ABOUT CHRISTMAS GRAND MARKET

A throwback to a dying Jamaican rural Christmas tradition showcasing our authentic folk forms in the fine and culinary arts, dance and music genres.  Forms that have emerged from our unique blend of African and European ancestry like the Jonkanoo parade, a band of revelers depict characters from the colonial era that were revolutionaries, subversive agitators, clever pranksters and entertainers.

 

Celebrated on Caribbean Christmas Day, the layout of the venue includes a Caribbean market with food and gift stalls a community gathering ground complete with a 'story time' area, workshops, and dance and music demonstrations, incorporating customs from other Caribbean territories thus making it a truly Caribbean Christmas celebration. The day culminates in an evening Caribbean Christmas themed concert, featuring Jonkanoo and various cultural performers.

PERFORMERS

MC - Dahlia Harris

CEO of DMH Productions Limited, Dahlia Harris is a multi award winning writer, actress, producer and director  She is the convenor of the annual Jamaica Women in Theatre Festival.
Dahlia has been a media practitioner for over 25 years, working in print, radio and television.  She presently co- hosts Jamaica’s number one television morning show...Smile Jamaica it’s Morning Time and the immensely popular afternoon radio programme Too Live Crew on RJR94FM.

 As a Marketing and Communications Consultant she has worked with the Ministry of Health on their groundbreaking ARV’s for LIFE HIV Campaign, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission on national events, and as a copywriter for various national projects and campaigns.
Dahlia is also one of Jamaica’s best female stand up comedians.
A first class honours graduate of the University of the West Indies, with a double major in English and Media and Communications...Dahlia also holds a Masters Degree in Communication for Social and Behaviour Change.  She is pursuing further graduate research at the Institute of Caribbean Studies, UWI.

Alliouagana Singers

The Alliouagana Singers (the Group), a London-based choral group, was established in 2000 by Howard Dyer and the late Beverley Dewar. Like most of the other members of the group, they had recently relocated to the United Kingdom as a result of the volcanic crisis in Montserrat, West Indies.  The Group evolved from a strong desire to utilise the therapeutic qualities of singing and music to provide solace to traumatised Montserratian evacuees who were struggling to rebuild their lives in a cold and unfamiliar land. This aspiration was underpinned by the strong sentiment, ‘we have lost our homes but not our voices’. While the moment of crisis has passed, there remains a more potent reason for continued collaboration – the
preservation of the unique and fragile Montserrat heritage, which is at risk of being diluted and lost as Montserratians disperse to all corners of the earth and are subsumed into the cultures of their host countries such as the UK.
The Group showcases Montserrat’s musical talents with folk songs, gospel with a Caribbean flavour, calypso, soca, reggae and contemporary numbers. A keyboardist, drummers, and lead, rhythm and bass guitarists
usually provide accompaniment, but with ‘a capella’ pieces also being a common feature. The Group performs for large or small audiences – as public entertainment or in intimate surroundings. It is available for Caribbean-themed events, cultural affairs, gospel concerts, music festivals and private functions.

Contact: Manager, Stephen Adolphus (Tel.: (+44) 07393 202 995; Email: steve.adolphus@gmail.com); Public Relations Officer, Gertrude Shotte (Tel.: (+44) 07725 054 077; Email: sgrpidr@gmail.com).

Braata Folk Singers

The Braata Folk Singers are proud ambassadors of and the foremost authority on Jamaican and Caribbean folk music performance in the United States. Braata has constantly wowed audiences on some of the most prestigious stages both locally and internationally and has reaped awards of excellence from the world’s most astute connoisseurs of choral music. The group has established itself among Jamaicans and others in the wider Caribbean Diaspora for its unique and dynamic presentation of the region's folk music, combining inspired choral arrangements with drama, intricate choreography, design elements and eye catching costume using traditional folk forms from the Caribbean region. The result is a theatrical presentation best described as “choral theater.”

Founded in July of 2009 by Jamaican born actor/singer/producer Andrew Clarke, the singers have racked up an impressive array of national and international achievements that many similar groups with far longer histories have not managed to attain. As part of its mission, Braata Folk Singers seeks to serve as a proponent of culture, through the promotion and preservation of Caribbean folk culture and its history. 

The company has performed to great reviews at venues including the Consulate General of Jamaica, New York City Hall, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Bronx Borough Hall, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Queens & Brooklyn Museums, the Oracabessa Jerk Festival among many areas across the New York Tri-state area. In early 2012 the group took its cultural message up north to Canada in its first out of country assignment.  Later that year the choir travelled to Cincinnati Ohio to participate in the World Choir Games, an international choral competition featuring choirs from all over the world. Braata, one of the smallest choirs in attendance secured two silver medals and a bronze for their efforts, quite an achievement in their first ever competitive outing and against choirs much larger and with more experience. The awards also marked a wonderful gift to Jamaica in her 50th celebration as Braata was the only Jamaican choir in attendance, carrying their Jamaican flags wherever they went and spreading the warmth of the island. Having made stops in neighboring New Jersey for performance as well as Connecticut, Boston, Maryland, D.C. and as far south as Atlanta, the group has been fortunate to be well received wherever they go. 

The group fuses music, movement, poetry, song and drama with an emphasis on a cultural context.  Included among its repertoire is a wide range of folk forms including Mento, Kumina, Dinki-Mini, Revival, Ring Games and Nine Night.

PBC Choir

The Presentation Brothers College Choir (PBC Choir) is an all-boys choir and has been consistently practicing and performing for 13 years. They have performed in three (3) CARIFESTA  in Suriname 2013, Barbados 2017 and Trinidad 2019. They performed for CARICOM heads of Government Conference, other regional and local conferences, Grenada Festival of the Arts Competition and other local events as well as numerous concerts over the years. The choir is the reigning winner of the Festival of the Arts Competition for Secondary Schools Choir in Grenada. PBC choir performed for Prince Harry on his visit to Grenada in November 2016. The choir has also thrilled the guests at three of Grenada’s top Hotels, Spice Island Beach resort, Sandals and Silver sands with its Christmas performances. The choir sings a wide variety of music ranging from classical, to folk, national songs, African, gospel, Negro spirituals, parang, RnB, reggae, calypso and soca.  The choir is now over 70 members strong, the highest its membership has ever been. However due to COVID19 the choir will be performing with a smaller number. The choir is under the leadership of Musical Director Mr. Halim Brizan and choir administrator Ms. Olympia Lewis.
PBC choir is unique in many ways. It is one of the largest all boys choir in the Caribbean all from one school. They perform a wide repertoire of music ranging from classical, to folk, national songs, African, Gospel, Negro Spirituals, Parang, RnB, Reggae, calypso and Soca. The choir being bonded in a brotherhood of love and unity has caused them to grow from strength to strength conquering discouraging words and evil thoughts and bursting through barricades of strife. The choir has broken the stereotype in Grenada that singing in choir is for girls and ladies. It has also been a beacon of hope for the young men. They have touched the hearts and lives of many with their moving inspirational renditions. The choir has been a great inspiration to young men in Grenada to pursue music and singing professionally. The choir has been the perfect place for young Grenadian male to develop their singing voices given its rigorous voice training regimen in every practice. This training focusses on vocal execution, control, agility and endurance as well as ear training in terms of pitch and harmonies. The choir has also served as a coping mechanism for some of the students experiencing personal problems. The choir therefore has been very instrumental in moulding the lives of the young men and has resulted in the development of highly committed, hardworking, intelligent and dedicated young men in society. 
It is important that young people especially young men be occupied in extracurricular activities which would prevent them from getting involved wrong doing or being around the wrong peers. The choir is one of the ways in which our young men can be gainfully occupied. The choir is not just about music and singing but teaches the young men core values for life e.g determination, perseverance, commitment, focus and discipline.  In essence it is about character building and developing confidence for our young men to be good leaders and have a positive influence in society.
The choir continues to attract more young men and as a result every year it keeps on growing in size. 

Amantes De Parranta

Amantes de Parranda, which means parang lovers, was born out of the St. Benedict’s
R.C. School ex-pupils association. The members of the association became involved in
educational, sporting and cultural activities out of which the parang group was launched in the
year 1974 as Los Alumnos, under the direction of George Carter, Education Officer. The name
of the group was changed to Alumnos de Trinbago, and finally settled on Amantes de Parranda
between 2002-2003.
The group has been successful in many competitions throughout the years, such as
National Music Festival, San Fernando On the Hill, National Parang Association of Trinidad and
Tobago (NPATT)’s Parang Competition, Lopinot Heritage Festival, Port of Spain East Lions’
Competition, Prime Minister’s Best Village Competition in the parang class, and most recently,
NPATT’s Jingle Competition. Amantes’ members also work with many schools for the annual
NPATT/NLCB National Junior Parang Competition, as they always believe in sharing their
knowledge and expertise to promote and improve the quality of the artform.
Amantes de Parranda boasts of having a wide repertoire of music, from Parang to Latin,
to retro to soca calypso, to Christmas carols to folk music. This makes the group available for
performances throughout the year, and helps them to continue to be ‘A Tone above the rest’.

Andrew Clarke

Andrew Clarke is a singer, actor, director, producer who is the Founder & Executive Director of Braata Productions, a three prong not for profit that includes the Braata Folk Singers, Braata Theatre Workshop and Braata Education & Outreach.  A graduate of the Edna Manley College School of Drama, Clarke is an accomplished vocalist with 30 gold medals, and numerous national awards from the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s (JCDC) National Festival of the Performing Arts Competition in Speech, Music and Drama, his other awards include 15 National Awards for performance including Best Actor, and Best Male Vocalist. He is the 2008 recipient of the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Excellence in Arts and Culture, and in that same year he represented Jamaica at the World Championships for the Performing Arts in Hollywood, California where he was crowned Grand Champion Performer of the World. Caribbean Life in 2013 honored him as being among the best and brightest of young Caribbean-Americans entrepreneurs in their 20 under 40. 
In an effort to pursue his passion in theatre and music, he moved to New York City and within a year he started Braata Productions with the aim of helping to keep the Jamaican culture alive and ensure its sustained and rich legacy. His company has afforded a platform for Caribbean talent to launch their careers in the creative industries, and even his own solo career continues to bloom with events like the ‘Andrew Clarke Benefit Concert’ in Trinidad and Tobago December 2010. This was an effort in partnership with the Rotary International, and the ‘Gift of Life Program’ to raise funds, and address the medical needs of children who suffer from congenital heart defects and other similar conditions. He has since returned to Trinidad three times where his talents are in much demand. 
International Theatre credits: David Heron’s Ecstasy (UK tour) and a Jamaican adaptation of James Baldwin’s Amen Corner (nominated Best Actor in a Lead Role by the International Theatre Institute – Jamaica Chapter (ITI) Actor Boy Awards, Jamaica’s Tony Awards). Off-Off Broadway: Positive, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Space Between Two Heartbeats, Girl Without Wings, A Man Like You, The Black That I Am, Flambeaux and most recently the World Premiere - Welcome to America: A Caribbean Musical which he also serves co-lyricist & composer on.
Clarke continues to pursue his passions for performance, the arts & cultural preservation.

CESCA

Abi McCoy is graduate of Rider University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical theatre. She is a trained actress, singer and dancer and recently moved back to Antigua, after spending a year working professionally in New York City. Credits overseas include school productions of A Doctor Inspite of Himself, The Penelopiad, She Kills Monsters and Once on This Island, as well as professional productions directed and written by award winning director Lear Debossonet and critically acclaimed playwright Suzan Lori-Parks and a feature film, “Strive”, directed by Robert Ripperberg. In her earlier years, she was a member of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Secondary Schools’ Concert Band, Zee’s Youth Theater and several other community groups. Presently, she is company member of the Antigua Dance Academy and has travelled internationally and regionally for several folk-dance festivals. 

Abi’s background in performing arts, more specifically, musical theatre has equipped her with the knowledge to assist individuals and groups in understanding performance etiquette and producing dynamic stage performances. 

 

Cesca (Abi McCoy) is an Antiguan Born singer/songwriter. Her style and influences mainly stem from the Neo-Soul and Indie genres and artists like India Arie, Erykah Badu, Solange Knowles, Corinne Bailey Rae and Ari Lennox. She was born into a musical family and has been a part of several performance groups growing up. Cesca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Rider University in New Jersey, USA. She decided to take the leap of faith and let her voice be heard beyond the realm of church, musical theatre. She wanted to create music that was her, in her voice.

 

Cesca's debut album, "Lovenotes" was released in February 2020. She recently released the music video for Stuck and Lovenotes and is currently working on conceptualizing videos for other songs on her album with her team. 

GEM MYERS

"Gem" (Dorret) Myers, is regarded by many as Jamaica's finest song stylist.
A musician's vocalist, she has wowed audiences in Jamaica, Japan, the U.S.A., Canada, Panama
and the Caribbean leaving them astonished at the wide range, commanding stage presence,
virtuosity, star quality and style that she effortlessly exudes.
Armed with a well trained voice, quick brain and phenomenal memory, Gem is equally
comfortable with Reggae, Dancehall, disco, pop, or Rhythm & Blues, and just as poised whether
performing for thousands on an outdoor festival or a handful in cabaret settings.
Since starting her professional career in 1980, Gem has been involved in all aspects of the
Jamaican music scene. She first performed as lead vocalist with the Unique Vision band and did
back-up duties in the studio for artistes like Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Toots Hibbert, Judy
Mowatt, Bunny Wailer and Fab 5, with whom she often performs live around the world. Gem
has also performed on numerous commercials for radio and television and appeared on many
Jamaican entertainment specials (including the most prestigious live television event of the year
for many years – “The Prime Minister’s Independence Gala”).
The Princess Black series in which she took part had all Jamaica's major female artistes. "Gem"
stole the show as too did she trample the opposition during the 1999 "Best of Cabaret" series.
Her powerful performance on "Golden Lady" in 1993 was credited with helping Jamaican
sprinter Merlene Ottey to a gold medal at the World Championships.
Her strong succession of hits include: "Breakdown In Communication", "Do Re Me, I'm In
Love", "Mr Big Stuff", "Shame", "Set My Heart On Fire", "Got To Be A Woman" and "One-Man
Woman."
"Got To Be A Woman" was selected for international use by Family Planning associations, while
"One-Man Woman" was one of the biggest Jamaican hits ever. Her Jamaican hits have also
traveled well, scoring big in ethnic markets wherever Reggae is loved.
Her first two albums, "Gem" and "One-Man Woman" were snapped up by collectors of highquality
Jamaican music, while her third and fourth albums “Expressions” and “Lovelines”
respectively received universal acclaim from critics and the public alike. She has dominated the
Jamaica Federation of Musicians "Best Female Cabaret Artiste of the Year" awards with a
succession of wins.
"Gem" who once walked out on Boy George and Culture Club (which she had been invited to
join by Boy George himself) for reasons of principle after having been invited to join the group,
is highly respected and a favourite and role model for all generations.
A leading American jazz instrumentalist, on working with her, declared that she was the greatest
singer he had ever heard, then hastily clarified, "I mean, anywhere in the world."
Gem Myers is currently one of the most in-demand female performer in Jamaica and to Jamaica
Diaspora audiences in the U.S.A. She dominated the Jamaica Vintage Music Festival in Davie,
Florida for two years running (2007/2008) and had rave reviews for her performance on the Ft
Lauderdale “Rhythms of Africa” sold out event in 2013. In 2016 she was presented with an
iconic award by the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) at its Annual Honour Awards.
In recent times Ms Myers powerful performance at the Percy Sledge show in Kingston in
February 2014 had the audience spell-bound as she stole the show from all the top flight
performers in attendance and brought the large crowd to its feet in appreciation. Her 2015 show
“Gem Myers with a Little Help from her Friends” was a resounding success leading to a sold out
2016 staging and that show is now established as a major annual event.
Most recently she has joined forces with two other dynamic female performers and close friends,
Karen Smith, and Patricia Carty-Edwards to form the occasional group PaKaGe which is already
creating quite a stir on the concert circuit.
She has also recorded a collaboration with Fab5, Together we are Beautiful, and her most
recent recording, a cover of the popular Lion King song, He Lives in You, a beautiful selfproduced
cover.
Other Jamaican female vocalists may rule the airwaves, but they all fear the power of the
dynamite performer Gem Myers.
26 October 2020
For further information please contact Frankie Campbell at (876) 925-4057 or email
fab5@cwjamaica.com

Donate

Thank you for tuning in and supporting Braata Productions. For over 10 years, we have been developing and producing works of theater and culture. We have much more coming, but we need your help now to continue our growth and maintain operations, particularly during this pandemic. We wanted to make this production free so anyone could watch, but if you are able, please consider making a tax deductible donation buy clicking the button below. We appreciate your support during these difficult times, and we can't wait to be back, in person, creating once again. Until then, stay safe and "Walk Good."

amazon-smile-nss-link.gif

CONTACT US

Phone :  (917) 668-2209 | Email :  braataproductions@gmail.com | Mailing Address:  118-05 200th Street St. Albans, NY 11412

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram