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Trench Town recording studio to provide jobs

Published:Sunday | February 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Joylene Griffiths-Irving, director of the Scotiabank Foundation draws a significant audience as she tries her hand at studio engineering at the official opening of the Jamaican Music Institute project. Showing her the ropes is Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Christopher Daley. - Contributed

One of the studios featuring the most state-of-the-art equipment in the Caribbean is being established in Trench Town, Kingston.

Renowned for its famous contribution to the world as the birthplace of reggae music, and the dwelling place of Bob Marley, the little community has been experiencing a season of transformation and revival.

On the wings of this revival, the Agency for Inner-City Renewal, led by social entrepreneur Dr Henley Morgan, launched the Jamaican Music Institute (JaMIN) project.

Part of this project was the development of a recording studio, to which Scotiabank contributed $1.6 million.

"Scotiabank's funding provided a valuable bridge which, along with the very valuable support from the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), has helped move us closer to our realising our dream," said YeKengale, executive director of JaMIN.

"The JaMIN studio will not be an ordinary studio. It will be the only centre in the Caribbean to provide Pro-Tools certification, equipping persons for possible employment locally and overseas. There will be employment through direct engagement of persons at the studios and through the outsourcing of work to other studios in the community," he added.

Long relationship

It was that vision that inspired Scotiabank to come on board.

"Scotiabank has had a long history with Trench Town and we felt it was important to support the building of this studio in an effort to provide persons with an opportunity for employment and further skills training," commented Monique Todd, vice-president public and corporate affairs at Scotiabank.

The JaMIN Studio is designed and built by renowned Grammy Award-winning audio engineer Christopher Daley. In addition to training in studio engineering, JaMIN will also offer training in the playing of instruments, as the studio will also accommodate live band recording.

"This project has come at a very good time, as no major singer or musician has come out of Trench Town in recent years," said Fabian 'Ziggy Soul' Arnold, community representative on the board of the JaMIN Project.

Investing in Jamaicans

He is of the opinion that Scotiabank's contribution to the project and the community "is more than useful" and is a good example of "investing in the lives of the Jamaican people".

Scotiabank has had an active engagement with development efforts in Trench Town for many years. Among its recent projects is the funding of the construction of a pavilion adjoining the Trench Town Reading Centre through its subsidiaries Scotia Investments, Scotia Insurance and Scotia Private Client Group.

These subsidiaries also sponsor, on an annual basis, the reading centre's spelling bee competition which focuses on encouraging learning and improving literacy at the primary and secondary levels.

"Trench Town is significant and symbolic to all Jamaicans. It is important that we provide opportunities for our youth to learn and develop skills that will allow them to contribute positively to our society while protecting our history, which is rich in culture and music," said Todd.