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A 'Jakoostic Vibe at National Gallery of Jamaica

Jakoostic playing at National Gallery of Jamaica

Kingston, Jamaica: As Jamaica brushed itself off from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, the National Gallery of Jamaica opened its doors for its monthly Sunday opening and proffered up not only great art but also great music. The trio Jakoostik delivered an array of classic Jamaican songs. With electricity just returning to much of the island, it was much needed cultural sustenance as numerous events originally slated to take place last weekend were cancelled.

Jakoostik, Wayne Armond, Seretse Small and Donald Waugh, was born out of the Sunday afternoon concerts which have traditionally brought the annual Calabash International Literary Festival to a close. The Calabash concerts focused on the works of Jamaican greats such as Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and even seminal albums, exploring the intersection between song lyrics and poetry. “The music is stripped down to bare bones so that it can bring focus to the lyrics and compositional style.” Small explained.

Veerle Poupeye Executive Director, National Gallery of JamaicaThe trio began with a rendition of Beris Hammond’s ‘Putting Up Resistance’. “It’s nice to see that the Gallery has resisted the wrath of Sandy,” said Wayne Armond introducing the song. “So I think we should in turn put up resistance.”

As the end of the song, Armond spoke to his respect for Hammond’s artistry. “Beris himself should be hung in this National Gallery,” he said. “And not in the way they hung Paul Bogle ,” he quickly added. Armond segued to a need for a place to pay homage to Jamaican music, making reference to the Reggae Poster Exhibition currently on show at the NGJ.

The morning’s feast of classic songs included an ironic and haunting rendition of ‘Sammy Dead’, ‘Sweet and Dandy’, ‘Waiting in Vain’, ‘Sitting in Limbo’ and a blues infused ‘Money in My Pocket. The morning closed with a mash-up of ‘Redemption Song’ and ‘Rivers of Babylon’ that brought appreciative applause from the audience.Jahkoostic

Veerle Poupeye, Executive Director of the NGJ explained that while she recognized that many people had been severely affected by the storm and were having to recover from that. However she also noted that many other people were only battling with the other post storm issue, the absence of electricity and what to do. As such, as the Gallery suffered no damages and had electricity she thought it fitting to go through with the scheduled concert.

“I think we all need a little emotional and cultural sustenance,” Poupeye said. And she was right.