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KB to headline ‘Chillin’ by the Dock of the Bay’ on February 28
Submitted by DP&A   
Monday, 23 February 2015 13:01

KB Headlining – Five entertainers, including headliner Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie,  are combining forces and voices to raise funds for and awareness of the environment during a concert February 28 at Grand Bahama’s Flying Fish Restaurant on the waterfront starting at 4 pm. FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- When Save The Bays hosts its first Grand Bahama fun-raiser, Chillin’ by the Dock of the Bay, February 28, it will link five performers who have never before performed together but are united over a cause that each is passionate about – protecting the waters of The Bahamas.

Headlining the concert set for 4 pm on the waterfront at Flying Fish Seafood Restaurant is the top-selling musician Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie.

“KB rose to fame with songs like ‘Bush Mechanic’ and ‘She Fat’ but in recent years he has lent his talent to social causes, penning numbers that point to political will, transparency and accountability,” said Save The Bays CEO Lindsey McCoy. “One of his latest songs, ‘Hold dey feet to da fire’ is among the country’s biggest hits.

“It is encouraging to see artists like the legendary KB (Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie) share a stage with the talents of a jazzy Marina Gottlieb Sarles who is performing with master guitarist Steve Persaud in Bossa. We also have Tim Tibbitts who is one of those multi-talented individuals who can whip up a restaurant meal with the same pizzazz as he can stir a crowd’s enthusiasm. Tim, who is Bahamian, had a successful run in Canada and we’re just grateful he came back home and cares so much about the environment.

“And we have one of Grand Bahama’s local favourites, Derek Gape, who can take a simple tune and a guitar and turn it into a performance that rouses an audience and makes everyone in the crowd happy to be there.”

The worth of the artist
Submitted by Nat Cambridge   
Thursday, 19 February 2015 09:48
Recently I took the reins of the Grand Bahama Entertainers Musicians And Artists Assc. (G.B.E.M.A.A.). In the short time that I have been at the helm of this once again fledgling organization some things have become clear to me, some disturbing and some reassuring. One reassuring thing I have discovered is that there is a wealth of talent and skill present in the entertainment and arts community of Grand Bahama and in even in the everyday not interested in that artsy stuff Grand Bahamian. More than you would normally find, per capita, just about anywhere in the world. This is due primarily, in my opinion, to the fact that talented and skilled entertainers and artists frequented this little island from the 60’s trough early 90’s and invariably left offspring that carried the genes of musical and artistic geniuses. Everyone from Teddy P to Pebo and even the great bands of the 80’s were here in Freeport. And it was documented. All but the after party activities of course. Add to that the already immensely talented locals. The Swain, the Kemps, the Penns’, the Mitchells, the Coakleys and the list goes on.  

The disturbing thing is that with all the talent and entertainment and artistic skill on Grand Bahama, we have not continued to remain at the forefront of the entertainment and art world. We have seen the steady decline of the support of live entertainment, the arts and live music on this island over the past 20 years. There is no significant funding or initiatives for entertainers and persons that are interested in becoming involved in the arts. Parents now even discourage their children when they say they want to be a singer, poet, painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers etc. where once ago it was the in thing. Our tourists complain of little to do and nearly no live entertainment. No regular and easily accessible arts, food, music and entertainment opportunities. There are no initiatives or mandates that seek to address the issue of the decline of live entertainment and cultural opportunities for locals, expats and guests. The ministry of tourism develops entertainment laden programmers and pencils us in as opposed to consulting us on the development of programs to promote Bahamian artists and entertainers.  

Now before anyone begins to think I am complaining or begging for assistance, allow me to clear the air on how I feel about the state of our arts and entertainment industry. There are some things that we as entertainers and artists of all types have allowed or even propagated over the years. We have fought among ourselves, we have under bid each other, we have cut each other down and criticized each other to our public and economic detriment and without sharing alternatives or solutions to the shortcomings we have pointed out in our fellow artists. We have been lazy, slothful, unresponsive, stuck in an archaic mold. We have not progressed with the times, we have not evolved with the industry. But even more detrimental to our survival and growth is that we have not been proactive and have allowed our destiny to be determined by those who have no vested interest in our development or those who would benefit from our demise.  

So we find ourselves in a rut. Less than 2% of the artists and entertainers on this island are actually making a living from their talents and the profession that brings them joy. We are now mechanics, taxi drivers, teachers, carpenters, and mostly security guards. Guarding the places, building the sites that house and maintaining the vehicles that transport countless numbers of visitors that in another era we would be performing for and bringing joy to the hearts of and also sharing our culture with. We have come a long way since the booming Grand Bahamian 70’s. Sadly though, it’s a long way in the wrong direction. The decline of the arts and entertainment industry on Grand Bahama is directly correlated to the decline of the tourism product and performance, The degradation of the cultural, social and spiritual wellbeing and the self esteem of the average Grand Bahamian. We are not as in touch with who we are and we relate more to foreign cultures and lifestyles and feel they are superior to ours.  

It is, has been and will always be the duty of cultural practitioners to define for a nation and a community who they are, and what makes them different and special. Legislators cannot do this, though some feel they can. It is their job to encourage, make occasion for and foster this. Educators can’t, though they try. It is their job to share the history of and relate the relevance of it and to reinforce our relevance to its existence and growth to their pupils. Legal practitioners can’t do it. Though it is their duty to protect it and persons practicing it from plagiarism and usury. And the media can’t do it. It is their duty, as the fourth estate, to share and allow, even foster, its expression and growth. Each knowing their role in the growth and protection, education and facilitation of cultural expression and identity these 4 estates can, through the arts and artists, foster a better Bahamas.  

Hundreds turn out for 5th BOB Love That Child event to raise funds for children’s homes
Submitted by DP&A   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 10:43

Funky D – Funky D takes his legendary high-energy dance, song and story style to the audience during the action-packed Love That Child show at the St. Andrew’s School Performing Arts Centre. Pictured to his left is Palm Cay’s Zack Bonczek and to his right with bright smile is BOB Corporate Secretary Laura Williams, a strong supporter of Love That Child. The annual production began five years with a song by the same name written by a successful Bahamian who grew up at children’s homes and wanted to give back. Since then, it has raised thousands of dollars for three children’s homes in Nassau and helped raise awareness of the needs of places that provide a roof over young heads and a safe, caring place to call home.   NASSAU, Bahamas -- They danced, they sang, they wowed the crowd and, in the end, the young entertainers who took to the stage Sunday, January 18 showed the real meaning of caring -- giving every last ounce of talent and energy to raise funds for three children’s homes.

The show was the 5th annual BOB Love That Child musical extravaganza. Held at the St. Andrew’s Performing Arts Auditorium, the event drew hundreds for a celebration with a cause, to show those children and teens who call the Children’s Emergency Hostel, Elizabeth Estates Children’s Home and Ranfurly home that they are loved.

From co-choreographers from Nassau and Philadelphia to entertainers ranging from the jaw-dropping stunts of Emanji Circus to the 5-foot-high splits of 10-year-old Justin Hudson, from the agility of dozens of dancers to the stunning voice of little Rachel Thompson, the show was a fast-paced, action-packed two hours emceed by Funky D along with a multi-talented human pretzel named Mouse.

But it was a small performance by the youngest group of all, the Children’s Emergency Hostel, hat stole hearts and left hardly a dry eye in the crowd.

“A few weeks ago, we did not even know if we would be able to have this show this year,” said Karen Rawlings, producer. “But it’s been amazing how everything came together. When we didn’t have a venue after they said the Rainforest Theatre would be closing earlier than anticipated for renovation as part of Baha Mar, we had to scramble to find a new venue. St. Andrew’s not only came through, but a member of the St. Andrew’s family paid the rental fee for this beautiful auditorium and we are so grateful. One thing after another fell into place and this has been one of the best shows ever!”

National Modern Languages Awareness Week ends with 23rd Annual CULTURAMA
Submitted by Paola Crespo   
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 10:36

Yellow Elder Primary School students performed the Spanish Dance, La Rumba, Kimbara, at the 23rd annual Culturama (Photo by Aletha Cooper).NASSAU, Bahamas -- National Modern Languages Awareness Week ended with its 23rd annual CULTURAMA event on Friday January 30th 2015 at the National Centre for Performing Arts. Students from public and private schools showcased their appreciation for Spanish, French and Chinese language and culture through performances of dance, song, poetry and skit.

In attendance were the Honourable Jerome K. Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Ernesto Soberon Guzman, Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Mr. Robert Jagger, Honorary Consul General for Costa Rica, Mr. David McGrath, Honorary Consul General of Panama, and Mr. Hu Shan, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China.

Minister Fitzgerald spoke to the students about the importance of learning languages for future careers, and how every student should aspire to experience other cultures in order to become a more tolerant, diverse people.

This year’s Culturama was hosted by Mr. Anthony Young, a French teacher at Kingsway Academy, and Ms. Ebony Johnson, alumna of Doris Johnson High School, who now teaches Spanish at D. W. Davis Junior High School. Every school who participated gave animated performances. The enthusiasm and joy was palpable from every student on stage, and even from everyone in the seats. The audience was engaged throughout the entire event, cheering, clapping, dancing and singing along with the performers.

Some of the notable performances include “Vida,” a Spanish dance performed by Thelma Gibson Primary School. The students showed off their Latin moves with typical swaying of hips and elaborate footwork. One boy in red was acting as lead singer of the song, Ricky Martin, by shimmying his shoulders and lip-syncing into a sparkling microphone. At the end of the dance, the boys lined up and blew a kiss, much to the enjoyment of the audience.

Global Southern Gospel Music Cruise anchors on Grand Bahama
Submitted by Brooke Grant   
Saturday, 31 January 2015 06:33

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- On Monday, February 2nd at 12noon, 120 gospel musicians from Canada, Atlanta, North and South Carolina will disembark the Carnival Fascination on Grand Bahama Island, and join with local Bahamian gospel artists for a mid-day gospel concert at Count Basie Square in the Port Lucaya Marketplace. The Southern Gospel Music Cruise, led by Rev. Arnie Shipp, has been visiting The Bahamas for the past five years, with this year being the first for the participants to disembark for a time of worship.

During a press conference held on Friday, January 30, 2015, Debbie Huyler, Manager for Religious Tourism at the Grand Bahama Tourist office spoke to the excitement that is in the air as the Grand Bahama Tourism team prepares to receive the group on Tuesday. Huyler added that “It is with great excitement and expectation that we roll out the welcome mat to this special group as they experience the beauty, hospitality and the unique culture of Grand Bahama Island.”

During the group’s time on island they will participate in an island tour followed by an afternoon in the Port Lucaya Marketplace for shopping and dining. As a courtesy to the group, The Ministry’s People-to-People unit will prepare for their enjoyment a native tea party with samplings of native bush teas.

Dereck Stubbs, Island Coordinator, is optimistic of the execution of this highly anticipated gospel showcase and the cultural exchange that will take place as local musical sensations, the Cooling Waters and the Island Gospel Quartet joins the Southern fellowship during the mid-day concert. Adding to this excitement, Karen Ferguson-Bain, Entertainment and Marketing Coordinator of the Port Lucaya Marketplace shared that, not only will the group enjoy the shopping and singing, but they will be treated to a Junkanoo rush out before heading back to the ship.

Third Annual Patrick Davis Hope Town Songwriters Festival returns to Abaco
Submitted by Ryan Nelson   
Thursday, 29 January 2015 08:00

Nashville Singer/Songwriters Making Sweet Music in Paradise  

HOPE TOWN, Abaco -- If the snow where you are has chilled you to the bone this winter, escape to warm weather, sea breezes and performances from some of Nashville’s best musical talents at the Third Annual Patrick Davis Hope Town Songwriters Festival in Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas.

The free festival will be held Tuesday, February 17 thru Sunday, February 22, 2015 at locations all around Hope Town, Abaco including Firefly Sunset Resort, Harbour’s Edge Restaurant, Abaco Inn, Sea Spray Resort and Marina, Hope Town Inn and Marina, Cracker P’s and Lubbers’ Landing Resort.

The festival will illuminate this Bahamian beach village with events from some of Nashville’s greatest musical talent and includes a mix and mingle with the songwriters, live “in the round” performances and the stories behind the writing. All of the week’s events are free and open to the public.

Songwriters performing include artists such as Sirius XM Radio’s “The Highway” hit makers James Otto & JT Hodges, Hootie & the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan, Django Walker, Randy Montana, Tyler Reeve, Johnny Bulford, Jesse Rice - who penned "Cruise" for duo Florida Georgia Line,  Corey Crowder, American Idol’s Janell Wheeler, Bryson Jennings, Kylie Sackley and festival host, Patrick Davis. For more on the songwriters, visit HERE.

These talent artists have been involved in the writing of hits for star performers like Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Blake Shelton, Alan Jackson and many more.

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