The Eyes Guy has accepted an invitation to grace the Annual Guyana International Music Festival on Saturday, April 30, at the National Stadium and the Guyana International Artistic Music Awards, red carpet event on May 1, at the National Cultural Centre.
These events in Guyana are part of the official activities of the Golden Jubilee of Independence, with the blessings of Cathy Hughes, Guyana Minister of public telecommunications and tourism.
Major acts include Natural Black, culture reggae, Donna Makeda, dancehall reggae, Pan Man Jango, steel pan, Jomo Promo, soca, Mystic, chutney and Kester D / Lady Trish, gospel, just to whet allyuh musical appetites.
Wait, there’s more. Award categories include honorary awards, Bob Marley, Four Studio, Ken Booth and Marcia Griffith, inna Jamaica yaard; Sweet T and T’s Sparrow; with international achievement, Natural Black, with lots more to come.
“The events will bring together Guyanese musical talents from across 19 different countries and is aimed at creating awareness of Guyana’s beauty and cultural abilities at home and abroad and forging international alliances, said Sherlock Shepherd, head of the Guyana Artistic Music Awards (GAMA).
“It’s a win- win for Guyana’s tourism and majoring on the love and unity in Guyana as we continue to build bridges.”
Shepherd said they will honour and reward veterans, pioneers and young talent in the music industry, paying homage to cultural icons by exposing their diverse talent within the entertainment industry nationally and internationally.
“We see Guyana as the next country where music will be recognized on the world stage for their music, like Jamaica with reggae and Trinidad and Tobago with soca. And after staging an event of such magnitude? Guyanese artists will no longer have to leave Guyana to be recognized internationally for music,” said who served at the University of Guyana and Ministry of Finance.
Another component is “to educate youths in Guyana interested in the music business to learn music the right way by doing voice lessons, to train them on timing, keys, notes, stage appearance, etc, so they can compete on the international music market.”
These events are also an opportunity for international music producers to see Guyanese artists perform, giving them an opportunity to sign new talent to international labels.
Eyesers, as a columnist with conviction and informed opinions and given Eyes’ coverage of the massive CARIFESTA X (Caribbean Festival of Arts) – the largest gathering of Caribbean exponents and proponents in the arts and culture – I can safely say this will be an excellent time to celebrate Guyana’s musical contribution to the world.
During my coverage of international music festivals including Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis and The Bahamas, I find an underlying foundation as one deconstructs African drum rhythms in their glorious “Caribbeaness” which Shepherd describes as “music is love and unity, joy and peace, it’s about building bridges, this is what we are focusing on in our dear land of Guyana.”
Shepherd, popularly known as the Professor because of his exceptional ability as a professional cosmetologist, is president of the National Beauty Culturist League and operates out of his business Celebrity Touch Hair Studio on Eglinton Ave. W. in Toronto.
That means that Shepherd brings business acumen to his passion for the arts.
“The Guyanese Canadian Artistic Entertainment Inc.’s mission is to reward Guyanese artists, veterans, young talent and pioneers in the music industry at home and abroad for their work in their specific genres on the world market and to bring together Guyanese musicians and artists from all over the world,” Shepherd said.
Entertainment with a purpose and business with social responsibility makes me think of Louis Armstrong’s It’s a Wonderful World. One Love Beautiful Guyana!
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