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Julian Marley and James Malcolm in Miami

Julian Marley and James Malcolm in Miami

Julian Marley and James Malcolm in Miami

By on - Photos by Gail Zucker - 2 comments

Live performance for the Omeriah Malcolm Music Foundation on December 23th.

Julian Marley

December 23, 2011 was an enchanting night for the Omeriah Malcolm Music Foundation (OMMF) to host their first annual charitable fundraiser at the lush botanical Pinecrest Gardens in Pinecrest Florida.

As we were seated in the Banyan Bowl amphitheater, the whistling of crickets and the distant serene sound of rushing water confirmed to all that this was a magical night we would never forget.

Presenting sponsor, host and Pinecrest mayor, Cindy Learner greeted us all and informed us about James “Jimmy. B” Malcolm and his OMMF foundation. James, accomplished pianist, composer and younger cousin of Reggae Legend Bob Marley, founded this non-profit organization in 2009 to provide music education and equipment for underprivileged children in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, South Florida, Jamaica and several other countries. Arming us with this information, Cindy welcomed us to the show.

African chanting and the heavy pounding of the drum started the show which brought a very sacred feeling to the audience. Dancers Chipo Afamefuna, Anita McBeth and Derron Linyear came on and danced along to the rhythmic drum appearing to tell a story with their bodies as James joined in on grand piano.

Instantaneously, the EBT choir joined the stage. At this point, there was an overwhelming feeling that we were all invited as guests to a special holy gathering as Jimmy accompanied the choir. It was truly a moment of upliftment while a joyous, soul stirring version of His Eye Is On The Sparrow was performed by Valerie Parham and Francine Ealey Murphy. Jimmy made it his mission to allow his fingers to dance along the keys of the piano while the choir clapped and harmonized in praise in this instance of unscripted worship.

The heavy anointing that filled the venue was the perfect blessing for Julian Marley to come and entertain us. It was very surprising when the OMMF orchestra assembled in front of us to join Julian, Jimmy and the choir on stage. WOW! A choir? and orchestra? fused with Marley reggae? The blend was perfect as each section was a compliment to the other.

Julian MarleyJulian center stage with his guitar was filled with determination as he sang Lion in the Morning from his first album. During Get up, Stand up Julian decided to show his passion for the music using his hands to conduct the orchestra, putting a hand to his ear for the crowd to encourage the young musicians while strumming along with his guitar.

Mellow Mood showcased Julian’s growth as a performer and singer reminding us of his father moving and gesticulating very similarly. Three Little Birds kicked the place into a higher gear with a version that seemed to be a rock and roll revival. It was obviously loved by Julian very much as he stepped into the audience, sharing the microphone for the crowd to sing along.

Looking around on the stage as Julian sang Just in Time we all noticed ethiopian artist Merid Tafesse creating an art piece, painting along with the music. At this point, Julian had an energy that couldn’t be ignored, singing Rainbow Country and One Love he took hold of the audience and projected his energy out to us. Everyone in the amphitheater were on their feet dancing and singing along to the reggae hits.

It was during his encore Exodus that he decided to have fun with Jimmy B and the orchestra as he bent down and began tinkering on the keyboard alongside Jimmy and strolling over to the string and horn sections of the orchestra bringing the mic along with him as if to amplify the vibe he was feeling. At the end of the show there were huge smiles from everyone on stage - showing a gratitude that couldn’t go un-noticed.

In the end, this was an amazing evening, showing that nothing is impossible, it was fully entertaining and full of purpose for an amazing cause, the love of music. We can’t wait for the surprises in store for the next event.

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Read comments (2)


Posted by Debbie Allen on 01.31.2012
Great article Sarah! Your description of the evening and Gails photos bring to life the Marly Magic we were all lucky to experince that evening!! Thanks 1 LOVE <3

Posted by Arba Manillah on 03.15.2012
I feel you Vibration.. Give thanx
Bless.. many greetings from Kukaye Moto Band...One Love

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