News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 17, 2013: Some of the Caribbean’s top gospel icons are set to lift spirits with joyful noises to launch this year’s Caribbean Week in New York.
Nearly a dozen of the most talented and accomplished Caribbean artistes will light up Brooklyn’s Bethesda Healing Centre with inspirational messages through song, dance and other performances at the Gospel Celebration on Saturday June 1st from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M.
The event will officially launch Caribbean Week in New York, organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO)’s New York office.
“The Gospel Celebration is an excellent way to begin what is for us the most important week on the calendar in New York,” said Sylma Brown, who heads the CTO New York office. “As Caribbean nationals, it’s part of our culture to begin events with praise and prayer and the Gospel Celebration allows us to maintain this tradition while we celebrate our unity and diversity.”
The event’s headliner is Trinidad & Tobago’s Pastor Wendy Mitchell, described as a rare and exceptional talent with the kind of vocal versatility that only few women of gospel possess. Pastor Mitchell, who states that among her greatest accomplishments was joining the world renowned Byron Lee and the Dragonaires in 1984 as the band’s first female vocalist, has performed along with the top calypso and reggae artistes. She now contends that her voice is a vocal instrument used to minister to others and to touch lives.
Also down to perform is Jamaica’s Hopeton Lewis, whose 1973 single, Grooving Out On Life, turned gold. Lewis was one of the key players in the evolution of Jamaican popular music and is credited with starting the rock steady era with his hit song, Take It Easy. But his roots lie in gospel – his talent for singing was discovered at age six when he sang in church – and he has returned to these roots, releasing 13 gospel CDs since 1996.
The Gospel Celebration will also feature Carol Addison of Trinidad and Tobago, a versatile gospel singer who has dedicated her life to ministering to others through music; Reverend Jerry Bowen of Barbados, a Hopeton Lewis Gospel Award winner who has performed alongside Papa San, CeCe Winnans, Bro. Paul, George Banton and Evangelist Bridget Blucher; Janice Charles, a former calypso monarch in her native Grenada, whose compelling, melodious vocals and captivating style, stirs, encourages and lifts spirits as she ministers in calypso, Caribbean contemporary and reggae; Miriam Drakes of Saint Lucia, who began singing as a soloist in her church choir at the age of eight; Eddie Neblet of Guyana, whose breakthrough hit, Love N Unity, is heard over the telephone whenever callers to the Office of the President in his native Guyana are put on hold; Know Your Culture of Dominica, a nonprofit professional traditional dance company which blends dance with the beauty and appeal of traditional costumes, into masterpieces for all audiences in the United States to enjoy; Michael Pugh of Brooklyn, New York, but of Jamaican ancestry, described as one of the most anointed psalmists on this side of heaven; and Lafleur Durrant of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, who, despite being told by doctors in 2000 that she would soon die of colon cancer, is today a cancer survivor and is committed to the ministry of singing. “My trials have become my testimony and my testimony has become my song,” Ms. Durant says.