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Marjorie Whylie protecting the beat for six a long time | Leisure


Each time the tales of drumming are chronicled in Jamaica’s musical panorama, the title Marjorie Whylie is more likely to come up. Not solely has she dedicated to enjoying the pulsating instrument – amongst different devices, together with the piano – from her introduction as a six-year-old whereas collaborating in extra-curricular actions and incomes her the eye of a few of Jamaica’s famous musicians, she continues to share her data with anybody who needs to hear and study.

Whylie, 77, has been drumming to her beat for greater than six a long time and it has been a rewarding and rhythmical highway, she stated. As you enter the music room at her house, a gallery of over 40 percussion devices meets the eyes, and her piano is pristine. This alone tells a narrative of the place she has been and the folks whom she has seen.

She started classes with famous Kingston music instructor Ena Helps, who additionally inspired her to play in a percussion band, beginning out on the bells, tambourine after which finally, on the drums which she performed with sticks. Nevertheless, it was short-lived, as Helps wished her to train her abilities as conductor.

“Miss Helps gave me a conductor’s baton and, as a baby, you wish to be within the mixture of issues, in order that lasted for about two years. At 9 years outdated, I performed on the Housecraft Coaching Centre, operated by Aimee Bailey, in my first live performance ever and that’s the place I met the Honourable Louise ‘Miss Lou’ Bennett,” Whylie instructed The Sunday Gleaner.

“I keep in mind the woman who was to accompany her on piano didn’t present and I stated, ‘I can play for you Miss Lou’, and I went to the piano and did a bit pow pow behind her. In fact, she was saying this isn’t potential, however once I was finished, she say, ‘However chile, yuh can play’, and it gave me such feeling. , as a result of we used to listen to her on the radio as little kids when she did a programme referred to as, Calling the Caribbean for the BBC. It was an honour,” she continued.

Her musical abilities continued to flower, as she was allowed to take part in lots of concert events and carry out with teams led by a few of Jamaica’s best-known musical figures together with Sonny Bradshaw and Ernie Ranglin, amongst others.

She stated, “Despite the fact that I used to be the youngest of three kids, my mom was not too involved about my being concerned in several actions comparable to a jazz workshop for children that Sonny Bradshaw had began inside strolling distance of the place I lived on Ballater Avenue. I might be round 14 by then, and I’d stroll there for apply and rehearsals and I developed fairly shortly with that kind of publicity, although I used to be already enjoying for 10 years.”

Again then, the thought of selection concert events was a giant factor. These featured a number of individuals throughout the arts exhibiting their abilities from reciting poetry, to singing and dancing and a few would learn excerpts from a play and it was regular for established professionals to carry out and pull in kids to provide them a platform to do the identical she stated.

The percussionist, pianist and educator has been on the forefront of cultural analysis and improvement by means of her work with the People Music Analysis Division on the College of Music on the Edna Manley School of the Visible and Performing Arts; in her position as musical director of the Nationwide Dance Theatre Firm for 45 years; and thru her travels the place she has even carried out for royalty. She speaks casually about her varied interactions with the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, as if it had been an on a regular basis encounter, and her face lights up.

Whylie is to be offered with a lifetime achievement award in the course of the twelfth annual staging of the Jamaica Poetry Competition at this time on the AC Resort.

“I used to be completely stunned when the organisers despatched me an electronic mail to say there was going to be this presentation. I imply, I can consider two events the place I participated in an entire day of performances and interplay on a few of the poetry society’s occasions however I’m a poet on no account [so] I used to be simply amazed they’d give you one thing like a lifetime achievement award for an outdated lady like me on her strategy to 78 in October,” Whylie shared.

She stated that in Jamaica creating patterns to associate with phrases is pure, as a lot of the Caribbean’s artwork requires rhythmic accompaniment. She educated individuals in African, American, Latin-American and conventional Jamaican music and percussions however Whylie will say, “I used to be a scholar earlier than I used to be a instructor, however I’m nonetheless studying”.

“I bought so immersed into enjoying over time and I absorbed a lot as I continued my amassing and analysis and that kind of factor. I’m honoured by my experiences and can proceed drumming and educating piano to the scholars that come to me,” Whylie stated.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com



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