Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Fourth-year growth spurt for Kgn Music Week

Published:Tuesday | December 12, 2017 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew
D-Major (left), Iceman (centre), and Chris Martin performing during Hitz at the Mill.
Lila Ike performing at Hitz at the Mill.
Eric-Ann Thompson enjoying the music at Hitz at the Mill, Devon House, during Kingston Music Week 2017.
Dr Dennis Howard, general manager of radio services at the RJRGLEANER Communications Group.

In this year's fourth staging, the annual Kingston Music Week has seen growth beyond the expectations of the organisers and patrons. For 2017, the aim was to host a series of original events that captured the influence of music as an attraction to and its significance in the creative city of Kingston.

The range of events included yoga sessions (Awake), corporate mingles, talent showcases such as Up Next and Hitz Live at the Mill, as well as workshops, theatrical productions, and seminars centred on creative tourism. Kingston Music Week 2017 was held from December 3 - 9.

"The week was fantastic! At first, we were wondering if promoters would support as they did in the past, but they did, and a lot of people came on board. The promotion we offered resulted in us having about 16 events being a part of Kingston Music Week, a little more than last year," said Dr Dennis Howard, manager of radio services for the RJRGleaner Communications Group.

The events, which featured live performances - including Hitz at the Mill, held at the Reggae Mill Bar, Devon House - were transformed into mini stage shows and parties by the end of the night. The most common feedback The Gleaner received from guests was the wide range of vocal talent, mostly from the younger generation.

Lila Ike of Indiggnation was one of the many standout talents. Audience members (particularly those who had not experienced her style) were in awe at the powerful voice and words coming from the small-framed reggae artiste and wanted to know more about her.

The same curiosity was observed at the public forum on creative tourism held at the University of Technology (UTech), with the majority of persons in attendance being students from UTech and other schools. "The forum had a great turnout and the multiplicity of questions posed by the students even became a lot to answer. at some point we had to tell them we had to end the forum," Howard said jokingly.

Creative tourism and its relationship with entertainment in Kingston has now attracted a wider understanding, not only being dependent on the product (entertainment), but how that product is presented to local and international markets.

"Now we know how to tweak and how to spread our net wider because one of the concerns in the past is we focused too much on live while recorded entertainment or parties were left out. This time, we mixed the activities and saw that it worked well because Kingston is not only known for one facet, but all made it a feature in Jamaica entertainment," Howard said.

According to Howard, Kingston Music Week can only get bigger and better with each year.