Concert Season to run through next weekend
In the small matter of a week, The Jamaican Folk Singers will have celebrated 45 years as an entity.
Getting to that milestone was no small feat and the members of the group know it.
As such, the singers are expected to host a concert season at The Little Theatre, running from Friday through to Sunday, that is like no other.
The idea of entertainment for the family has been one that the singers have upheld for 45 years and this season will not be any different.
The event will focus on the development and growth of the group and the experiences of collecting music that expresses Jamaica's heritage. That heritage is most aptly brought out in work songs and the fellowship evident in time of death. The season also features commentary on the differences in lifestyle between 'then' and 'now', examining courting, relationships, gossip and socialising.
The Jamaican Folk Singers, which was founded in 1967 by Dr Olive Lewin, has striven through the years to remain true to its mission, which includes unearthing and exposing the beauty and artistic worth of Jamaica's folk music heritage.
It has been 44 years of overcoming challenges and helping to keep alive the folk foundations of Jamaica's music, being a bridge between the senior citizens who have nurtured the values and lore of old Jamaica and the youth who are the hope and architects of tomorrow.
The Jamaican Folk Singers began as a group of friends who were invited by Lewin to share her enthusiasm for Jamaica's folk music, which developed with her experience in collecting and researching Jamaica's folk music.
From the group's first public performance until now, there is focus on maintaining respect for the country's traditions and for the people who have kept them alive.
With a repertoire of more than 200 songs arranged by Lewin, the group has sung to enthusiastic audiences in Jamaica and several other countries including Martinique, Barbados, Cuba, Mexico, the United States, Germany, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina.
Over the years, the group has arranged all-island tours - giving free performances in markets, schools, church halls and town centres across the island.
These tours have been referred to by members as some of their most rewarding experiences. According to the members, there is nothing like being welcomed by Jamaicans in the nooks and crannies of the island.
The 45th Anniversary Concert Season presents another opportunity for the group to use Jamaica's folk music and its messages to uplift Jamaica whilst highlighting some of the values of "old Jamaica", with the music encouraging respect and understanding among people of different backgrounds.
As part of the season, there will be a matinee performance on Saturday, September 15 at 3 p.m. - specifically for children in children's homes and senior citizens residing at senior citizens residences.
This provides an opportunity for two very important sectors of the society to share with the group as they present aspects of Jamaica's folk music culture.
Organisations or individuals who are interested in supporting this venture by sponsoring blocks of tickets can advise the group via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be shows on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Tickets are available at The Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Avenue; Music Mart, Twin Gates Plaza and Monarch Pharmacy, Sovereign Centre.
The Jamaican Folk Singers operates with a belief that music greatly helped our forefathers cope with the realities of their harsh living conditions without becoming excessively bitter, and believe that today it can continue to bring and hold people together.