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Stabroek News

Martin's Heritage continues parents' legacy
published: Friday | August 5, 2005

Teino Evans, Staff Report


Gospel group Martin's Heritage. - CONTRIBUTED

MARTIN'S HERITAGE, a gospel group comprising eight members, all brothers and sisters with the exception of a nephew, have continued in the footsteps of their parents. Jennifer Ellison, Olive Facey, Claudette Martin, Garfield Martin, Dorrette McKane, Margaret Palmer, Claudia Brown and Dwayne King (Jennifer's son) are Martin's Heritage.

The group has been ministering in song since the 1970s, when they received active exposure from singing in churches, at banquets, concerts and road shows throughout the island.

RICH SPIRITUAL BACKGROUND

Their parents, Dennis George Martin, who was an ardent minister of the gospel, and Petrona Martin, who is still alive, have influenced their rich spiritual background.

"My father and mother used to sing together from they were kids and my father used to be an assistant pastor before he died and we used to sing along with them. We usually sing while our father played the guitar," Garfield Martin recalled.

The children, who started out performing in Sunday School, at church concerts and banquets, have continued to spread their musical heritage across the island, performing on shows like 'Day Break Jamaica' with Tony Young, the Genesis concerts and other shows put on by various church groups.

In March 1999 the group released their debut album, His Blood Will Carry Me. It did well, but failed to realise its true potential.

"That first album was a learning experience and we now know that promotion is key, both in terms of selling the album and the group," Garfield Martin said.

Last month Martin's Heritage has released their sophomore album, No Giving Up Now, and promised that it will be more efficient and effective in reaching the wider public.

GOING FULL FORCE AHEAD

"We are going full force ahead to promote this album. We are now setting up our website, which is currently under construction, and the album is in almost every store. We also have our posters now, promoting both the group and the CD itself, something we never had for the first album, and we are going around to different churches, performing and so on," Garfield said.

The album, which was produced by Grub Cooper and co-produced by Garfield Martin, has nine original songs, eight of which were written by Garfield himself.

"The feedback that we have been getting has been tremendous. It has been accepted in a remarkable way. The title track of the album is No Giving Up Now, which speaks of the times we are living in and the message is encouraging people, irrespective of what not to give up," he said.

Martin's Heritage provided vocal support to the now deceased internationally acclaimed Skeeter Davis on her tour of Jamaica in 1999. They received tremendous commendation from Skeeter and audiences alike. The group received the Jamaica Federation of Musicians award for excellence in that same year and has been on a short tour to St. Kitts and Nevis, where at least one soul received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and many were richly blessed through their ministry.

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