The bumper audience which turned up at the Village Blues Bar, Barbican, St Andrew, on Sunday night knew beforehand that something unusual was in store for the August edition of Seh Sup’m, dubbed ‘Omega Vibration’. An all-female cast of performers had been announced for Manifesto Jamaica’s performance at the Root Cause monthly poetry and music show, but what was presented in about two hours (excluding the obligatory intermission) was more remarkable than the gender specificity.
With all four poets – Kai Falconer, Raquel Jones, Yashika Graham and Sabriya Simon – on stage simultaneously with singer and the night’s host Janine ‘Jah9′ Cunningham and the production organised into themes, the unity among the performers topped the manifesto. Added to the quintet was a quartet of photographers – Joanna Francis, Renae Simpson and Tiffany Lue-Yen and Simon, whose work was shown on the screen above the bar area.
DJ Afifa on the turntables made it nine women, but Jah9 pointed out from the early going that three men were involved. “We no believe in separating male from female. We separate enough already,” she said, introducing musicians Jesse Golding (congos), Jason Wharton (guitar) and Stephen Jackson (violin, for a short time).