Lockdown brings out More Than Blues
Musicians in Grand Cayman who would have usually been busy with gigs around the Island have been comforting the community by serenading them with their talents during the Covid-19 lockdown.
There have been singalong sessions, live broadcasts and outright concerts online by some of the Island’s brightest musical talent.
Among the well known musicians to have taken the virtual stage include Isadora Ferrao - also affectionately known as ‘Miss Izzy’ - whose previous engagements would have encompassed shows across Grand Cayman; from the Ritz on the West Bay Road, to the Kaibo in North Side.
Many children and families at home will have recognized Miss Izzy online from the work she has been doing with children and youngsters of all ages - teaching them about music and conducting musical workshops about the art of songwriting and the joys of expressing themselves through song.
Each day Miss Izzy has been fielding requests from an expectant audience who send her their favourite songs, which she covers seamlessly while reassuring and encouraging her listeners during their lockdown induced melancholy.
Beneil Miller is another Musical aficionado who has been making the rounds. In fact his recent video meme/mash-up/remix of a popular Reggae standard, which featured the Minister of Health and Culture, the Honourable Dwayne Seymour went viral, attracting attention from all corners of the Island and even regionally.
In the entertaining piece entitled, ‘Tan a Yu Yaad’, Beneil uses a snippet from comments made by the Minister during the daily briefings of the Cayman Islands Government, which update residents on the Corona Virus situation in Grand Cayman - where the population is made up by many transient expatriate workers.
Each day Minister Seymour addresses not only the locals but also translates his pleas to stay home into several different languages, among them bing patois; a dialect spoken by the many Jamaican workers who largely reside in the country on work-permit.
“Do, please Tan a Yu Yaad, if you waaa live” were the exact words of Minister Seymour, expressed in the colloquial tongue of one of Cayman’s closest neighbors, as he implored persons to stay home.
Other notable languages used by the Health Minister include Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French and Tagalog (Philippines).
Musicians in Cayman also have the opportunity to win CI$1200 in separate categories, for creating an extraordinary jingle about the Covid-19 scenario; an initiative spearheaded by the Health and Culture Ministry to give performing artist - who are out of work - an opportunity to bring in some much needed income.
Categories include Public Health-Education and Awareness, Community Solidarity and Awareness, Hope and Healing. Any Genre is permitted, according to the rules outlined in a ‘Jingle Open Call’ flier distributed by the Ministry of Culture.
“During times of crisis, beyond the concerning headlines, bright spots often emerge through bursts of artistic creativity and talent….
“While planting seeds of financial support during this very difficult period we are engaging your talents to produce a jingle,” read the invitational flier.
Submission of mp3s for the jingles to the Ministry are to be made at email@example.com.
In addition to this flurry of musical activity, Heineken has launched Heineken Happy Hour in conjunction with eventpro.ky.
The series of shows feature a different musicians or musical offering every Friday evening, with musicians such as Danny Loops, as well as steel-pan impresarios Olujimi La Pierre and Michael Lemay.
Musicians are paid to do the Heineken Happy Hour and persons in the community have the ability to give tips during the performance via an online facility.
Other notable artists whom have been doing musical sets online include husband and wife duo Chuck and Barrie and Singer/Songwriter Bob Mosley.
Representatives for the Cayman Music and Entertainment have said they are also in the process of engaging the Needs Assessment Unit to seek financial assistance for Musicians in the community who are currently out of work.
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