Musicians gearing up for new strategies this year

‘Momentous,’ says president

The Cayman Music and Entertainment Association will hold its Annual General Meeting on Sunday, 27 February at the Harquail Theatre from 1-4pm. Among the matters expected to be addressed are the election of a new Executive Board and the implementation of a newly ratified constitution.

President of the association Jean Eric Smith explained that the occasion will be a “momentous one” and outlined what the constitution is meant to do moving forward.

“The Cayman Music and Entertainment Association was formed in 1981 at a time when there were not as many foreign bands, nor demand as there is now. There was just enough going on for local bands at that time, and the constitution reflected that.

However, as the demand, as well as the supply grew more diverse, the foreign bands that formed were not included in the framework of the association. Essentially, the constitution had to catch up to include these people.”

Mr. Smith said two years ago, when he took up the post of CMEA president, ratification of the constitution was the priority. “I took a lot of heat for it and was labelled as anti-expatriate,” he said, adding that it was never about eliminating anyone, but rather, “putting in order the legal provisions that would make it possible for everyone to be included.”

The president said now everyone can help shape the future, as all will have a vested interest.

He outlined the strategies for moving forward:

“It is important to establish order and have members make sure they do not compromise the standards set by the collective consensus of Caymanian musicians, as well as to get all those with music and dancing licences engaged in the discussion and efforts to improve the entertainment aspect of our tourism product and our fledgling music industry.”

Multi-media website

One recent development to this end is the Department of Tourism’s commitment to work with the association to establish a new $10,000 multi-media interactive website, with an entertainment link that will take visitors to the CMEA page directly from the DOT website.

The association’s page will feature a comprehensive overview of the entertainment scene of the Cayman Islands, as well as a retail section, bios, booking information, contracts and links to local artist’s pages.

“We are taking it to the world and no longer waiting for our people to be discovered,” said Mr. Smith.

He said he hopes to one day see the association represented with a seat on the Tourism Advisory Council, in addition to having a consultative role in the liquor licencing process for music and dancing establishments.

“It can’t be that we are going to be expected perform in a place without adequate lighting, an improper stage and unreasonable access to power sources. We all have to raise the standard together,” said Mr. Smith.

Events scheduled on CMEA’s calendar this year include the Winter Music Festival in April, the Third Annual Muzaic in July, the Hurricane Festival in August and the Battle of the Bands in December.

Annual membership in the Caymanian Music and Entertainment Industry is $25 for Caymanians and $100 for anyone else who wished to join.

LOCALnotchandgregSTORY

Jean Eric Smith, left, and Charles Gregory prepare a tune for the DOT at Hopscotch Studios.
PHOTO: STUART WILSON

4 COMMENTS

  1. Can you tell me why you would penalize someone who wishes to join the association who is not Caymanian by charging 100.00 instead of 25.00? This is the same old, same old. You should be embracing people from other counties who might have fresh ideas and can elevate the level of music. Come on now.

  2. Its hard not to believe that the Association is anti ex-pat with the way it treated local bands in the last two years. There is a diverse group of musical taste on the island yet no bands now to satisfy that craving. They were effectively shut down by the association through denial of split work permits. And charging two different fees is just another slap in the face. If you get a speeding ticket, do no all residents pay the same?

    You cant legislate good music and you certainly cant change the fees to make it good. If Caymanians need a fee reduction in order to get heard, maybe they should try becoming better musicians instead.

  3. Sowhat

    Dont watch no face !(thats Jamaican terminology meaning, dont pay them any mind or in other words, ignore them).

    There are people viewing this form whos job it is to discredit any objective and intelligent reponses and opinions which dont suit their agenda.

    Thats why, at times, inspite of an overwhelming number of agreements, of which Ive had my fair share, these players will press the negative button, even multiple times by the same person.

    Maybe your pointing out that the difference in charging Caymanians 25 and non-Caymanians 100 is glaring and bare-faced discrimmination against non-Caymanians is what has provoked your negative responses.

    That is the way these type of people operate but like mi sey…

    No watch no face !

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