Radio Regent's The Jam February 2013 blog

What a great following up to January’s ‘Last Fridays’ The Jam event!  It has been a very wintry cold month, almost as cold as this past January but without the persistent snow storms.  We managed to keep it fiery with this community gathering through celebrating the Black Heritage Month through the talents of our youth and guests.

The jam kicked off as usual by the introduction of ‘The Focus House Band’. They continued to mesmerize the community with their lively energy and enthusiasm. The Focus House Band which started approximately five years ago as a youth program teaching those interested how to play drums inspired a new vision that transformed the “Drum Lessons” into a “Music Production Workshop”. Eventually, they found 8 members to work with collaboratively in creating, producing, and composing musical tracks and lyrics. At present, 3 have remained. Solid and loyal to their group and continued to entertain everyone in the Regent Park community with their original songs and pop covers. Only the new guests at the Jam event (Last Friday) ever wonder and ask… what is the name of that band? I simply reply: “They are the Regent Park Focus House Band”.

Following the act was the original Murphy Brown, the programmer from Radio Regent; she runs a show called “Word Of Mouth”. Murphy Brown is her real name, not the American TV comedy sitcom that starred Candace Bergen as Murphy Brown. I can make this confusing I know. Our Murphy Brown has been an advocate for equality among all racial ethnicities. She had a 10 minute run speaking to the audience about the history of Black and Native people. One message that I believe to be a very important point was that if you are not a native or indigenous of Canada, you are simply an immigrant or your relatives are settlers of this country.

Another following act was Xellebee, a high school student who had prepared some very touching spoken word artistry. She was exceptionally brilliant delivering her personal story through the power of poetry.
We also had Kathy and Andrew from OCAD to introduce the technology stuff that converts text messages to lyrics and music. It was quite interesting I must say.

Last but not least, the much anticipated performance by Emmanuel Jal! The man, a world renowned artist from South Sudan, a former child soldier, now, an international hip-hop star! Emmanuel Jal, also a humanitarian activist and advocate for social justice and human rights. It was an awe inspiring experience to be there witnessing this performance and being a part of the Radio Regent’s THE JAM event. Emmanuel Jal also shared his compelling personal story growing up and his struggles to get out of the darkness side of his life. The most meaningful part of Emmanuel Jal’s speech is his message about peace and harmony and the seriousness of world hunger and poverty.

Well, I guess that was it for the Radio Regent’s The Jam event, until next month. Don’t forget to join us next time for the next Jam (Last Friday), which will be on Holy Thursday March 27th 2013. Peace and Love to everyone.

Jerry Zabarte

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