THE QUEEN of Reggae,” Marcia Griffiths says this Christmas, though during a pandemic, is an opportunity for more families to be even more together than they’ve been before, especially those which often find themselves busier during this period.
“We are appreciating our families and our loved ones more and this is very important. Family is first, so we have to see the good in all things. All we have is each other and togetherness with our loved ones is important, Griffiths said.
Reflecting on the entertainment industry over the past nine months, the internationally acclaimed, chart-topping reggae icon, who has been in the business for more than half a century, says that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the industry.
“We have to be social distancing and everything is virtual today so it’s not the same effect [as performing live] to connect with people to get the message across,” the songstress expressed.
Griffiths, whose last live performance was in London, England in March of this year, will be breaking her nine-month absence from the stage to headline the JN Group’s ‘Together We’re Strong Concert’ on Sunday, December 20 at 2:00 p.m. Jamaica time. The concert will be streamed live via the Group’s social media platforms.
Throughout her illustrious career, Ms Griffiths has had several hit singles including, I Shall Sing, Stepping Out of Babylon, Electric Boogie, written by the legendary Bunny Wailer; Young, Gifted, Black, done in collaboration with another reggae legend, and half of the Bob and Marcia duo, the late iconic songwriter and singer, Bob Andy, who passed earlier this year.
“At the JN concert, I’m hoping that we can make some positive connections through the music because music is life and this is all we have,” Griffiths said.
The virtual concert is being mounted to raise funds for the Mustard Seed Communities and to lift the spirits of Jamaicans, as restrictions due to the pandemic continue. A philanthropic organisation, which provides care, food and medicine to mainly abandoned children, the Mustard Seed Communities, which depends largely on donations to care for the physically and mentally disabled, children with HIV/AIDS and pregnant teenagers at risk, has experienced a dramatic fall in charity since the pandemic.
To donate to the Mustard Seed Communities, persons can deposit or transfer cash to their JN Bank Chequing Account #20000155091, registered to Mustard Seed Missionaries, using JN LIVE online banking or making a local bank transfer (ACH or RTGS) from any bank in Jamaica; or simply depositing via any JN Bank Smart ATM or Drop Box.
Persons who want to donate using their credit card, can go to Mustard Seed Communities website mustardseed.com. Jamaicans and others overseas can also donate by visiting a JN Money location or online by using jnmoneyonline.com. Fees have been waived for transactions conducted at a JN Money location.
Sunday’s concert will also feature exciting performances from some of country’s best in the music industry, such as JN Group Ambassadors: dancehall sensation, Agent Sasco and gospel star, Minister Kevin Downswell; songbird and the 2013 winner of the international singing competition The Voice, Tessanne Chin; as well as dub poetry band, No-Maddz, upcoming singer Jamila Falak and a host of other performers in Jamaica and in the Diaspora.
A multi-award winning artiste who has performed on countless sold out shows all over the world, Ms Griffiths noted that 2020 has been a rough year for the world, pointing out that the pandemic has altered many norms.
“Within the music, which has already been changed or altered, we are still trying to make our connection to every heart and every soul musically, whether it be virtual or whichever way we can send it,” the veteran singer said.
“This concert is all about giving back and helping others and I think that it’s a good cause. I think that through the music, we can continue to teach, educate, inspire and uplift everyone through these rough times.”
Agent Sasco, who will also be performing at the concert, shared similar sentiments to “Sister Marcia,” as she is affectionately called.
“The pandemic and its effects are far reaching and has been devastating for so many people across the world, across many industries. I refuse to look at it personally because it’s not. I’m just going with the flow and looking forward to when we can all move about freely again,” the ‘Banks of the Hope’ dancehall act said.
Sharing Ms Griffiths’ sentiments, he noted that this Christmas he will be rooted at home with family, and working on DIY (do-it-yourself) projects, doing virtual shows and relaxing.
He’s advising people to be deliberate about managing their perspective, especially during these uncertain times and to use their time to pursue personal interests.
The ‘JN Together We’re Strong’ concert will be jointly hosted by popular comedic duo Ian ‘Ity’ Ellis and Alton ‘Fancy Cat’ Hardware and the husband and wife team of entertainers Tami Chin Mitchell and Wayne ‘Wayne Marshall’ Mitchell.
For more information, about the concert and how to donate, persons should visit the page on the JN Group website: www.jngroup.com/together.