BREATH OF FRESH AIR: The celebrated troupe recently thrilled a Devon House crowd.
Holding fast to that storied legacy, the Jamaican Folk Singers remain a cultural force to be reckoned with locally and elsewhere. And that's one of the reasons it's so inspiring to see that of-the-moment initiatives like Kingston Music Week have chosen to acknowledge their continuing and evolving success.
Just outside the Devon House bakery on an optimistically sunny Saturday afternoon, the group put on a splendidly short but sweet mini concert showcasing a diverse repertoire of Jamaican-bred Christmas tunes and the sort of folksy-rootsy ditties for which they have earned distinction.
The unique blend of voices gave power and colour to such selections as "Run Come Quick," "Never a Baby Like Jesus," "Christmus Ah Come" and "Tenk You For Di Christmus." But the performance was truly enriched with the addition of guitar, a bit of congo drumming and choreography to render songs like "Moonshine Tonight," "Fi Mi Lord Great" and "New Beginning" tunefully sharp.
Standing out from other local-based performing arts ensembles, the Singers have a way of reminding you of the pleasures to be had from simply giving a listening ear to the lyrics and melodies that permeate our vibrantly rich folk-music canon. And regardless of place and time, be it the Little Theatre of Devon House, classics like "Dis Long Time Gal," "Dip and Fall Back," "Mango Walk," "Rocky Road" and the harmoniously subtle "Nobody's Business" never fail to bring a smile to the face and rhythmic flavour to the ear.