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Ocho Rios Jazz allows interaction, collaboration

Published:Monday | June 5, 2017 | 8:48 PMMarcia Rowe
Myrna Hague in performance.


The 27th staging of the annual International Jamaica Ocho Rios jazz Festival, this year featured the likes of Le Birrette - the all-female band from Italy, Lorraine Klaasen from South Africa and Carl Winter and the Grand Beat from Denmark.

They, along with Jamaicans Tony Gregory, June Lawson, Harold Davis and Myrna Hague, provided great entertainment for fans throughout the week long jazz showcase.

The Gleaner, spoke with Myrna Hague, director of the Festival about her choice of acts and how they are sourced.

“The whole idea of having overseas artistes coming to Jamaica is so that we can have an interaction. It’s really just about having that interaction and that collaboration and sharing musically. Because we are not locked in we are open and we are receptive to all kinds of music,” Hague said.

She continued, “It’s good to do that because that is what the festival is about, to create a space for musicians to share and to interact. That way we grow musically, we grow artistically, we grow culturally. So it’s really part of why we do that.”

Hague also explains that there are two ways they source their acts - through agencies and through various embassies.

“Sometimes you work with various embassies that have the financial facility to make artistes available. These embassies send their artiste on cultural exchanges through their art councils, so we get a lot of artistes that way.”

Both Le Birrette All-Female Band and Carl Winter & Grand Beat, have been part funded by the Arts Council in their country.

Interestingly, Jivim Cameron's (the bass player for Carl Winter & Grand Beat) grandfather was Jamaican. His mother went to Denmark pregnant with him and so he was born and has lived there since. This is his second trip to Jamaica.