Tue | Nov 20, 2018

Reggae, Jazz and Blues Go Gospel for a cause

Published:Wednesday | May 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMMarcia Rowe/Gleaner Writer
Verlando Small on saxophone.
Gem Myers
Lubert Levy
1
2
3

Five years after its conception, organisers of the St Luke's Anglican Church Reggae, Jazz and Blues have found the formula for success. "We have a mix this year, and perhaps that is the difference," explained Archdeacon Patrick Cunningham, adding, "We have a mix because we recognise that we have a wide audience, and we need to respond to their needs as well. And as the title says, Reggae, Jazz and Blues Go Gospel. I think it was an excellent show, the best attendance that we have had in the five years, so we are pleased with that."

Reggae, Jazz and Blues Go Gospel, held on Sunday at the Old Hope Road-based Jamaica College, featured a number of artistes who brought with them a wealth of experiences and fame.

Renowned Jamaican band, Fab 5, opened the programme and stayed for Elaine Peart, Mary Isaacs, Verlando Small and Gem Myers. All gave fantastic performances.

Myers gave her customary high standard performance, with songs such as Send down the Gospel Rain and People. Preceeding Myers, Small, the Jamaican vocalist 'who loves to sing,' showed it in a splendid medley of blues that included If I Don't Have You.

The main gospel performer of the evening, Lubert Levy, brought his own band, and delivered a set that began with the uptempo I Feel Good, before slowing with Just Stay Focus. But it was not to last, as he quickly moved to the folk rhythm Puppa God. Perhaps, because of the purpose of the concert, the usually fiery gospel artiste gave a moving testimony on his life's journey. He ended with his signature song, Roll Jordan, Roll.

After a brief intermission, Etana, the closing act, was brought to the stage, delivering a number of reggae songs. After two testimonies she segued into I Rise, following up with I'm Not Afraid, and There'll Be a Better Tomorrow. But it was the simple yet effective arrangement and delivery of Jesus Loves Me that will remain etched in the memories of those in attendance as the curtain came down on a wonderfully executed concert.

The proceeds from Reggae, Jazz and Blues Go Gospel will go towards the St Luke Anglican's outreach programme, offering scholarships to the children of the St Simon's Community, as well as providing food and medication for street people. The target was $1.2 million.