The Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s ‘Christmas Breeze’ wafted across the Crescent at Camana Bay late last year, as the melodious sounds of the Cayman Islands Folk Singers filled the air.
The free concert, a collaboration of CNCF and Camana Bay, was a fundraising benefit for the ‘Save Miss Lassie’s House’ project and featured an impressive line-up of performers, which included Samuel Rose, SWANKY, the George Town Primary School Dancers, Mar Martinez and the Powery Family.
The stage was strategically placed to capture the massive 30 foot Christmas tree as a backdrop. With swaying date palms on either side, the jazzy setting of blankets on the grass and artwork and wares displayed in white tents with willing attendants ready to serve up the best Christmas gifts and bargains, the setting was complete.
From the first note of ‘Beloved Isle Cayman’ struck by master violinist, Samuel Rose to the last moves of the Folk Singers in their version of ‘Aunt’ Julia Hydes’ Munzie Boat in the Sound, the audience was entertained in style under a perfectly clear and star-lit sky, rivaled only by the whimsical Christmas lights of the Crescent.
George Town Primary School presented a solo dance by Annie Bodden, who was truly beautiful in her flawless performance of “You’re Beautiful”. This was followed by a traditional quadrille piece featuring eight young performers from the same school.
Mar Martinez, expertly delivered a contemporary dance piece ‘Case 21’ followed by the Powery Family in an original comedy act “Bus Fare”, which relays a true to life experience of a bus ride from West Bay to George Town.
Auctions, both live and silent, as well as raffles for many useful gift items served as the fundraising segment of the evening. Everything from Caymanian thatch products to heavy cakes and a massive Caymanite sculpture by famed artisan, Horacio Esteban were up for grabs.
One of the highlightsof the evening was the performance by The Cayman Islands Folk Singers, in its first ‘on the road’ performance. A special dedication to Premier McKeeva Bush (the patron of the Folk Singers) and his wife, Kerry on the occasion of their 35th wedding anniversary was the rendition of “Ave Maria” with young Ginger Ebanks as the lead singer, ably backed and supported by the Folk Singers. Favourites such as Cardile gone to Cuba, Evening Time, Rio Grande and many others left a lasting impression with the audience.
The live auction conducted by veteran Auctioneer, Kent Eldemire, saw Dr. Steve Tomlinson out-bid all others to secure the Horacio Esteban Caymanite Sculpture ‘The Family’, as well one of the specially autographed ‘My Markings’- the work of Gladwyn “Lassie” Bush.
The SMLH project by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation is an effort to preserve the work of the late Caymanian artist, Gladwyn “Lassie” Bush, who painted on the walls and windows of her South Sound home. The property is now a cultural heritage site but the delicate artworks need careful, professional restoration, hence the reason to raise funds to continue with this important work.
According to one concert-goer, “It was a delightful evening of good quality, wholesome entertainment and all for an extremely worthy cause”. The organisers of the event were all pleased with the excellent turn out, which saw locals, visitors and residents alike come together in an evening of Thanksgiving to celebrate the season and support the work of one of Cayman’s cultural icons.
‘Christmas Breeze’ has made its mark and is sure to become a regular feature on Cayman’s social calendar.