Reggae Artists Come Together to Raise Money for Underserved Children
On Saturday, May 5th, 2018, the Benjamin Banneker Auditorium, brought together a diverse crowd for a great cause. Music for Life is a philanthropic event launched by The Lawman Lynch Foundation in 2008, in Jamaica. The original mission of this organization was to raise funds to benefit marginalized children pursue education. This mission expanded over the years to include, scholarship provisions, nutritional and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs for students of the Caribbean. More After The Jump…
“At the time, the foundation started, I was a Regional Trainer for Citizenship Education in Jamaica and my role was to work with teachers, principals and ancillary staff on civic education to build the self-esteem for the student body and promote student leadership, throughout various schools. I would actually offset 25% of my salary to help local children in my community go to school. A friend of mine advised me to streamline this philanthropy, and then I started The Lawman Lynch Foundation as a Facebook Interest Group. From there I was able to link up with hundreds of people, interested in helping financially disadvantage children to obtain education. The 10-year anniversary show in New York will benefit: 1) a breakfast program in Caribbean schools in Guyana and Jamaica (moving forward we want to collaborate with partners in various regions of the globe, who are interested, 2) STEM program initiatives through USHA (Union of Jamaican Alumni Association) for students in rural parts of Jamaica, and 3) scholarships for higher education in Jamaica, supported by the Etana Strong One Association. We are so excited to have Billboard-topping artist Etana on board with this mission. She was actually scheduled to headline the show in 2010, in Jamaica, however, due to a public state of emergency, that show was canceled. But she continuously stayed in contact and committed as the other artists who are on this ten-anniversary show.”-Lawman Lynch, Founder of The Lawman Lynch Foundation
The show opened with dancehall vibes from Nello vibes, followed by a brief skit and Children’s Dance Ensemble. The program was well thought out, inviting children to be integral participants in the show.
Karlene Largie received The Foundation Award for Child, Youth, and Community Development, presented by Ian Lyn , CEO of The Firm Auto Group, a sponsor for Music for Life. Other award recipients included Ed Robinson, Etana Mckenzie and Nadine Sutherland, each of whom, performed on this night.
Some highlights of the night included Richie Lou’s pop rock reggae fused performance and Keisha Martin brought down the house with superb vocals in “For My Baby” and “Rock Steady.” Keisha also did a stunning rendition of Queen I-frica’s “Lioness On The Rise.”
” I been with this event since its inception in New York City, so this is such a special night and I support education, the unprivileged and the under served communities. When I wanted to go to college, there were no funds for me and I support this because they are promising children in the Caribbean that don’t even have books and pencils, supplies for their education. Your donation is supporting a child, even if you want to donate at a later time at lawmanlynchfoundation.org. Music For Life is for the under served youths of the future.” -Keisha Martin
Ed Robinson performed a special tribute to the Crown Prince of Reggae, Dennis Emmanuel Brown, with his cover of, “Ain’t That Loving You.” The audience sang in unison to fan favorite “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”
” I’m from the environment that we are giving back too. As a kid growing up, I would have loved to receive something from abroad, such as technology, computers and such. However these resources were not available to me, so now that I am here, I want to give these opportunities to others.” – Ed Robinson
Nadine Sutherland took the crowd back into time with her cover of Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Reasons” and her popular hits such as “Please Me,” “Action,” and “Baby Face.” The crowd went wild when this artist gave an aerobic choreography to her song “Please Me,” an original collaboration with Spragga Benz.
Finally Billboard Chart Topper and Grammy hopeful, Etana, hit the stage and gave a full-blown concert. She opened with the inspirational song “I Rise,” (from her album of the same title) and then continued to serenade the crowd with signature vocals in “Better Tomorrow,” “Blessing” (an original collaboration with Alborosie), “Never Let Them Get You Down,” “Jah Love,” and “I Am Not Afraid.” In the latter song, she paid tribute to Richie Spice, by incorporating his song “The Plane Land.” Etana was background singer for this reggae artist before starting her own solo career.
“Donate to The Lawman Lynch Foundations they have been around for awhile, they help children with educational and nutritional programs. What goes around, comes around so help where you can and donate to the children!” -Etana
The night ended in Bob Marley Tributes with Etana ending her set with “Is This Love,” and all the artist, hosts, honorees and board members joining the stage for a group performance of Bob Marley’s “One Love.”
Although the concert had an estimate of 250 audience members, the artists, musicians (Music Director, Lawrence Qualls), and dancers, performed vivaciously, as if performing for hundreds more; each bringing excellence their performances. This concert was very well organized and gave careful consideration to the cause and importance of helping those less fortunate in order to empower entire communities. Notable mentions in the crowd were Jose Richards -Diaspora Board Member, Denise Donaldson, Vice Consul of Jamaica, George Crooks of Jammins Productions, Radio Personality Sheron Hamilton, Promoter Maxine Greaves, Chip Smith – Producer and Host of Caribbean Board TV, Andrew Clarke -Director of BRAATA Productions, Keneisha Price -First Vice President for The NAACP Perth Amboy Chapter, Omar Bashir -Son of Jimmy Cliff, and Model Kesha Blackwood.
$609 was raised in donations for the night. Sponsors also assisted with expenditures of the event itself, such as insurance, venue, travel, hotel accomodations, sound and lighting and costs of live band included: AnjuVaL Reel Films, Shaknero Productions, Desire To Travel, Jamlt Bistro, JRG Entertainment, HYPE TV, The Firm Auto Group, and Ariston Flowers. The foundation hopes that by publicizing the event, new partnerships will develop. If you would like to partner with this effort, please visit The Lawman Lynch Foundation World Wide Website
Photographs by Roland Hyde, Rolandhydephotos@gmail.com
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