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HOST

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JOAN ANDREA HUTCHINSON

Joan Andrea Hutchinson is a writer, poet and spoken word performer, committed to the preservation of Jamaican culture, especially the spoken word. Her poems, stories and dramatic monologues paint exciting pictures about Jamaica and Jamaicans. Her work is ‘edutainment’ - the blend between education and entertainment, and audiences and readers learn while laughing. She is popular among Diaspora-based Jamaicans and is heavily reviewed by scholars and academics writing about Jamaican and Caribbean culture. She has authored three books : Meck Mi Tell Yuh, Inna Mi Heart, & Kin Teet Kibba Heart Bun, and recorded seven CDs of original work. Her meteoric rise came in 1996 when, chastised for wearing an afrocentric hairstyle, Nubian knots (called chiney bumps in Jamaica) to host a television programme, she adopted the name ‘Dat Bumpy Head Gal’, and thereafter performed at major Caribbean comedy shows in the US, the UK, Canada and the Caribbean. She also became a well sought-after motivational speaker. A friend and a scholar of Louise Bennett, (Miss Lou), she produced Miss Lou's last CD Lawd Di Ridim Sweet. For her contribution to Jamaican culture, in 2018 she was awarded the Order of Distinction (a national honour) by the Government of Jamaica. She was also given the status of Language Ambassador Award by the City College of Birmingham, the Sir Shridath Ramphall Award for Cultural Excellence and the Caribbean Hall of Fame Award for Excellence

PERFORMERS

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JAA LIH

Jamal J. George (aka Jaa Lih) is a multi-disciplinary artist and true Caribbean son of the soil; born, raised, and celebrated in the home of carnival, Trinidad and Tobago. Jamal’s first foray into the arts came at the tender age of 8. He was trained in the oral tradition called storytelling, making Jamal into a griot/jali himself, hence the sobriquet, Jaa Lih. After mastering the art of storytelling, his enthusiasm for arts and culture and passion for performance led him to the world of music and dance. By age 14, Jaa Lih was a well-rounded artist, giving multidisciplinary performances across his native T&T. After migrating to the United States, Jaa Lih continued to bless audiences locally, nationally and internationally, performing at well-renowned venues like Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Bandshell; at coveted music clubs like Williamsburg Music Center and The Shrine World Music Venue; and at events and festivals like Visa for Music Morocco and Limon Roots Festival Costa Rica. In 2015, Jaa Lih created a *NEW* sound he calls Afro-Cari-Beat, a feel good kind of music, and launched Omo Ikoko THE BAND. This was followed by the 2018 launch of G for Griot, a project dedicated to the preservation of the African oral tradition of storytelling. Jaa Lih is a School Administrator and remains committed to the tradition of storytelling in its many forms, shared through his oration, his music and his dance. He is indeed what the industry calls a triple threat.

ASTRID MITCHELL

Astrid Mitchell is a writer and storyteller. She is part of the Caribbean Freedom Fighters Movement, and has performed in several of their monthly virtual events. She also appeared on Lockdown 246 and Ntukuma’s Ananse Soundsplash 2020. Since Astrid started telling stories in 2020, she has been enjoying her new adventures. Storytelling has allowed her to embrace a new reality, and she is loving it! She recently completed a storytelling course put on by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (UWI Mona). She enjoys being able to connect people to wisdom through the ancient art of the story. She tells traditional tales as well as originals that she has created. She wraps insights and lessons into many of her stories. Astrid was born and grew up in St. George’s, Grenada. She is married with one daughter. She attended St. Joseph’s Convent, where she got her introduction to drama and storytelling. She still has a passion for acting. When Astrid is not telling stories, she works as a Bank Clerk. She also manages the Revolutionary Freelance Agency, which provides writing and data entry services to clients worldwide. Find out more info about her pursuits on www.astridmitchell.com.

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MYRLE ROACH

Born on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, Myrle has a passion for theatre, drama, and creative writing. She now lives in the county of Northamptonshire in the UK where she migrated to after leaving the island because of volcanic activity and living on St Maarten and Antigua for a while. While living in Antigua she was one of the supporting actors in the HAMA-Antigua movie “No Seed”. In November 2018 her first book of poetry “Tamarind Seeds” was published. Since then she has been involved in various poetry performances in different UK cities under the performing name of Alliouagana Pearl. Alliouagana being the indigenous Arawak name for Montserrat. In June 2020 she was one of the authors in the “Virtual Caribbean Literary Festival” www.califest.org and is looking forward to participating in this year’s Celebration of Caribbean Literature, CariCon. During the UK lockdown she was a regular performer on the weekly online programme “U Give Hope” by the Ubele Initiative in the UK.

NEEKA WHYTE

Born in St. Catherine Jamaica, to parents who met at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, formally, The School of Drama, my love for the arts has been an innate love, rather than formulated. I am a creatively inspired individual who is determined, to prepare and preserve students’ talents as they strive towards excellence in the arts. Being a student at Edna Manley College, I developed a passion for the arts that I live by the philosophy that states ‘Life is a stage and as such we are always on show’. This philosophy has allowed me to perform at my best in areas as: Storyteller Master of Ceremonies at weddings and graduations Voice and Speech specialist/ training students for competition at the JCDC Festival competition. Therefore, as an educator of the arts at the Cedar Grove Academy I strive to ensure that the students are given a wholistic approach to Drama in Education and Theatre Arts to hone their skills and become well rounded individuals. With this in mind and God before me I know I will work assiduously to enhance the quality of theatre in Jamaica and the world

HIDAYA DIASPORA DANCE COLLECTIVE

Guyanese Folk/Rock Musician Gavin Mendonca and leader of the Buxton Fusion drumming group, Marlon ‘Chucky’ Adams, have teamed up to create the ‘Folk It Up Tour’ which started in January of 2019. Gavin and Chucky have been playing music together since 2015 - when they were spontaneously paired up by Deodat ‘Uncle Deo’ Persaud at the Rupununi Music and Arts Festival which was held at Rock View Lodge, Annai. Since then, the two have developed a chemistry that is undeniably contagious, and rich with Passion and Culture. The ‘Folk It Up Tour’ has one main mission - to reintroduce Folk Music and Culture back into society, which has become overrun with foreign beliefs of what Guyanese Society should be, by performing in as many public spaces as possible. While society evolves over time, especially with foreign influences, Gavin and Chucky believe that it is most important to always maintain and preserve true Guyanese Identity. Gavin and Chucky released their first album together last year, ‘Folk It Up Vol. 1’, which is a collection of Guyanese Folk Songs. This is the first of five volumes to be released over the next 2-3 years. The album was recorded and produced by Kross Kolor Records and is currently available for purchase. Gavin has since promoted the album on tour in NYC, China and Trinidad - and more recently in New Orleans at Folk Alliance International and at Full Sail University in Orlando. Throughout 2019 the duo performed countless times all over Georgetown and at many prestigious events, and in April 2020 were scheduled for the first international appearance at the New Fire Festival in Trinidad. The pandemic has truly affected their mission of performing in as many public spaces as possible, but the two refuse to be slowed down - as they are currently in the process of writing and recording 2 new albums - an album of Guyanese Folk Songs as well as one with Original Songs.

GAVIN & CHUCKY

Guyanese Folk/Rock Musician Gavin Mendonca and leader of the Buxton Fusion drumming group, Marlon ‘Chucky’ Adams, have teamed up to create the ‘Folk It Up Tour’ which started in January of 2019. Gavin and Chucky have been playing music together since 2015 - when they were spontaneously paired up by Deodat ‘Uncle Deo’ Persaud at the Rupununi Music and Arts Festival which was held at Rock View Lodge, Annai. Since then, the two have developed a chemistry that is undeniably contagious, and rich with Passion and Culture. The ‘Folk It Up Tour’ has one main mission - to reintroduce Folk Music and Culture back into society, which has become overrun with foreign beliefs of what Guyanese Society should be, by performing in as many public spaces as possible. While society evolves over time, especially with foreign influences, Gavin and Chucky believe that it is most important to always maintain and preserve true Guyanese Identity. Gavin and Chucky released their first album together last year, ‘Folk It Up Vol. 1’, which is a collection of Guyanese Folk Songs. This is the first of five volumes to be released over the next 2-3 years. The album was recorded and produced by Kross Kolor Records and is currently available for purchase. Gavin has since promoted the album on tour in NYC, China and Trinidad - and more recently in New Orleans at Folk Alliance International and at Full Sail University in Orlando. Throughout 2019 the duo performed countless times all over Georgetown and at many prestigious events, and in April 2020 were scheduled for the first international appearance at the New Fire Festival in Trinidad. The pandemic has truly affected their mission of performing in as many public spaces as possible, but the two refuse to be slowed down - as they are currently in the process of writing and recording 2 new albums - an album of Guyanese Folk Songs as well as one with Original Songs.

MALVO509

Malvo509 was born in Ti Bouk, Obòy, Haiti and raised in Miami, Florida. His love for music is rooted in his Haitian background, a vibrant culture where music is in their DNA. His passion for music began at an early age playing the accordion. He was inspired by listening to legendary Haitian musicians like Coupe Cloue, Ti Manno and L'Orchestre Tropicana D'Haiti with his cousin. At age 7, Malvo509 and his family moved from their village to the city of Cap-Haiten after he mistakenly set their home ablaze with his accordion inside. He took a more serious approach to music after moving to Miami, Florida and started learning guitar by frequently watching and elderly man playing one on his way home from school. Today, Malvo509 is a guitarist, singer/songwriter, producer, and composer. He began making a name for himself on the world stage with his energetic approach to the arts. Between his skill playing electric guitar, empowering lyrics, and unique production technique, he is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. He is a founding member of the soul, rock, reggae band, Oxygen Box; a band that has been shining in the hearts of their fans since their debut EP, Soul Surgery in 2011.

INGA

Inga Steward, was born and bred in the second city of Montego Bay. She grew up in a household of musicians and she had known from an early age that music would be a vital part of her life. From singing in church as a little girl to performing in most of not all of Jamaica’s Respots as a cabaret performer, she’s graced many stages from Europe, Canada, and the USA. Inga always leaves her heart and spirit on any stage she’s blessed with. Her love for music is unquestionable. 

SHURWAYNE WINCHESTER

Shurwayne Winchester is a Tobagonian Soca musician from He was born on February 8th, 1974, and raised in Tobago. When he was 12, he entered the competition arena, consistently making yearly contributions that impressed and propelled him to advanced stages. His ability to both pen lyrics he loved and sing them in tones far beyond what was expected of his age, gave him the fortitude to compete against some of the best in the industry, among them, veterans such as the calypso queen of the world, Denyse Plummer and Calypso Monarchs Cro Cro and Luta.

VENDOR ROOM

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ROSE OCTOBER

Rose is a well-traveled dancer, choreographer/instructor. She taught dance at the Guyana National School of Dance and was a member of the Guyana National Company with which she toured as an accomplished soloist. In addition to her life as a dancer, Rose has highlighted her abilities as an actress. Some of her appearances were in "Manaka," "Zingay," "Standpipe," "Til Ah Fine Ah Place," "Mayor of Susanburg, and "Freedom Trail". These plays were penned by Guyanese and Caribbean playwrights. She was also involved in the choreographic elements of some of these productions. She has over 15 years as a mistress of ceremonies, and has also stage managed many theatrical productions in and out of New York City. Currently, she is an Assistant Cultural Director of Guyana Cultural Association and the executive producer of the virtual program, Arts, Culture & Thing in Between.

HOST

PADYMART

Yvette Phillips is the author of two five-star books. "The Tale of Princess Alicia." This book is a fun and suspenseful story that shows how brave a little girl can be. “The Tale of Princess Alicia Activity Book.” This is a fun book filled with amazing pictures to color and fun activities to engage your child. Yvette is also the proud owner and CEO of her online business, PadyMart.com, where she sells trendy children's clothing, educational books and more. In addition to owning her own business, Yvette is an educator. She currently resides in New York with her adorable son, Matthew. You can purchase her books and other products from her online store by clicking on the link below:

https://www.padymart.com/

You can also follow Yvette Phillips on social media to get her latest news and updates. https://www.facebook.com/PadyMart/

https://www.instagram.com/padymart/

https://www.facebook.com/authoryphillips/

LUNASCENCE

Lunascence is a small, Black-owned, and woman-led shop where you can freely energize and express yourself happily through our handmade jewelry and other accessories.

www.lunascence.com

KATIERAY BATH & GLOW

Cruelty free-vegan and made from sustainable raw materials candles and bath products.

www.katieraybathandglow.com

SOULFUL THREADS

Soulful Threads is a vintage and handmade clothing business, with products for all gender identities. We started with a focus on improving sustainability in the textile industry, by protesting fast fashion. Along with online and in-person sales, we also accept bookings for styling and curating opportunities. We are a Black and Queer owned business open to collaborating with other BIPOC artists and creators.

www. depop.com/soulfulthreads

PAPARAZZI ACCESSORIES

Jewerly has always been one of the most amazing accessories for me. I take pride in caring for my customers and help them look extremely Fabulous with $5 Accessories for all age group. Affordable, Nickel & Lead-free is an addition. Now 4 years later my business has grown and I love being apart of such an amazing company; Paparazzi Accessories who also carry a men line.

www.paparazziaccessories.com/56863

PETULA's PLACE

Petula's Place is the mastermind of it's creator, multiple award winning artist and vocal coach Petula Beckles. This Tobago born artist serves up mouth watering classic American and cosmopolitan baked goods, made to perfection. So good, it's savored like music.

www.petulasplace.com

PURE GAEA VIBES, LLC 

We use the healing effects of candles, crystals and essential oils. We want to use our natural products to help support others who need calmness, clarity and positive vibes. There are too many manufactured products in this world that are not natural. We wanted to create aromatherapy products that come from the earth and will give you Pure Gaea Vibes.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PureGaeaVibes

FROM THE PEN OF JUDITH-FALLOON REID

Judith is an author, poet, filmmaker, actress, and inspirational speaker. Living in the USA but born and raised in Jamaica, sh has authored several novels and inspirational self-help books. She is the writer and director of four award-winning Faith-based feature films, in which she also played the lead role. The creator of several Caribbean television shows and former hose of television programs Gospel Rhythms and Shelf Life, she has over 35 years experience as a writer, covering everything from news to travel, Christian self-help and fiction novels. Judith lives with her husband and business partner, filmmaker Michal Brown of BarriVision Films, in South Florida and they travel frequently to Jamaica, the setting for most of their films. Judith is also a professional Corporate trainer who specializes in leadership and soft skills training. As committed volunteers of Jamaica Youth for Christ, they facilitate the Ministry’s Film and Training Units. Judith is the founder and facilitator of the Exchange Pain for Praise Workshop, designed to help hurting people find a path to healing and her book Monday Morning Medications was developed from that ministry. The couple founded the Independent VoYces Literacy Fair and Jamaica International Faith Film Festival in Jamaica, the Inspired Faith Film Festival in Atlanta, and the Palm Bay Caribe Film Festival in Central Florida. With God always at the center of her life, she is passionate about family, the creative arts, missions and helping others achieve their goals.

https://www.jfalloon-reid.com/

MS. JAE PIERRE

Vendor Host