Grace J’can Jerk Fest committed to patron satisfaction
The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival South Florida edition celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Jamaican Abdul Muhsin has been associated with the festival in the production and technical areas for 20 years.
For Muhsin, the highlight is being able to deliver an event that patrons will leave feeling satisfied.
“The highlight is being able to produce the live entertainment portion and know that at the end of the day attendees walk away satisfied with what we have given them. To be specific on a highlight is difficult to answer. Each event has its own feature, and they are all special,” Muhsin said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival South Florida edition is scheduled for November 12 at the Miramar Regional Park in Miramar. The event, which primarily focuses on jerk dishes, art and craft and cultural presentations, will also feature performances by Grammy-winning group Morgan Heritage, Ding Dong and Bermudian reggae artiste Collie Buddz.
Said Muhsin, “My role is to produce the live entertainment as well as the booking of the acts, etc. I manage the main stage, but each of us involved in the event play a role in the production.”
Muhsin is a managing partner in Jamaica Jerk Festival Inc USA along with Eddy Edwards, Bridget Edwards, Billy Elcock and June Minto. He is also the chairman of the board.
Asked what were some of the challenges he has faced in putting on the event each year, Muhsin said, “The typical challenge with any producer is finding the best performance in our genre and this can be quite challenging. Fees have gone through the roof and many artistes are demanding high fees without justification. Many of them are not able to draw the audience necessary to justify the asking fees.”
Muhsin has honed his craft producing several major events through the years. He has also worked with many popular R&B, jazz and hip hop acts.
“I come from an R&B, jazz and hip hop background and those artistes are cognisant of fees and justification. They have huge repertoires and catalogue to justify their fees,” Muhsin disclosed.
Hit-maker Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Frankie Beverly and Maze, The O’Jays, The Manhattans, Denice Williams, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Destiny’s Child, Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond, Christopher Martin, Romain Virgo, and Third World are among the acts that Muhsin has worked with.
With over 40 years in event production, he has worked on events such as The original Bob Marley Festival, Jazz In The Gardens, Nine Mile Festival, Winter Fest Hip Hop festival and the How Can I Be Down Hip Hop Conference.
Muhsin is originally from Kingston where he resided on Delaware Avenue and later Bloomsbury Road. He moved to New York City in the late 1960s before settling in Miami in 1979.