No Rain Can Stop This (Honey) Jam
Now I understand why some believed this year would be the best Honey Jam Barbados yet! I attended the all-female musical showcase, hosted by the effervescent Alex Jordan, last weekend at the Frank Collymore Hall and was impressed by the ladies' level of talent. Most of the line-up was backed by the amazing jazz band NJ30 Plus.
Ieashia Browne (Photos courtesy A3KD)
Jazz ensemble NJ30 Plus
One of the stand out performances of the night was from Emmah with her original song 'Worth the Risk' that's been getting a lot of local airplay. Emmah's sound and unique look could have plenty of potential on the international market. Another one to watch is young songbird Ieashia Browne. Sporting a sophisticated ensemble, she gave a stirring rendition of Christina Aguilera's 'Hurt'.
Emmah has plenty international potential
Special guest artiste from the Canadian Honey Jam, Maranda Thomas, beautifully covered the ballad 'Lay Me Down'; her sweet vocal tone gave me the chills. Another memorable artiste was Christina Dottin whose rich, striking voice breathed new life into Beyoncé's 'XO'.
Maranda Thomas' beautiful voice gave me chills
Rhea Layne brought energy to the Hall with her lively performance of 'Am I Wrong' , bolstered by her backup dancers. The trio Decypha – Mahalia Cummins of NexCyx, Adaeze and Karma Nai – added some hip hop flavour to the show with an impressive set of freestyle rap.
Rhea Layne, along with her backup dancers, was energetic
The show ended with the tradition of having all of the ladies musically improvise together on stage. The artistes then surprised Honey Jam Barbados producer Ebonnie Rowe with a bouquet of flowers to show their appreciation for everything she's done for them. An emotional Rowe – who looks great at 52-years-old – described the developmental initiative as her “passion project” and the girls as her surrogate children. Her passion is paying off since more sponsors have been coming on board and the ladies had a packed audience despite the horribly rainy weather.
Ebonnie Rowe (centre) with all of the ladies at the end of the show
Overall, this was a fantastic showcase with stellar original music. There were also superb performances from Faith Callendar, Tionne Hernandez, Maya Millington, Lashana Lewis, Aleah Searles, Melanie Jean Baptiste, Josee Burton, Britney Mayers and Ashlene Rahman.