The U.S. Embassy in Jamaica has, for close to twenty years, presented a free concert in celebration of Black History Month on the last Friday in February at various locations in Kingston. The annual – FREE – concert has been, without exception, an expression of joy, relaxation and delicious self-indulgence in the wealth of African-American music. There has been some great Chicago blues, R&B divas with class, jazz vocalists and musicians, even a dash of gospel. And of course, since we are Jamaican, it’s a great opportunity to relax in the Park, socialize and meet up with people you have not seen for a while. Jamaicans travel from across the island for this occasion; I always remember fondly the group of teachers and staff from Holmwood Technical High School, who never missed the show!
Here is the U.S. Embassy’s press release, below. This year the iconic vocal group Sweet Honey In the Rock, founded in 1973, will perform. If you are not familiar with this group, you will be thrilled. Theirs is not just a wealth of music; it also includes important messages.They are currently occupied with immigration injustices, political greed and lack of compassion for citizens, the environmental imbalance, racial issues and women’s issues. The name of the group was derived from a song, based on Psalm 81:16, which tells of a land so rich that when rocks were cracked open, honey flowed from them. Johnson has said that this first song in which four women blended their voices was so powerful, that there was no question what the name of the group should be. This is the concert of the year not to miss! Oh, and it is family-friendly…
PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER TO BRING AN ITEM OF EDUCATIONAL USE FOR THE NATHAN EBANKS FOUNDATION, an organization serving Jamaican children with special needs. Do pass on this information, and enjoy!
World renowned, Sweet Honey In The Rock, will be the headline performers at Blues on The Green, Friday February 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm at Emancipation Park. The Grammy-Award winning group promises to entertain the crowd and stimulate thought through their rich musical tones, artistic style and delivery which includes the use of sign language.
Sweet Honey in the Rock is an all-woman, African-American ensemble that has been producing music for more than three decades. Though the membership of the group has evolved over time, their music continues to weave together contemporary rhythms and narratives. The globe-trotting group has performed in Australia, various parts of Africa, numerous cities across the United States and will come to Jamaica immediately following a multi-city tour of Peru.
Sweet Honey In The RockBlues on The Green is the U.S. Embassy’s signature cultural event, held as part of celebration commemorating African-American History Month. During this month, Americans reflect on their ongoing advances towards social inclusion and the elimination of racial inequality. As part of our commitment to equal citizenship, the Embassy invites patrons to donate educational tools to the Nathan Ebanks Foundation which promotes inclusion, participation, empowerment and equal opportunities for children with disabilities and special educational needs aged zero to 18. On the evening of the event, the Foundation’s representatives will be on hand to collect teaching aids such as crayons, playdough, building blocks and coloring books.
Regarding Blues On The Green, Joshua Polacheck, the Embassy’s Counselor for Public Affairs, said: “It is a cultural dialogue to spark a discussion on inclusiveness in Jamaica and in the United States. I hope this gets everyone thinking about what it means to respect all people.”
The show will commence with performances by popular Jamaican band Othniel Lewis and Friends and singing sensation Brina. We welcome back the effervescent Fae Ellington as the MC. Be there promptly at 6:00 pm to hear a special surprise.
The event is free and open to all. We invite everyone to come out, have a good time, and do a good deed.