The Jamaica Gospel Song Competition has selected the 2019 top ten finalists, who will compete at the competition’s grand final during the national Independence celebrations in August.
The anointed top ten were chosen from the top 27 semi-finalists from across the island at the competition’s semi-final concert, held on Ash Wednesday, March 6at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.
Organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the free concert also saw memorable guest performances from Jamaica Gospel Song 2018 finalists: Dwight Fearri, Joelle Notice and Lawayne “Khaipable” Thomas.
The 2019 Jamaica Gospel Song finalists are: Kashan McKenzie of Portland with Put His Kingdom First, Aaron Miller of St. Ann with No Longer on the Cross and Joanna Walker of St. James with Taste for the Lord is Good. Hailing from St. Catherine are Le-schae Grant with No One Like You Lord and Curtis Roden with You’re All I Need. Kingston and St. Andrew will be represented by Evon Wynter with Praising Mood, Daron Mitchell with Already Loved, Lorenza Rowe with God We a Praise, Oral Small with Holy Ghost Fire and the duet of Darien Callum and Ricardo Williams with Never Leave My Side.
“The Jamaica Gospel Song Competition facilitates growth in the music industry, and continues to provide opportunities both locally and internationally for persons who have entered, even those who were not the winner on the final night,” said Andrew Clunis, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the JCDC.
He continued, “This year’s impressive crop of semi-finalists each brought something extra to the competition in their own unique way; it was hard for the judges to select the best ten.”
“The finalists will now begin preparation for their journey to the finals which will include voice, music and industry-based developmental workshops, recording the album and performances and outreach across the island,” Clunis added.
The Jamaica Gospel Song Competition since its inception in 1987 has since become an iconic presentation of indigenous gospel music in Jamaica and attracts over 200 artistes, producers and writers of original gospel music each year. This competition is also seen as another avenue for the unearthing and growth of writers, and vocalists through training with the best within the industry.