Braata Folk Singers is set to make its New York launch on Sunday June 27 at 4 pm with an additional show at 7pm at the Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College North. After a year of well received performances across New York City, the group will kick off its anniversary season with this first offering. Tickets for the event are $25 and will serve to assist the company’s fund raising initiative. Presented by Braata Productions, this launch will be the first in a series of concerts planned for venues across the New York tri-state area.
The show titled, “A Likkle Braata” coincides with the observance of Caribbean American Heritage Month and will be among several events planned for the period.
The concert will comprise the group’s young but varied repertoire including market and revival songs. It is hoped that patrons will take a stroll down memory lane as they hear old favorites with new interpretations, as well as be introduced to some new songs. To pay homage to cultural icon the Honourable Louise Bennett Coverley popularly known as “Ms Lou,” the program will include a special suite of songs reminiscent of the ‘Ring Ding’ years. According to musical director Garnet Mowatt, “A group like this would have never been possible without the pioneering work of someone like Ms. Lou. We are indebted to her and so we found it most fitting to showcase and thank her through this segment.”
The aim is to share the richness, variety and significance of Jamaica’s musical heritage with Jamaicans overseas and the wider Caribbean Diaspora. “This inaugural season is special because of the significance and importance of the group’s work. There is no other consistent group in New York providing this kind of entertainment, and it is very important to the group to entertain while maintaining authenticity and keeping the traditions alive,” noted Andrew Clarke.
The multi-talented and dynamic ensemble is aided by Clarke who is the founder and doubles as artistic director with Garnet Mowatt, PhD candidate at Mississippi State University serving as musical director and Karlene Largie and Jermaine Rowe assisting with choral movement. The concert will feature Jamaican folk music by various composers, arranged by Clarke and Mowatt.
Braata Folk Singers intends to make this an annual affair to share with Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationals, through music, the values of “old Jamaica” and the need to rekindle lost values. The concert is also seen as timely as it provides positive and uplifting entertainment, given what is happening in Jamaica and the rest of the world.