The Brukdong competition takes place this Saturday at the House of Culture in Belize City. A number of artists have signed up to compete with their original pieces and the judges will be looking keenly at the various elements in their music. News Five’s Delahnie Bain caught up with organizers and performers today.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
Artists from all ends of the country are tuning up their vocal chords and instruments for this weekend’s Brukdong Competition. And they better be ready because according to Institute of the Creative Arts Program Officer, Shermaine Zetina, the judges will be watching closely.
Shermaine Zetina, Program Officer, ICA
“The performers will be judged on lyrical content; that’s the message that they’re bringing in the song, vocal quality; the way their voice sounds if it’s authentic and has that Brukdong vibe, musical arrangement, the quality of the arrangement and stage presence. And for stage presence we usually have an audience award so the person that gets the audience jumping up and having fun, that audience loves the most they will win a prize for the night.”
A number of the participants live out district, but Gliksten Bennett and Herman Usher, were in the old capital and offered a sneak preview. Bennett is competing in the event for the second time and he is performing the song “If Yoh Got Ah, Give It To Me”.
Gliksten Bennett, Performer, Brukdong Competition
“When I was learning the banjo I had a CD that I followed and I had to be picking the strings like… (playing banjo). And later on I put it into a tune like… (playing banjo). I had a few new songs that I was putting up together and this was the one that I practiced the most. I wanted to use the banjo especially so I choose that one.”
[Bennett singing “If Yoh Got Ah, Give It To Me”...]
Usher, on the other hand, comes from a family of Brukdong singers and is performing his song “Marley Bed” in honor of a deceased uncle.
[Usher singing “Marley Bed”…]
Herman Usher, Performer, Brukdong Competition
“It’s a childhood story. We have this man in my village when I was growing up. He was a Cattle Rancher by the name of Mr. Chacon and he used to have party like every weekend and like that and he had a boom and chime band. I’m not a Brukdong artist; it’s my first Brukdong song, but I’m a multi-talented person. I write reggae, Brukdong, I write poem, I write novel, I write memoirs, I can write anything I put my mind to so I believe I will make a heavy impact in this competition.”
But before the bram, a Kriol Expo will be held at the House of Culture during the day.
“We’ll be having the fire haat rice and beans, turkey dinner, relleno and much more; all the old fashion sweets, black cake, crafts; many craft artists will be out there throughout the day so you can come along. You know yoh deh di shop on Saturday, come and pick up your food and enjoy the scenery and then come back six o'clock and come Bram with Mr. Peters, Bredda David, Lela Vernon and all the competitors at the Brukdong competition later at House of Culture.”
Entrance is five dollars in advance and ten at the door. Delahnie Bain for News Five.
Other participants include Lennox Blades, Emmet Young and Jill Burgess from Gales Point Manatee, Sarafina Obi from Dangriga, Oscar Burke of Punta Gorda and Harrison King from Hattieville.