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Sweet sounds at Musical Rhapsody

BY SADE GARDNER
Observer writer

Friday, August 10, 2018

Guests could not get enough of quintessential entertainer Gem Myers at the seventh staging of Musical Rhapsody held at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston recently. She was so good that the audience demanded a performance of Shame Shame Shame after she exited the stage. Myers was the final act of the show produced by the Church of St John the Evangelist.

Gracing the stage in an elegant yellow gown, Myers started her set with a Jamaican gospel medley before easing into some Whitney Houston standards. That segment included hits such as Where Do Broken Hearts Go, I Have Nothing, and All At Once. Her impressive vocal range did not disappoint and guests responded with intense cheers and applause.

Backed by resident band Fab 5, the singer then segued into a local set inclusive of ska, rocksteady and reggae. Her performance of My Boy Lollipop brought many out of their seats and the vibes continued with her performance of One Man Woman. Myers said she was grateful for the crowd's reaction.

“I love what I do. I don't know what I would do if I got up in the morning and couldn't sing, I don't take it for granted,” Myers told the Jamaica Observer. “It's a church event so I knew I had to temper it a little, but my repertoire includes a lot of different genres so it wasn't hard.”

Also providing a stellar performance was George Nooks, who caused a dancing frenzy when he performed tracks including Forty Leg, Ride Out Your Storm, and God Is Standing By. Pam Hall was also well received with her powerful, harmonious set including I Was Born A Woman, Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, and a lively gospel medley. Tinga Stewart, who replaced Roy Rayon due to a commitment overseas, wasted no time on stage and boosted the energy with tracks like Cover Me and his winning festival songs Play De Music and Nuh Weh Nuh Better Than Yaad. Rovleta Fraser also gave an interactive performance.

Jacqueline Samuda, chairperson of the church's planning committee, said next year's staging will be held in May to better facilitate acts before they go on tour abroad.

“Normally this is not our usual time of the event. It's usually in May,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “While we were planning we realised how many events were available to the public at this time so we had to push really hard to get the crowd we got this evening and we're satisfied. We hope it gets bigger and better each year,” she continued.

Proceeds from Musical Rhapsody, formerly Rhapsody in Steel, are in aid of the church's community outreach programmes. Located on Mannings Hills Road, the Church of St John the Evangelist services communities like Merrivale and Meadowbrook through a weekly soup kitchen, bi-monthly free health clinic and monthly care packages including food and toiletries.