Entertainment

JFM's beat goes on

By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 23, 2012    

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IN just over three months, the Jamaica Federation of Musicians (JFM) will celebrate its 45th anniversary. While it has been low-key in recent years, president Desmond Young says it remains active.

"We still represent on behalf of musicians, although it's not as large as it used to be," he said, stressing that the organisation is still batting for its members.

Young has been JFM president for over 20 years. He also sits on the government's Entertainment Advisory Board and is a director of the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP).

Recently, he told the Jamaica Observer that the JFM is going through major restructuring.

Though the Balmoral Road office which housed the JFM for years has closed, Young says prospective members can still register. A new location is in the process of being set up but for now Young said the JFM is operating as a "virtual office".

Though the Balmoral Road office which housed the JFM for years has closed, Young says prospective members can still register. A new location is in the process of being set up but for now Young said the JFM is operating as a "virtual office".

"The network know how to locate us," he said. "I'm at JACAP frequently and some of that organisation's members are also members of the JFM."

Anchor Recording's CEO Augustus 'Gussie' Clarke is a longstanding JFM member. He is encouraging artistes and musicians to join what he calls a "needed and noble institution".

Clarke admits that he has not been to a JFM meeting in years, and is not up to speed with its plans, but added:

"Any assistance in any kind of restructuring going forward if required and asked I would be more than willing (to give) and I'm also aware of others who would be willing likewise.

Clarke warned that if persons in the music industry do not sign up with the JFM, the organisation cannot help them.

But for Young, registering is just the beginning. He says once artistes, musicians, etc register he never hears from them again.

Established and registered under the Trade Union Laws of Jamaica in January 1958, the JFM's role includes promotion of live music, improvement of working conditions and protection of the interest of its members, and maintaining fair prices for musicians and artiste services.

At one point, JFM membership stood at over 2,000 divided among three chapters: Cornwall (based in Montego Bay), Middlesex (located in Ocho Rios) and Surrey which is in Kingston.

Stalwart musicians Hedley Jones and Sonny Bradshaw are former JFM presidents.

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