Concert for Creole - Jamaica Language Unit to benefit from event
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
The October staging of Kurfew Productions' monthly concert at the Senior Common Room (SCR) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, was one of a number of events affected by Hurricane Sandy. International Creole Day is celebrated on the last Friday of each October.
However, although now slated for Friday, November 30, the concert's cause remains the same - a celebration of International Creole Day, along with the Jamaica Language Unit (JLU).
And, in terms of the line-up, the tempest blew some good luck the organisers' way.
Gavin Walters of the JLU said that the line-up has been expanded beyond what was originally planned and now reads Raging Fyah, Roots Underground, One Third, Aaron Silk, Micah Shemaiah, Infinity and Kurfew Band. In addition, as the concert for the Creole cause is now the last in the year for the monthly series, there will be an extended performance time. "Normally it is 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This time it is 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.," Walters said, adding that it was fortunate Raging Fyah and Rootz Underground, who had previously promised to participate, are now able to perform together.
Walters said part proceeds will go towards helping the JLU fund trips by linguistics students, notably to Suriname. "A part of what the JLU is about is collecting the language, so there is a reservoir," Walters said. However, the trips are expensive and funding is limited. Walters raised the possibility of the JLU being involved in a concert-style fund-raiser every semester, based on the response to the November 30 presentation.
With nation language being used extensively in Jamaican popular music, Walters pointed out that the concert is a good avenue to get the message and language across "with pushing it down on people. We get them to promote the culture and people receive it without any hammering".
Still, he wants the objective to remain clear and for members of the audience to know what they are contributing to. Professor Hubert Devonish of the JLU will co-host the concert, which Walters said will give him a chance to explain aspects of language to the audience - in addition to introducing some performers, of course.
The SCR concerts, which have been run for about seven months, have provided an avenue for live performance, and while there have been fluctuations in attendance the standard has been established.
"What people have come to expect is a quality production," Walters said.