Arts & Culture

Tribute to Miss Lou

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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Tenky Miss Lou: A Tribute Concert is scheduled for the the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew on September 7.

Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), the concert is slated to start at 7:00 pm and is free to the public. It is one in a series of planned activities to celebrate the 98th anniversary of Miss Lou's birth.

The line-up includes Nesbeth, comedians Oliver Samuels, Owen “Blakka” Ellis and Christopher “Johnny” Daley, and performances from gold medal winners in the JCDC's annual National Festival of the Performing Arts.

“Every year we find a special way to show our love and appreciation for Miss Lou and all she has done for Jamaican Culture, and this year we are excited to announce this tribute concert featuring Jamaican theatre and performing arts greats as a part of the day's line-up,” said Stephen Davidson, director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC.

“In addition to our headliners, we will also see performances from Deon Silvera, the Little Theatre Movement (LTM) Pantomime Company and the Spanish Town Dance Theatre Company,” he continued.

Davidson also said the concert would feature a special bandana-themed fashion show.

“Miss Lou made the Madras print or bandana highly popular with Jamaicans both at home and abroad, and so we want to honour and highlight that with our own mini-fashion show, dubbed Bandana Time. We are also encouraging members of the public to wear their best bandana-inspired outfit,” he said.

Born on September 7, 1919 in Kingston, Miss Lou (whose given name Louise Bennett-Coverley) grew up to become the leading proponent in preserving the practice of presenting poetry, folk songs and stories in patois — Jamaica's native tongue.

Her work took on mass appeal through her presence in media — initially in print and later the electronic media to radio and then famously on television where she hosted Ring Ding, a weekly talent show on the now-defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.

She died at 86 on July 27, 2006 at the Scarborough Grace Hospital in Canada where she lived the last decade of her life. She is interred in the cultural icons section of the country's National Heroes' Park in Kingston.

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