Gospelfest 2008

The countdown is on for the Caribbean’s Premier Gospel Music Festival as Awesome 2008 gets ready to hit off on May 18th – 25th, 2008.

For over the past 15 years the Barbados Gospelfest has always aimed to delight thousands of Barbadians and those who come into the island for a jam-packed week of music, drama and dance.

This years Gospelfest continues to offer the best in gospel music with headliners like Grammy Award winning worship leader, Israel and New Breed. Here is what is in store for this year’s festival!

After the Thanksgiving service on the 18th May, the festival kicks off with Hymn Speak “Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise” on Monday the 19th May at the St. Michael’s Cathedral. This event features an array of hymns that we have grown up on over the years rendered by a sixty voice choir with brass ensemble under the direction of Rev. Mikie Roberts.

Also featured on this night is the Barbadian renowned Bethel Chimers who mesmerise with their ethereal tunes played by an orchestra of bells. The stories behind these familiar hymns and their composers are brought to life through powerful dramatisations and readings by a cast from Praise Academy of Dance Barbados and the cost is US$12.50

On Wednesday 20th May is the free sunset concert also held in Bridgetown at the Jackie Opel Amphitheatre. This concert offers the best in gospel Barbados has to offer as the band Promise leads in worship.

Expressions of Gospel” comes off on Thursday 21st May and will prove to be a treat as gospel is represented by various art forms. Held at the Frank Collymore Hall for the cost of US$20.00, this night features dance, mime and drama by various local and regional artists.

Laughter and Jazz“, which is new to the Gospelfest events is scheduled for Friday and held at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort. As the name suggests it combines soulful jazz with a bit of wit for the price of US $15.

Featured is the veteran comedian Akintunde. In the past two years, he has performed on the road to nearly half a million people gaining a solid fan base and has also worked with the likes of comedic heavyweights Chris Tucker and Mo’Nique. Later this year, he will release his upcoming stand-up comedy DVD “Brutally Honest“, to be released in December by Central South Distribution.

Presenting the jazz for the night is Berklee trained Barbadian musician Elan Trotman (www.myspace.com/elantrotman).

Telling his stories on saxophone Elan has been blessed to work with an elite list of international names like Roberta Flack and Kirk Whalum. He has also performed at various Jazz and Gospel festivals, sharing the stage with notable artistes like Tito Puente and Kirk Franklin. Also on that night will be a youth event which normally features reggae and dancehall style gospel music.

On Saturday 23rd May, Caribbean Gospel music awardee Bridget Blucher and chorale Shekinah Glory takes to the stage at “Awesome in Praise“. St.Vincent-born evangelist Blucher is known for her energetic and anointed ministry and even though she resides in Florida, her music retains a West Indian flair. This event is held at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex and tickets are going speedily for the price of US $20.

Gospelfest comes to its climax on Sunday 24th May at the Farley Hill National Park where headliner Israel and New Breed along with Jamaica artist Jason Mighty www.myspace.com/jasonmighty are featured at a day long, picnic style concert.

Creating a buzz on the gospel scene Israel Houghton has been fittingly graced with two Gold-selling albums, four Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards, a Soul Train Award and four 2007 Grammy® Award nominations, resulting in a Grammy® for Best Traditional Gospel Album for the scorching Alive in South Africa project.

Israel and New Breed have swiftly amassed a legion of followers that crosses generational lines with popularity across African American, Latin and White listeners. This day will be packed with other local and regional artists. Tickets for that event are US $17.50.

For more information on Gospel Fest 2008 see www.barbadosgospelfest.com

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Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.