Mon | Sep 28, 2020

Rita Marley Foundation to host more music workshops

Published:Friday | November 22, 2019 | 12:10 AM
Music students at Edith Dalton James High School.
Music students at Edith Dalton James High School.

The Rita Marley Foundation (Ja) recently hosted a music workshop, for grades 10-11 students at Edith Dalton James High School. The participants learned to play a variety of instruments as they took part in practical training, under the tutelage of instructor and master percussionist Herman ‘Bongo’ Davis.

Plans are already under way for the next workshop, which is slated for the following semester, as the foundation continues to facilitate teaching the youth through music.

“From start to end, the session was energetic and upbeat, with all participants actively engaged. They also showcased impressive vocal and dance skills,” Rosemary Duncan, manager at the Rita Marley Foundation, expressed.

Earlier this year, the Rita Marley Foundation Jamaica launched its inaugural songwriting competition for high school students under the theme, ‘Strong Black Women & Their Role in History’.

an important talent

At the launch of the competition Duncan said, “Songwriting is an important skill and talent. Added to that, it is a lucrative career that is in growing demand globally. Therefore, the Rita Marley Foundation is honoured to have conceptualised this activity.”

The foundation enlisted expert producer/musician Asley ‘Grub’ Cooper, producer/composer of Rita Marley’s mega hits One Draw and Harambe, to create a musically sound tune with the winning entry. When the results were announced on International Reggae Day, July 1, Afaya Pollack, a student of Ardenne High School, came out on top. She won with a piece that listed women from Africa and the diaspora who made historic contributions in various fields. The top-three finalists recently wrapped up recording sessions with Cooper.

Each year, the foundation provides music lessons for students ages five and over at the Holy Trinity Basic School, where Cooper, as well as Simone Kenny, trains them with instruments such as percussions and recorders, as well as vocals. Musicians from the Maroon community are also enlisted to impart knowledge about indigenous African instruments and dance.