Tue | Nov 19, 2019

Jamnesia leads the live music charge

Published:Sunday | September 4, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Janine 'Jah 9' Cunningham
Sheldon Shepherd (left) and Chris Gordon of the group No-Maddz.
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Krista Henry, Staff Reporter

In eight miles, Bull Bay, the Wilmot family has been helping to keep live music flourishing through 'Jamnesia'.

Jamnesia is a live jam or open-mic session held in Bull Bay every two weeks on a Saturday night. Lovers of live music come from far and wide to enjoy the unique sessions at Jamnesia, with the backdrop of the sea providing its own special ambience. In August, the event celebrated four years. Throughout those four years, the event has helped to grow what the music industry sees as the newest crop of local talent.

While a number of live events have died out after a few years, some even after a few months, Jamnesia plans to keep on leading the charge to provide a venue for underground live music.

Jamnesia founder and organiser Inilek Wilmot, known to many for his surfing, spoke to The Sunday Gleaner recently about the event. Jamnesia was started by Wilmot and his family - lovers of live music, to give young talent a means to explore their gifts.

"At first it wasn't really hard to find performers cause there are a lot of people out there who play an instrument, or who write songs, but they've never gotten the chance to perform. Until you have a hit song, people aren't really gonna be calling you to come on stage, so our stage really gave them a chance to hone their skills," he said.

The event has done its part in helping the careers of talented artistes such as No-Maddz, Jah 9, Protoje who performed for the first time with a live band at Jamnesia, Keida, Wilmot's own band From the Deep, Jason Worton among others.

Started small

Years ago Jamnesia started off getting small numbers of patrons, with close friends and family supporting. However as the event saw more performers and the word spread, Jamnesia has attracted crowds of 200 to 300 persons.

"It took a while to pick up, our first year saw really small crowds but it kept growing. Now we see a wide range of persons; people from the community, people from Kingston, people who are into arts, poetry, it's one of the underground live movements," Wilmot said.

Hard-pressed to choose one of the most memorable moments at the event over the years, Wilmot recalled when a patron chose Jamnesia to propose to his girlfriend. The proposal was accepted.

"The energy is very pure at Jamnesia, the vibe is genuine and people get to really connect with the performers," Wilmot explained.

Jamnesia is held at the same locale as the Jamnesia Surf Club, and Wilmot says he hopes the event will be around long enough for the children to attend.

"People who I've spoken to have a long-term vision for Jamnesia. They hope it's something their kids, and their kid's kids will go to. At the surf camp we've started getting a lot of tourists planning events around Jamnesia, they want to be here to experience it."

For Wilmot, the event has achieved a lot, and he endeavours to keep it successful.