Turning passion into a musical crescendo
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:With poise and brilliance, Sheldon Bernard allows the notes to be translated into timeless happiness through his mastery of the flute.
"At age seven, I used to listen to music on the radio but noticed that there were many different sounds that made up a song. This was fascinating," Bernard told Western Focus.
"I asked my mom what made those sounds, and she said they were made by things called musical instruments, and from then, I decided that's what I wanted to do."
His musical journey began at age eight when he joined the recorder group at his school, Lyssons All-Age School, in St Thomas. He continued playing music into his teenage years, and at 14 years old, Bernard was recruited to join the Jamaican Folk Singers as a fife player. He also sang with the group.
Bernard said he had a leaning towards playing traditional music with Irish, African, and Caribbean influences.
"My uniqueness is due to my eclectic approach to music," he said. "Having studied Euro-classical music at the Jamaica School of Music, and attending Campion College, my passion and aspirations continue to grow as I seek to always do well in this field."
The self-taught keyboard player, who has toured the United States, Europe, and Japan, and who has worked with musical greats such as Black Uhuru and Mykal Rose, maintains a busy local and international schedule.
However, he has not limited himself to simply playing instruments. He is also a producer and has worked with Beres Hammond, Patra, Buju Banton, Dennis Brown, Julian Marley, and Tony Rebel.
"There are no limitations in music and what one can achieve from such. So I continue to enhance my craft while ensuring that people who listen as I play are truly entertained and leave with an experience. Music has the capacity to influence, and I want to leave positive influences with my music," Bernard said.