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Culture to take stage at Grace Jerk Fest

By Kevin Jackson
Observer writer

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Organisers of the Grace Jamaica Jerk Festival are continuing to place an emphasis on culture at this year's staging. The occasion is scheduled for Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida, on Sunday.

Bridget Edwards, cultural stage coordinator, said organising an extraordinary programme is essential to highlighting and preserving the culture, while educating and entertaining attendees.

“We're always finding innovative ways to present our heritage and incorporating different elements that are in line with our culture,” Edwards told the Jamaica Observer . “Under this year's theme 'Let the Drums Speak,' our Caribbean culture will reverberate from the Corporate Area and throughout the entire Markham Park.”

Sets include music, dance, comedy, spoken word, fashion, and drama. Comedian Christopher “Johnny” Daley is expected to host this segment.

Fashion designer Cholla Williamson of Covered by Grace is slated to feature stylish, handcrafted African designs. For lovers of Afro-Caribbean drumming and dancing, the Sasa African Dance Theater is billed to perform their uptempo beats and moves; and for the children, Drumming Fingers will offer instructional drumming and dancing, inviting audience participation. Author Ettosi Brooks is expected to present a dramatised reading of her book S tori, Stori, Stori: Adventures in Rhythm; while Transitionsauthor Meleisha Jocelyn will perform spoken word.

“Chris Daley is a part of the Jerk Festival family. He will do more than introduce the acts — he will perform, get audience members to join in, and may even do a little drumming himself. You never know what exciting things will happen on the Western Union Cultural Stage, that's why we ask everyone to come out early and dance, sing, and drum with us,” Edwards added.

Reggae veterans Freddie McGregor and Marcia Griffiths, young turks Chino McGregor and Ding Dong, as well as soca star Alison Hinds are among the featured acts.

Other festival activities include cooking competitions at the Publix Culinary Pavilion, a fun reggae-soca party at the Hot Zone, and children are expected to enjoy fun rides, face painting, and games in the Kidz Zone.