Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
The Aisle formed with columns of white plastic chairs along an elongated drive way turned out to be more than just a path to the stage. It was symbolic of the musical memory lane.
The tour guides, throughout the foot-stomping and soul-stirring journey, were some of Jamaica's finest musicians and vocalists.
They performed songs that speak of love, pain and bliss. Entrapped in the emotional tidal wave of golden oldies from ska, reggae and blues, a large part of the audience remained to the end.
So it was on Sunday when Jamaica Association of Vintage Artistes staged JAAVA Live, the first event of the RJR Communications Group Kingston Music Week.
The inaugural event was held at an off-the-beat track, Springvale Avenue, headquarters of Stages Records and Fab 5.
The two-part concert saw the unfamiliar, but high-quality singers performing in the first segment. After a cameo by the ska band, Yard Beat, MC Baldwin Howe announced that Angela Stewart was the curtain opener. And in a segment that also had the likes of Leo Hall, performing, there was an amazing-sounding Elaine Peart.
Howe described the acts as the best aggregate of musicians in the Caribbean, and repeatedly expressed "We are setting a template for what we hope to be an annual event, and for the Kingston Music Week."
And before Bongo Herman gave a fantastic show of his vocals and a display of his array of musical instruments, he gave the most informative and entertaining speech of the evening.
First, he voiced his gratitude to RJR and Frankie Campbell, president of JAAVA, then he painted a history of commitment and love for music.
"Ah we build the music from back ah Studio One … when we ah play di music, wi neva get pay. We eat plumb fi lunch and bulla cake."
Herman proceeded to give colourful character portraits of the likes of Clement 'Coxson' Dodd and Prince Busta and ended thanked "Bre Bob Marley who took me from down a Trench Town".
It was a dapper, but older-looking Stranger Cole, who opened part two with the singing of The Good You Do Will Live After You.
Each song was subsequently punctuated with a request from the audience to help him celebrate life.
Keith Lyn, Roy Rayon, Boris Gardiner and Bagacase also performed.
Rayon began his stint with drama and passion, singing Jimmy Cliff's Trapped, and closed with his popular, high-energy Fever.
Gardiner was at his ever-loving best, Bagacase was electrifying and Lynn evoked strong memories with Julie.
But the highest point on a show with very few lows was the amazing performance by Lloyd Lovindeer and Gem Myers.
Myers got her act going with My Boy Lollipop, and followed up with tributes to Millie Jackson and Whitney Houston. She closed with a medley of One Man Woman and a few songs on the same rhythm.
Lovindeer showed his skill, humorously telling a story about a day at the bus stop, and, of course, he would also give his ode to the 1988 Hurricane Gilbert.
Wild, Wild Gilbert was to be followed by Jump Revival.