Kingston On The Edge Urban Art Festival

The closing night for Kingston On The Edge was a spectacle for itself, other than KOTE’s closing last year the Ward Theatre had not been used in decades, it’s been closed from before I was born. Lexxi, Minkah, and I were marveled at the theatre, even in it’s run down state, it’s a cozy auditorium with three tier of seating. For the evening only the ground floor was available for seating for the audience. Some of the chairs had been fixed, they received bulbs for the show, they received portable A/Cs and cooling units, the bathrooms were renovated, the electrical system in the entire building was fixed- free of cost- and all this just for the occasion.

…It will not fade away…

A couple elder folk, who knew Lexxi, told us we should have seen the theatre in it’s glory days, when she took a quick snap of the high ceiling with it’s intricate paintings, the half lit section of the oval in the center of the ceiling looked odd but the bulbs did the task of brightening the room. The host gave us a fun fact lol, that the theatre was made to me used without any microphones, it was built with perfect acoustics. She tried it out for a bit but the persons at the direct back of the audience couldn’t hear her, I’m pretty sure that’s due to the gapping hole in one section of the roof, and I don’t know how the ceiling above the stage looks.

…It will not fade away…

The show began as the title suggested, with the song “Fade Away” by Junior Byles, which was recited by the Opera singer, Maria Cecelia Toledo. This is “Fade Away: The Binghestra, Opera meets Nyabinghi” She was followed by a classical piece by a piano and violin duet. They continued backing her after their piece, Miss Maria sang beautiful opera pieces, most of which were in Spanish but that didn’t stop the prominent tone 😉 of her voice from shining. She starred the first half of the show and as the final piece before intermission Chinna Smith and the Inna Di Yard Allstars joined her on stage for our first taste of the ‘Binghestra’ which, of course, left us wanting more.

…It will not fade away…

The second half of the show was taken by full force by the ‘Binghestra’ who did their rendition of “Selassie Is The Chapel,” one of their vocalists sang “Walk Away From Love.” They then continued with their orchestra as Maria came back out to place her sweet vocals with the instruments. She enthused the audience when she sang a couple Jamaican folklore songs, which she asked us to sing along to, before switching to a couple other well known songs, albeit in Spanish and German. They closed the show the way it began, by performing “Fade Away” to signify that the Ward Theatre will not fade away…

This goes to show music has no barriers, for tonight we proved Binghi can be played with anything, and as such we should join together, in supporting peace and one love.

Click the →Rebel← to see my outfit of the evening 🙂

Want to read more? Check out the Observer article When Opera Met ‘Binghi’


2 responses to “KOTE”

  1. I have enjoyed reading your blog and am curious to know where this event took place. ( I am from Kenya). Please read my posts under the name, ‘the girl in the green scarf’. I would love feedback since i just begun written and need a lot of help.

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