JIS News

An album titled, ‘I Believe in Praise’, containing songs performed by the 10 finalists in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) Gospel Song Competition 2009, was launched on June 24, at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in Kingston.
Patrons of the event were entertained with live performances by the finalists, including a song from 2003 winner, Kevin Downswell.
A cheque valued at some $4.5 million was handed over to Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange by Nicholas Bramwell of Grace Tropical Rhythms, one of the main sponsors of the event.
The finalists are: Andre Wright, Omar Douglas, Kimola Brown, Fabian Wright, Brinetta Lewis, Gamel Grant, Kimela Isaacs, Nickette Morgan, Tobi Gay Maxwell and Gilhiesa Smith, and Leo Lewis. Citizens will be able to witness the artistes performing when an islandwide tour begins on Saturday, July 27 in Black River, St. Elizabeth. Shows will be held in parish and town centres before the grand finale, scheduled for Sunday, August 2 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.
Since April, the artistes have been participating in a series of grooming and training workshops conducted by professionals in the gospel music industry.
Speaking at the function, Minister Grange, said that the Ministry is devoted to the development and exposure of the participants.
“The album is just the beginning. As Minister with responsibility for culture, I’m devoted to the continued development and exposure of the participants,” she said.
She pointed out that the Ministry would not only facilitate the exposure of song writers and musicians, but also ensure that they are equipped to get maximum returns on their creative talents.
“The Jamaica Gospel Song Competition is one of the avenues we are using to provide this type of training. At the end of the competition, all participants must be prepared to advance their career in the gospel ministry,” Miss Grange said.
She argued that in order for the industry to be effective, the music must be executed with great professionalism and songs must be developed that are reflective of the diversity of Jamaican music. “We must produce work defined by our cultural and social context,” she added.
The competition was launched in 1987 by the JCDC to encourage the production of new works in the genre and preserve the authentic Jamaican Gospel form. Since its inception, it has attracted over 260 artistes, producers and song writers of original gospel music each year.

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