Nassau, New Providence - The
Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) remains committed to its
mandate to create events that will stimulate sustainable cultural
industries and promote all things Bahamian.
the past year, the BNFC has invested over half a million dollars
directly in Bahamian musicians, for performance fees at promotional
events and activities to support the Junkanoo Carnival Song Competition
and the Music Masters Concert. While there has been much interest in the
guest performers at Music Masters, the Commission is clear that the
primary objective of the event is to promote the Top 10 finalists in the
Junkanoo Carnival Song Competition and to give these Bahamian artists,
many of whom are undiscovered, local and international exposure.
the highly anticipated return of Baha Men to the stage after many
years, there is no doubt they will draw many fans out, and in so doing
increase exposure for the Top 10 finalists competing on that night.
Machel Montano, who just performed in the Bahamas over the summer to a
sold out concert, will draw many carnival enthusiasts, and create
additional exposure for the Top 10 artists in the region and beyond.
one of the core mandates of the BNFC is to stimulate entrepreneurship
and promote business best practices for small and medium enterprises in
the creative sector. In keeping with this, the BNFC acknowledges that
the music industry is just that, an industry. Artists have intrinsic
value from a cultural perspective, but they also have market value. The
Bahamas Musicians and Entertainers Union sets base rates for the
Bahamian market. The base rate for musicians is approximately $300 an
hour per performer or band member.
the BNFC is being guided by established market values, we also
appreciate the need to build value within our own artistic community and
are acting accordingly. That is why the guest artists for the Music
Masters Concert, Machel Montano and Baha Men are being paid comparable
rates, unlike the incorrect information reported in the press. Neither
artist is being paid $100,000.
are mindful not to completely undermine the market system as that will
present new challenges for other Bahamians who want to support and
contract local artists.
this festival includes a cross fertilization of cultures, make no
mistake the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival is a Bahamian festival. The
Bahamas has many examples to demonstrate how we draw inspiration from
the African diaspora and other cultures to express ourselves uniquely.
For instance, last week, our Bahamas National Youth Choir celebrated its 25th anniversary with a concert that included Bahamian renditions of Haitian, Bajan, and Jamaican folk and contemporary music.
our very own Grammy Award winning Baha Men, drew inspiration from the
Trinidadian Calypsonian, who originally wrote “Who Let the Dogs Out”.
This is common practice in the music industry and in no way undermines
the hard fought success Baha Men has achieved on the international
stage. Just because we as Bahamians benefit from a cross fertilization
of cultures does not make us any less Bahamian and does not make the
Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival any less Bahamian.
and music are not static. Bahamian music continues to grow and expand
as a genre from the likes of Ronnie Butler to Julien Believe. We support
From May 6th
– 9th, “Da Cultural Village” on Western Esplanade will have ongoing
entertainment on the Rake N’ Scrape and International Music stages with
top Bahamian artists, including Visage and the legendary Ronnie Butler,
as well as musicians from Haiti, Cuba, and the English speaking
are excited about the first Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and we invite the
Bahamian public to come and support their fellow Bahamians on this
(Photos of Bahamian artists seen here: Colyn McDonald;Tyrone "Plati Dread Bartlett; Preston Wallace
(Puzzle); Georgina Ward-Rigby; Christopher Carey; Terrelle
Tynes-Wilson; Ian Alleyne; Bodine Johnson; Valarie Richards; Dwayne
Simmons; Sonovia Pierre; Sammie
D. Poitier (Sammie Star); Ericka
Symonette (Lady E); Raymond Campbell; Angelique Sabrina White; and Raju