Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Kingston Music Week continues cultural immersion

Published:Friday | November 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
Deep Jahi
Samory I
The late Alton Ellis.
Dr Dennis Howard
Royal Blu

It's an easy assumption that when tourists visit Jamaica they are seeking to immerse themselves in the lively music culture. Five years ago, the RJRGLEANER Communications Group Kingston Music Week (KMW) festival concept arose from a want for more live music events, keeping in mind the potential to heat up the city's attractiveness to tourists and locals alike. Scheduled for December 2-10, the 2018 festival continues by remounting its own growing signature shows, a panel discussion, and supporting existing events which align with the festival's purpose.

"[The festival] has always been a favourite with tourists, as it provides one week of authentic Jamaican culture and directs them to events where they are guaranteed to immerse themselves into the core of our musical culture. It is for all Jamaicans who have a penchant for music and visitors to the island who want an authentic live music experience of our culture," Dr Dennis Howard told The Gleaner.

Howard, general manager of radio services at RJRGLEANER Communications Group, explained that KMW was originally designed as a support mechanism for event planners and promoters, to energise such events in light of the excitement the Christmas season brings. But in 2015, KMW's organisers decided to create events of their own. "We started our own events because we can't rely on the promoters. They don't have anything going on during the week," he said. As such, KMW will present three 'home-grown' events.




For the third consecutive year, the RJRGLEANER Communications Group has invited the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech), to partner in a panel discussion, hosted by RJR 94 FM. "SHTM hosted the feature forum last year and gained significant exposure from the radio promotions and additional opportunities to market our programmes during the live outside broadcast," Howard shared.

The discussion will take place on Tuesday, December 4, at the SHTM from 3 pm to 5 pm. Moderated by lecturer Beienetch Watson, the panellists are James Samuel, former president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association (JHTA); Colleen Douglas, director of Marketing at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA); Tafari Burns, director of Culture, Economics and Business at the Ministry of Culture; Kadine Johnson, founding member of Jammin Tours, and Brittany McIntosh, a UTech/SHTM final year student. The theme for the 2018 feature forum is 'Developing Kingston as the Cultural and Heritage Tourism Destination of the Caribbean.'

On Thursday, December 6, popular disc jockey The Big One will host Hitz @Kingston 10, which will feature performances by Tony Jay, George P, Mangasha, Sampalue, Deep Jahi, Aza Lineage, Samory I, Brando and Royal Blu. Howard expects that Hitz @Kingston 10 will be the highlight of the week. "We are currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of reggae and Hitz is the hub of reggae music in Jamaica. This event will showcase the musical stylings of talented reggae artistes and is sure to be a real treat for our tourist and Jamaican people alike," he said.

On Friday, December 7, FAME Up Next returns to Triple Century Sports Bar. The stage will feature five artistes who are viewed as 'up next' for stardom.

In addition to KMW's original programmes, the festival adds their support to Harold Davis presents Hello Again 4 with the HD Orchestra, scheduled to take place on Sunday, December 9 at Hope Gardens. They are also supporting Right Band Entertainment and Friends present Trench Town Live Inna 2A - a tribute to Alton Ellis, on Tuesday, December 4 at 2a Strathairn Avenue.