The CMEA’s 10th Annual MUZAIC Festival Weekend was executed as promoted and with the exception of a venue change for The Dj Showcase during the last week, due to the overbooking of the original venue and free admission across the board for all the events of The Heroes Day Weekend everything was executed according to plan.
For those who came out and supported this year’s MUZAIC, you are now a part of the Muzaic fraternity and the CMEA would like to publicly thank you here for your support.
Friday January 19th at 5pm saw The Dj Showcase kickoff on time at Cayman Cabana in spite of the threatening weather according to Mr. Notch, President of CMEA and the lead organizer the show must go on...... and go on it did featuring Dj after magnificent DJ until the wee hours of Saturday morning. featured on this year’s DJ Showcase was veteran and new DJs such as DJ after dark, DJ flex, DJ Steven king, DJ pepped Neil Sam and DJ Archie. Supported by Supa C, Styla T, DJ Martino and a host of other local musical celebrities including dancers from Kirk Rowe the night was everything The CMEA promised and more. The successful staging of this annual event has now spurred negotiations for a venue partnership between Cayman Cabana and The Cayman Music and Entertainment Assoc., so stay tuned for exciting details of this ongoing negotiation for The Dj Showcase to be an annual event at Cayman Cabana during next year’s MUZAIC Weekend.
Saturday’s Young Musicians Showcase at The Harquail Theater also started at 2pm as promoted with the JGHS Swing Band taking the stage by storm. Emceed by Emmanuel Scott and Romilly Miller of Radio Cayman’s Youth Flex Show, The Young Musicians Showcase went on to highlight several young stars on Cayman’s musical horizon with solo performances by Cameron Gilson [Piano], Kabira Palmer [Saxophone], Hasani Hunt [Piano], Mark Plowright [Piano], Travis Benitez [Piano], Kaley Simms [voice] and Dequan Smith [Trumpet] The afternoon was then closed with an impromptu solo piano performance by none other than Cayman’s own James Geary which left the audience wanting for more.
The sun was going down on the second day of the long holiday weekend and it was now time for the third event The Musical Salute at Da Station Bar; and once again as promoted, Mix Master on the turntables inside the bar started to spin the wheels of steel right on time. However, unfortunately due to a few early evening showers the outdoor element of The Musical Salute had to have its start postponed until approx an hour later at 7pm but like the lyrics of the famous Caribbean song says rain can’t stop the Reggae jam and rain could not stop The Musical Salute. Outdoors DJ Craig, DJ Archie and Operator TNT would continue to blaze the tracks until the midnight hour. Inside the venue, Mix Master gave way to the live performances of Kingsley Donalds and Andy Blake which could only be followed by DJ Mad Hype who rocked the inside lounge until closing time.
With three events successfully executed The CMEA Exec were getting into cruising mode for the fourth as the sun went down on Sunday to the live sounds of Henry Leslie and Glen Scott welcoming the audience to the Harquail Theater for the 10th Annual Muzaic Awards Ceremony. Formally opened with a prayer from Ms. Kathy Wilks and The National Song by Cayman songbird Vashti Bodden, Mr. Edlin Myles the founder of The CMEA first addressed the audience before Mr. Jean - eric Smith aka Mr. Notch delivered The President’s address. At this year’s ceremony long service awards, for over twenty-five (25) years of consistent service in the local music and entertainment industry were presented to musicians Mark Anthony Hydes, Adrian Rowe Sr., Mel McCoy, Johnny Johnson, Stanley Ebanks and past CMEA President’s Blake Hurlston and Clive Rosteing. This was followed by a live musical performance by Impulz Band of Bodden Town before intermission time. Benji Turner then graced the stage with a well-received piano duet featuring Ms. Cheryl Thompson before The Special Education Award was presented to Earl la Pierre and The Jazzy B Award for radio disc jockeys who support local music went to Jason Howard of Z99.
Finally, the grand finale of the awards ceremony saw Swanky Kitchen Band doing a live performance accompanied by the recipient of this year’s ICON Award, centenarian Mr. Wesley Howell sr. who was 103 years strong the week before The Muzaic Weekend. Mr. Howell sat and played his sax like a boss, tearing into the melody of ‘What a Saturday Night ‘as though he was in his youthful prime. His tone, his tempo and his chops were all on point and so infectious the audience broke out in dance. it was truly a night not to be missed.
Mr. Howell now joins the elite fraternity of his peers Aunt Julia Hydes, Radley Gourzong, Eddie Scott, Dr, Mellaneo McCoy, Duxie Ebanks, Dalmain Ebanks, Allan ‘Bunny’ Myles, Edward Solomon and Lambert ‘Lammie’ Seymour all recognized as CMEA musical ICON’s.
Monday Heroes Day was the date for The Live Music Showcase at Margaritaville and though the event didn’t quite start on time due to logistical problems with the set up for live bands and the venues obligations to its cruise clientele The CMEA weren’t far from the mark with the event starting at 4pm instead of 3pm as advertised. One after the other The CMEA showcased the top live bands in The Cayman Islands starting with Gordon Solomon and Vanguard, Intransit, Lionfish, Neverines, Suckerbox and Backbeat. Regeneration Band closed the show at midnight with an encore performance after performing earlier in the day for The Heroes Day Awards ceremony. They were assisted on the stage with guest performances by Andy Blake and CMEA President, Mr. Notch who both shared the stage while crooning several reggae classics until the wee hours of the night. A fine and fitting end to MUZAIC X..... 2018.