The annual, all female, Honey Jam Barbados concert took place on November 5th at the Frank Collymore Hall. Established by Barbadian-Canadian Ebonnie Rowe in 2011, Honey Jam is more than just a talent showcase; it is a boot camp for aspiring female singers, in which they receive mentorship from persons in the music industry and attend educational workshops.
And all of that hard work really pays off.
I was blown away by how incredibly talented these young women are. Not to say that I expected any of them to be bad. Simply that I was genuinely impressed by the talent that was on display. Every single one of them gave an amazing performance. Each song had an empowering message and the offerings ranged from slow and mellow numbers to ones that were fast paced, upbeat and made you want to dance.
And dance the audience did.
Despite and announcement at the start of the event that no flash photography was allowed, the MC of the night – Caroline Reid – encouraged the audience to take out their phones and take as many photos and videos as they pleased. The audience was actively involved in the event; they shouted, they cheered, they danced, they laughed, they hooted and hollered. They were a part of the proceedings.
Even though the show did not sell out, there was still a lively atmosphere. The audience was very enthusiastic and I imagine that the performers that night greatly appreciated said enthusiasm.
From the audience perspective of things the concert ran smoothly. It started on time and there were no hiccups.
The concert did not feel as long as it was. For an event that was two and a half hours long it felt more like one and that is a very good thing; it did not feel like it dragged on. That is how enjoyable and engaging it was. These young women are such gifted performers that they can hold your attention so securely that you lose track of time.
At the end of the night the performers, Reid and Rowe gathered on stage in a group hug. It was palpable how much all of the participants loved and cared for each other. It was a beautiful way to end the night, especially for an event that focuses on empowering women.
Honey Jam Barbados 2016 was marvelous.