imitating McAnuff's dance moves.
Natural High Music was the scheduled DJ for the night.
KOTE 2016 continues until next week Sunday. Included in the programme are the Great Antilleans exhibition at 30 Red Hills Road tomorrow, starting at 7 p.m. and Director's Cut: A Filmmaker's Perspective from
8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston.
Rootz Underground, Yvad, Uprising Roots Band and Italee & Hans de Man perform at The Root of the Matter at Redbones on Friday, where artists Toby Grant, Kerry Miller, Maxine Gibson and Hyphiel Codner will have work on display. KOTE Sunset Cocktails are at Forever Young, West Street, Kingston, from 6 p.m. onwards on Sunday as the festival closes.
Several other events are on each day.