Joy Inna de Yard

Entertainment

Joy Inna de Yard

By Aaliyah Cunningham
Observer writer

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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The penultimate Reggae Films in The Park at Emancipation Park is arguably the best yet. Not only was the audience treated to a riveting feature film, but they were blessed by performances from the artistes they saw on screen.

Last Friday, adults and children convened to watch the docu-film Inna De Yard: The Soul of Jamaica by British film-maker Peter Webber. However, before they got sucked into a magnificent story of musical triumph, they enjoyed a short animation by Kevin Jackson titled Abeeku and The Maroons.

It was less than one minute long but had the crowd begging for more. Organiser Barbara Blake Hannah had to take the microphone to pacify the audience, prompting them that other episodes will be featured this week.

Inna de Yard recounts stories of Jamaican music's past. Set in the hills on a porch in Kingston, veteran musicians gathered to record their best hits in an acoustic, one-shot session. Some of the artistes featured include Ken Boothe, Winston McAnuff, Judy Mowatt, Cedric Myton, and Kiddus I, but it also had younger acts such as Jah9, VAR, and Derajah.

Webber was able to capture the spirit and authenticity of the Jamaican people and density of their musical culture into a 99-minute piece.

When the stars went on stage to sing some of their tracks, the buzz turned into loud cheers and applause. During the performances, it was evident that though their songs may no longer dominate local airwaves, they have lost none of their talent, and still sound like the original recordings. Mowatt and Jah 9 were the only acts not present for the performances.

Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport took the opportunity to acknowledge the work these singers-turned-silver screen stars have done. She also called for an extension to the weekly event.

“We have a music that has penetrated all corners of the world and transcends beyond colour or creed, religion. It is a music that unites people, a music that serves each and everyone of us based on our expression, based on our trials and tribulations, our success; it is a music that is for each and everyone of us,” she said. “Reggae Films in The Park should not be just Reggae Month,” Grange said.


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