"I thought that the performers, especially for the kids, were really invested in it. I thought they were really proud of their culture. These are our future and they are the ones who are going to continue this legacy of excellence in arts and culture. I really left hopeful."
These were the words of Jewel Williams, granddaughter of Randolph Samuel Williams, affectionately called Maas Ran, as she left a tribute concert for him on Saturday.
The event, organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, saw some creditable performances from students of Mona and Ardenne High, Lannaman Preparatory, Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High schools, as well as Exed School of Performing Arts, COLAS and Roy Rayon.
Rayon, a main staple at JCDC shows, once again proved why this is so.
He rocked the house with a medley of songs such as Sweet Jamaica, Cherry Oh Baby and Everything's Gonna Be Alright.
Rayon's performance was, interestingly, made in tribute to a colleague, as he played alongside Williams in his only Pantomime ('Honourable All Purpose'), the artiste making the revelation to a strong turnout.
The line-up would suggest Rayon was the headline artiste; however, a child shall lead them.
Getting everyone, including Jewel and her father Norman Williams, laughing and talking about his performance, was the undeniably talented Kareem Nunez of Mona High.
In his two contrasting poems, A Fearful Night and Head Chef, the young performer was excellent.
Another performer, Zig Zag, was not so impressive, his performance may have had Maas Ran turning in his grave.
But in the young drummers from Cockburn Gardens, Norman Williams found a favourite.
The dub poet group, COLAS, was also very entertaining with their rather creatively written and presented Sum'n to Remember.
Ardenne High and Exed paid tribute to Maas Ran in their respective poems, Thinking about Maas Ran and Flat Board Fi Dat.
Dances from Mona High and Lannaman were also in the entertainment offering and were preceded by a dialogue on the life, work and legacy of Maas Ran.
- Marcia Rowe