THE UWI Classic Concert 2018 will not only pay tribute to Ras Shorty I, the father of soca and jamoo, but all proceeds from the March 11 event will go towards the construction of a theatre hall for the Department of Creative and Festival Arts of the University of the West Indies St Augustine Campus.
The concert, the third classic concert staged by the department, is being held under the theme, The Journey - From Lord Shorty to Ras Shorty I. It is being held in collaboration with the Blackman Family and Media 21. Speaking at the launch of the concert, Sharan Singh, director, Office of Institutional Advancement and Internalisation, appealed to the corporate community and individuals to support the concert and to contribute to the building of the theatre that will enable not only performances but rehearsals as well for students and the wider community. Millions of dollars, he said, is needed for the construction.
The concert will be held at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s. Singh said that throughout the department’s history, students who were budding performers have not had the benefit of a theatre. There is space adjoining classrooms to accommodate the new facility. The new facility, he said, is part of a $25 million plan to upgrade the Department of Creative and Festival Arts.
He noted that among students who have graduated from the department were three time soca monarch Aaron “Voice” St Louis, soca artiste Erphaan Alves, steelpan player/composer arranger Amrit Samaroo and songwriter/actress Tremaine Lamy who features in the theatrical production of Lion King. Among those who have committed to perform are Rikki Jai who was present at the launch, Gypsy, Explainer and Olatunji.
Singh said the department were in discussions with other artistes including Machel Montano. The artistes will perform with members of the Blackman family as duets or as a group.