Entertainment

Downswell's tour of duty

BY KEDIESHA PERRY
Observer writer

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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Singer Kevin Downswell says this year's Realignment Tour promises to exceed expectations. He has staged the series of shows since 2017.

“Each year, we learn more and we capitalise on what we learn from previous years. The execution will be better, the team is stronger and more experienced, the artistes are good. The production is also on another level; we have Martin Lewis and Clear Sounds on board, so we're really sparing nothing. We want people to experience one of the best and most exciting concerts,” Downswell told the Jamaica Observer.

Under the theme 'Never...Alone', the tour is slated for June 21-23 at Mannings High in Savanna-la-Mar; Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre (Kingston); and St Hilda's High in St Ann, respectively.

The Realignment Tour was introduced two years ago by Kevin Downswell Ministries (KDM). Since its inception, proceeds have been used to uplift the less fortunate.

This year, KDM is getting support to fulfil its mandate.

“In 2018 we started a mentorship programme at Ferris Primary School in Westmoreland and rehabilitated their reading room. This year, we plan to introduce a feeding programme because there are students who go to school and go straight to the principal because they didn't have breakfast. So, we're partnering with KFC and Jamaica Broilers for that,” Downswell disclosed. “We also want to work on the partition between classrooms and the blackboards. The blackboards that they use for partitions right now isn't good enough, so we plan to get actual walls so the students can have more privacy and make as much noise as they want. This year as well, we're focusing on the community. We want to partner with adults who are interested in small farms and so on,” he continued.

Other contributions by the ministry over the years include a six-month 'big brother' relational development programme at Manning's Boys' Home. It also introduced the mentorship programme at Pringle's Children's Home in St Mary, as well as clothing donations that year.

Downswell explained how beneficiaries are selected.

“We partner with CDA (Child Development Agency) and have discussions about places that need attention. We usually get four to five groups and select the ones that need the most attention,” he said.This year's acts include Uche Agu from Nigeria, Kelontae Gavin from the United States and Positive from Trinidad and Tobago. Ryan Mark, Jai, Jabez, the 2019 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's Gospel Contest finalists and Sister Patt are among the local talents.

“It wasn't a challenge (getting artistes to agree). We find a group of kids every year that need help and I spoke to these guys who were quick to respond. We are supporting kids who are in homes who are neglected and abused by society and instead of leaving them to the state,we want to help them to understand that we are here,” said Downswell.The Savanna-la-Mar native is ecstatic about the continued support.

“The support has been amazing. The tour in St Ann last year was mind-boggling. We're not just doing a concert, we're coming in with change and people are excited about that.”

Downswell will debut his song, All I Want, during the shows.


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