CMEA chooses new roster of executive officers

The Cayman Music and Entertainment
Association elected a new executive board at its Annual General Meeting held 28
February.

The roster for this year’s CMEA executive
includes President Jean Eric Smith; Vice President Eden
Hurlston; Treasurer Chris Bowring; Secretary John Henry
Ebanks; Assistant Secretary Derri Lee Dacres; Director Edlin
Myles; Director Cashas Stewart; Director Fred Sambula; and Director
Clive Rosteing.

According to the president of the
CMEA, “This year is set to be an exciting one, with several initiatives lined
up that will raise the profile of local musicians, as well as bolsters their
incentive to become involved in the Association.”

Mr. Smith explained that his hope
was to assist in creating a vehicle for musicians that could be steered in such
a way as to avoid the potholes and social and political pitfalls he faced in
his own personal experience, during a career that spans 30 years.

He said during the years of Holiday
Inn, Galleon Beach and Silvers Lounge and Night Club, venues understood the
importance of having a staple act that was associated with the establishment
and the names of both became synonymous; people associate one with the other
and that is precisely what we need to get back to.

“The approach we are now taking
where a band is spread around has its merit, but when they have a place they
can call home, is when the magic happens because it is then competitive and I
am trying to get people from your venue to where I am at.”

The President maintained that this
would make music in the Cayman Islands better.

The Association will also seek to
provide exposure and experience for younger artists by availing them of forums
to express themselves.

This will be done in the form of
concerts and other outlets such as apprenticeships with working bands.

The president added that his
re-election meant that he was able to finish the things he had started and
pointed out that his first duty was to his fellow Caymanian musicians.

He said there are issues of
contention within the Association such as the “us and them saga,” which
permeates much of Caymanian life, regarding expatriates and locals. However, he
remained adamant that this could be overcome as long as everyone knows and
accepts their roles.

“I understand that we have talented
people here from every nation but it is important that the local musician is
our priority because this is their home and they should be afforded the right
to have safeguards in place that govern what is acceptable and what is not.”

 “If others are to share in our industry or
local market, then they should do so within our guidelines. Surely that is not
asking too much,” he added.

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