Thu | May 23, 2019

Randy Weston special Int'l Jazz Day guest

Published:Saturday | April 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Jamila Falak
Ibo Cooper

As the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts celebrates International Jazz Day come Monday, students are heavily involved in the showpiece concert on the East Lawns of Devon House. However, true to its education orientation, when that event featuring pianist Randy Weston and members of the college's full-time and part-time faculty is over, students of various levels will continue to interact with Weston.

Among the college's staff members who will perform on Monday are June Lawson, Devon Richardson, Derrick Stewart, Jon Williams, Ibo Cooper and Orville Hammond, as well as graduate Jamila Falak. The student involvement crosses the tertiary and secondary levels, as the college's Coleen Douglas said, "we have invited the top six schools in the Jamaica's Best School Band Competition. We have extended an invitation to the Alpha Institute as well."

The finals of the 2018 Jamaica's Best School Band Competition was held recently at the Edna Manley College's Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew, campus. The students' attendance is being facilitated by the US Embassy.

In addition, Douglas said some of the college's visual arts students will be doing a mural celebrating jazz during the concert, a project that audience members are invited to participate in. Completing the education thrust on Monday will be an installation where the history of jazz, including instruments, will be outlined.

The concert is expected to last two hours and marks a return to the Edna Manley College celebrating International Jazz Day. "We had two before, in 2015 and 2016. We did not have any last year due to lack of sponsorship support," Douglas said. She expects a good turnout, noting that the $2,500 entry fee represents good value for money considering the calibre of the performers.

Some of the college's music students will give performances to a different audience when, along with Weston, they visit the Bustamante Hospital for Children, also on Arthur Wint Drive. The visit serves the dual purpose of community engagement and using music as therapy. Also on the calendar is a master class with Weston for a number of Jamaican musicians, slated for Tuesday.

The International Jazz Day Concert is being staged by the college along with the US Embassy in Kingston.