Jamaican Music

An Easter Week-End in Bronx the Jamaican way ~ Gospel Concert Review

Written by Debbie Campbell

 So, Easter week-end, I found myself in New York with friends and family.  I was invited to a gospel concert in Bronx, New York. 

 You know, a Resurrection week-end an yu nat celebrating Easter if yu  nat devouring nuff bun and cheese-the ‘holy’ Jamaican traditional food for Easter!, Of course, Church is a must. From Holy Thursday to Resurrection Sunday, yu betta find time an goh to church.  Can’t get closer to God than Jamaican bun and Jamaican cheese. It is the Jamaican way around Easter time!  Anyways, mi get off track…a whe mi deh now..

 Okay, yes, so concert a Bronx! I was very early as I arrived with a couple of the musicians who were playing at this concert.  I sat in last row of the School’s auditorium, as I like to observe my surroundings from a strategic position.   Beautiful Jamaicans of all shades, sizes, ages and fashion began to file in their numbers. Mi figet say a New York mi deh! One thing: Christian or nat, Jamaicans will not be outdone when it come to dressing up-even for a gospel concert! Yes sah!

 Then, Believe it or not, Concert start pon time!

 We were initially entertained by a few excellent local artists.

Then there was a group which consists of sisters from Toronto, called the Campbell Sisters.  These three young ladies ministered in song with such fervency of spirit and enthusiasm. And the crowd soaked every bit of it!  When they started to sing ‘He Touched Me”, the place ketch a fiya!

 …And the lively performances went on..but you can tell everyone was waiting and anticipating the performance of Clive Provost,, more popularly known as Jabez.  An aspiring and increasingly popular Jamaican gospel artist, Jabez wooed the crowd with his renditions, and managed to get them to that state of frenzy!  He came at the audience with “ Mi say mi know say mi bless’ and his recent song ‘Before the day is over’. There were other selections, but one final performer would destroy every shred of inhibition, as people kick off their shoes and pick up their tambourines to enjoy the final artiste for the night. It was none other than PAPA SAN!

 ‘From mi likkle teeny weeny an a grow, Hey OH! mi a lick tambourine outta door, HEY OH! Dem a sing, dem a clap, get low  Hey OH!  mi neva know di house a gad sweet so”. That was the anthem for the evening. I saw people knock tambourines like it going outta style!  Papa San also gave the crowd some of his popular past songs, songs like “ Pop Style”, Step pon di Enemy” and other classics.  Di crowd went wild!

 I have not seen a Jamaican gospel gathering like this in a long time, so I was very entertained by my Jamaican Christian brothers and sisters, as they danced the night away. And noh talk if the older folks noh get in it too!. I sat next to an older Jamaican lady in her golden years. She could not stand for the entire concert, but she showed me how to do the  ‘shoulder move’.  Stay deh! I saw old and young moving to the reggae rhythmic styles of music that is already in our blood.  Jamaican flags were waved around the auditorium and shouts of ‘Glory’ ‘Alleluia’ can be heard through out the evening. This marked the difference with this gathering, as the listeners were reminded that the Resurrection of Jesus is the focus of  this Easter celebration.

 Soh, that is the review of my Easter week-end gospel concert in the Bronx!

Mi tiad….but truth be told….mi wi dweet again…

Mi gawn until nex time!

About the author

Debbie Campbell

Debbie is a Mental Health Counselor, and has been working in the mental health field for over ten years. A native of Jamaica, she has resided in the United States for more than twenty years. Debbie is the (2nd) second child of (5) five children. She came to the United States at age 17 to pursue her education in the field of Computers. However, her education pursuits led her into the field of Mental Health/Psychology. She obtained her Bachelors in Psychology in Miami and her Masters in Counseling in Oklahoma. Debbie's first book, 'Writings of the Soul: The Journey Vol. I' is only the beginning and a taste of what is to come in her writing abilities.