Last Sundays to Screen Short Film “Proscenium”

This Sunday April 25, 2021 the National Gallery of Jamaica’s virtual Last Sundays will feature a one-time screening of the Factory75 short film Proscenium followed by a discussion with the filmmaker Allison Harrison. The screening will take place on our YouTube channel at 1:30 pm and the discussion will be made available for future viewing.

The award winning 2015 short film Proscenium is a Jamaican thriller that follows a young violinist, Melissa, whose boyfriend Greg surprises her for her birthday with a trip to the long abandoned and iconic Ward Theatre in Downtown, Kingston. It was produced by Factory75 and has received the Audience Award for ‘Best Short Film’ at the first Jamaica Film Festival in 2015, was part of the selection for the 2015 Aruba Film Festival and was featured by the University of Missouri and RagTag Cinema in 2016.

Allison Harrison is a filmmaker and the Chief Creative at the video, motion picture and entertainment company Factory75. She attended Miami International University of Art and Design where she attained a BFA in Film and Digital Production Summa Cum Laude. Harrison was regularly featured on the President’s List and the Dean’s List and was awarded the Outstanding Acheivement Award in Film and Digital Production for 2010-2011.

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Virtual Last Sundays to ft. Roots Percussionist

For our March virtual Last Sundays event the National Gallery of Jamaica will feature a performance by Roots Percussionist. The virtual programme will premiere on both our YouTube and IGTV platforms at 1:30pm on March 28, 2021.

A two-time Grammy Nominated musician, Hector “Roots Percussionist” Lewis is a Jamaican Percussionist, Drummer, Vocalist and Music Director. He is currently the background vocalist and percussionist for the world renowned Reggae band, Chronixx and Zincfence Redemption and is endorsed by Regal Drumsticks from the United States as well as Tycoon Percussion in Thailand.

His love for music began in his days at church in his hometown of Spanish Town. This was bolstered by his mother, the talented and legendary Barbara Jones, who had a major influence on his approach to music and the creative arts. It was this passion that led him to studying at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts where he met his mentor the late percussionist, Denver “Feluke” Smith, and earned himself a degree in Music Education and Performance. 

Hector’s stage name “Roots Percussionist” is inspired by the organically produced sound deeply-rooted within all types of Indigenous music, which he honours in all performance forms. Central to his unique sound is Rastafarianism culture – the connection between past and present and the celebration of the human spiritual experience. Roots Percussionist believes in music’s ability to heal, connect and create a transcendental experience. His musical capabilities span several genres – including Latin, Reggae, African, Punk, Rock, Pop, Bouyon, Calypso and of course Dancehall – which he often fuses in his continuous explorations of music. He is also accomplished in several instruments, including; Bungos, differently pitched Congas, Tangerines, Cow Bells, Shakers, Bells, Chimes, Timpani and Xylophone.

Since 2016, Roots Percussionist has headlined global tours alongside the critically-acclaimed Chronixx & Zincfence Redemption. He has worked on percussion and background vocals on live and recorded productions for several popular artists such as Jesse Royal, Lila Ike, Beres Hammond, Jaz Elise and the Marley family. Roots Percussionist has also performed at the Essence Festival 2020, NPR Tiny Desk Series, BBC 1Xtra Series, 2020 edition of the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival as well as his hosting duties for the annual “Roots Reggae Day”. He released his first single “Outlaw” in 2019, produced by Dretegs and featuring US-based artistes QNA and Royal Khaoz. His follow-up single, “LOVE SAVIOUR”, was released in May 2020 and his next single, “Did It Again” is now available on all major streaming platforms.

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Virtual Last Sundays ft. Tribe Sankofa

In celebration of Reggae Month the National Gallery of Jamaica presents a performance by Tribe Sankofa on February 28, 2021 for its Last Sundays event. The virtual programme will premiere on both our YouTube and IGTV platforms at 1:30pm.

Tribe Sankofa is a performing arts collective brought together by Fabian Thomas, A vibrant and eclectic group of multi-talented performers they have combined their artistry to add an exciting new dimension to the performing arts landscape both locally and internationally. Their niche is “…borrowed and original spoken word/poetry, soulful song-styling uniquely blended with other visual and performing arts”.

Tribe Sankofa has shared their unique offerings in diverse spaces including the Lignum Vitae Awards, Gungo Walk Alternative Music and Arts Festival, Arts in the Park and the Investiture of the Poet Laureate of Jamaica to name a few. In addition to multiple medals and awards at Tallawah Dramatic Arts Festival and the Jamaica Cultural Development’s Speech and Drama competitions, the collective has also staged its own productions: Black Bodies, A Tribe Ting and their signature annual production Word Soul. Tribe Sankofa was a featured performer at the Carifesta Symposium 2017 in Barbados. Rising above the challenges and restrictions of COVID-19, they presented their first virtual season in August 2020 entitled Word Soul: The ‘Covid-19 Naah Flop Wi Show’ Edition.

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Virtual Last Sundays to ft. Asabi

The National Gallery of Jamaica presents its first Last Sundays event for 2021 on January 31 with a performance by Asabi. The virtual programme will premiere on both our YouTube and IGTV platforms at 1:30pm.

Going by her middle name, Nailah Asabi Henry was born in Kingston Jamaica on July 19th, 1991. At the age of 8 she relocated to Port Antonio, Portland, where she lived up until she began attending the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMCVPA) in Kingston, to pursue a degree in Jazz and Popular Music Studies.

After leaving EMCVPA Asabi went on to perform at many well-known Hotels across Jamaica, weddings and other special occasions. For her work she focused her attention on Jazz and Reggae but she always had a special love for dancehall that she was too shy to pursue. Asabi however, decided to take a leap and flow her passion of becoming a Dancehall and Reggae Recording Artist after taking a break from the music scene to start a family, as well as realizing that a corporate job did not make her soul sing as music did.

On May 1st 2020 Asabi released her debut single titled “Bamboo.” In late November she released her second single “Winey Don” on the Meraki Riddim, which feature artists such as Busy Signal and Chris Martin. Her third single “Caribbean Peach” is set for release on the 22nd of January.

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Virtual Last Sundays to ft. Nexus

To close the year, for our December Last Sundays the National Gallery of Jamaica will be having a special holiday performance by the Nexus Performing Arts Company on December 27, 2020 at 1:30pm. The video performance will premiere on our YouTube and IGTV platforms for you to enjoy.

Formed in 2001 by Hugh Douse, the Nexus Performing Arts Company is known for their powerful vocals and cultural performances. The company’s repertoire is drawn from several genres; gospel, Negro spirituals, semi-classical, popular music including reggae and show tunes, and African and classical music of the European and African traditions. Their costumes are vibrant, colourful and centre around cultural dress of the musical genres they embody. Nexus has performed on both local and international stages at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, the Beres Hammond Moment In Time Concert, the 2009 Jamaica Reggae Industry Awards Show, Jamaica’s National Honours and Awards Investiture Ceremony, the 2008 National Independence and Olympic Grand Galas, the IAAF World Junior Championships Opening Ceremony, the Cricket World Cup 2007 Opening Ceremony, and the National Actor Boy Awards.

In anticipation for the closing of this year 2020, we take the opportunity to wish all our patrons and their loved ones Happy Holidays, and a blessed New Year when it comes, from the Management and Staff of the National Gallery of Jamaica. This year has been unprecedented, forcing many Jamaicans and the rest of the global community to change the way we operate. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been challenges, lessons learnt and thankfully, moments of triumph. The pandemic continues, but the NGJ remains committed to the service of our fellow citizens and the world.  

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Virtual Last Sundays to Screen the Film “Inna De Yard” + Live Discussion w/ Peter Webber

At 1:30 pm on November 29, 2020 the National Gallery of Jamaica in association with the Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) will feature an online screening of the film “Inna De Yard” followed by a discussion with the film’s director Peter Webber for its virtual Last Sundays.

Kiddus I, The Rebel (Image courtesy of Charades)

More than 30 years after their golden age, a band of singers gather up for the recording of a new album before embarking on a World Tour. Voices of Reggae like Ken Boothe, Winston McAnuff, Kiddus I, Judy Mowatt, and Cedric Myron, the famous lead of the Congos, are but a few in this film. These artistes have known each other for years and the have contributed greatly to the development of reggae: they’ve sung with the greats and rubbed shoulders with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff. For the project “Inna de Yard”, they’ve reunited to revisit the biggest tracks of their repertoire and record a unique acoustic album, returning to the sources of their music. On this occasion, they’ll share the microphone with younger singers, representatives of the new reggae stage uniting their energy in a collective, powerful vibration.

Jah 9 (Image courtesy of Charades)

In this film the director, Peter Webber, takes us along for the recording of the album, which will be the soundtrack, as well as the everyday life of the singers for several weeks. His aim is to get to grips with reggae, and at the same time witness the intimate lives of some of the legendary personalities that helped to create it. Built around a series of portraits, and giving star billing to the reggae music that will permeate it from beginning to end, the film invites us on a visceral and musical voyage to discover reggae and some of the fascinating people who create and perform it every day.

Growing up in West London in the 1970’s, Peter Webber was surrounded by reggae music. There was a large and well-established Jamaican community and the Notting Hill Carnival, the capital’s biggest street party, throbbed to the sounds of it. He was a fan of The Clash, who often promoted reggae music and that impacted him deeply. His record collection was soon filled with reggae albums and he sought out iconic reggae films such as “The Harder They Come” and “Rockers.” Webber eventually visited Jamaica and saw the opportunity for stories to be told through the intersection of the old and new generations of reggae.

To view the film and discussion please click the following link:

http://cet-it.com/live/ngj-inna-de-yard-the-soul-of-jamaica-screening-discussion/

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