Young bands to do battle - Sixteen schools to vie for national crown
Adrian Frater, News Editor
After months of frenzied planning, the latest made-for-local television school project, 'Jamaica's Best School Band (JBSB)' contest, is now ready to roll off the drawing board and into living rooms across the island.
"We are ready to go, the schools are all well rehearsed, the judges are in place, and overall production is ready to take off," said recording artiste Adriene 'Rayven Amani' Higgins, the creator-executive producer of the show, which will be aired on CVM TV.
Sixteen schools, zoned into four groups, have been confirmed for the preliminary round.
"The 'JBSB' is now in pre-production. The bands are being prepped by my team, which includes Jubba White of Dubtonic Kru, Conrad 'Saxmelody' Pinnock of Byron Lee's Dragonnaires, Richard 'Goofy' Campbell (keyboard player for Tanya Stephens and Maxi Priest), and Donovan McKinnis (bass player for Cham and Gyptian)," Higgins told The Gleaner.
"We will be going into production in a matter of weeks then it will be on to the air via CVM Television."
The judges, who are all established voices and personalities in the music industry; are international musicians Taddy P (bass player/artiste), Paul Kastick (drummer), Alaine Laughton (singer-songwriter) and Dean Stephens (lead vocalist of Chalice).
Pepita Little, the former host of TVJ's popular entertainment show 'Intense', will be the host.
"What we will be unleashing is 13 weeks of intense performances, touching stories, and exciting behind-the-scenes drama," said Higgins.
"For the preliminary round, zones 1 and 2 will perform for our judges and live audience at the Kool Runnings Water Park in Negril, and zones 3 and 4 will perform at the Barbican Beach in Kingston.
"The judges will choose the top bands, which will be invited to our main stage and given various exciting themes to choose from," added Higgins.
While the main theme is 'Jamaica's Best School Band, where the music lives on', the bands will be using sub-themes such as 'Celebration Of Our Music, Ska to Dancehall', 'Remix and Fusion - Remixing Popular Classics, and Fusing Genres and Gospel'.
In addition to the television exposure, the bands will be vying for cash and prizes. The winning band will receive the JBSB trophy and a cash prize. They will also be featured on the covers of Seek exercise books.
"The top three bands and outstanding performers will receive musical instruments and equipment from Music Mart," said Higgins. "They will also be offered recording deals with veteran producers Paul 'Computer Paul' Henton (Boot Camp Records), and Barry O'Hare (Worl-a Muzik productions). The winning music teacher will get a weekend for two at Beaches Negril Resort and Spa."
There will be sectional prizes for the Most Disciplined Band, Most Outstanding Musicians and the Best Band Leader.
16 schools to vie for nat'l crown
Herbert Morrison Technical High
Montego Bay High
Mt Alvernia High
Knox College (boys)
Knox College (girls)
St Jago High
Pembroke Hall High
St Thomas Technical
Bog Walk High
St Mary High