Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Poets in Autumn Tour debuts in Jamaica

Poets in Autumn Tour made its stop in Jamaica to a packed house at Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road last Saturday, February 4.

The US-based spoken word group showcased soul-satisfying ministry through skits and superbly executed music.

Saturday night came alive with praise, as Poets in Autumn were ably supported by local acts Latoya Hamilton and Rondell Positive.

The show, sponsored by LASCO iCool, opened with a performance of Dusty Shelf by up-and-coming Jamaican gospel artiste Victor Green.

A powerful set by Rondell Positive followed, with crowd-favourites More Than A Conquerer, I’ll Never Change, Sticks Nor Stones, and Goodbye World. Rondell also took the opportunity to highlight the stirring vocals of iWorshipp (Alicia Taylor and Rhoda Addiman) and Christina RoShay.

Catherine Goodall, Marketing Manager-Beverages, LASCO Distributors (left) greets gospel artiste Kevin Downsell right before he surprised fans at the Poets in Autumn Tour on Saturday, February 4 at Emmanuel Apostolic Church.
“Music is a part of our culture, but poetry is not something that is really explored, especially of this nature,” stated Catherine Goodall, Marketing Manager — Beverages of LASCO Distributors. “Jamaica has never experienced something like this before and it was a great opportunity to bring something unique to our Jamaican people. And, of course, for something this big to happen in Jamaica and iCool not be a part of it was not an option.

“But honestly, tonight’s show was a blessing,” continued Goodall. “The energy, the quality of performances and the ministry experienced; A blessing.”

Closing the first half of the show was popular gospel poet, Latoya Hamilton, who had the audience chanting along her four-item set, keeping rhythm for her culturally relevant pieces such as Balance The Scale.

The second half saw the poets of Poets in Autumn Tour ministering through raw and riveting pieces, many of which shattered the status quo of how testimony can be given.

Chris Webb opened with The Gate; followed by Preston Perry and Jackie Hill Perry with The Fall.

Janet Watson more popularly known as Janette...ikz (pronounced genetics) followed with I Will Wait — a gripping tale of seeking romantic companionship.

Preston Perry then raised spirits with his performance of Jesus Is God. His wife Jackie Hill Perry then told her transformational tale of Life As A Stud.

Ezekiel Azonwu was the crowd favourite with his delivery of Almost Saved.And Chris Webb returned to the stage to resounding applause for his performance of The Mattress.

The group then closed their segment with an exciting mock trial on what makes a Christian entitled Conviction.

But the night continued to ascend in glory with the promise of Jonathon McReynolds to close the festivities.

Twenty-seven-year-old McReynolds, may not be a big name in secular Jamaica, but the church ate up his set.  Guitar in hand, McReynolds opened with crowd favourite — The Anthem by Todd Dulaney — which brought the entire crowd to their feet; and he kept them there for over 40 minutes.
His set incorporated tracks from his one EP and two albums, closing with Maintain, for which the entire audience contributed harmonies, and Pressure.

Slam Poet, Ezekiel Azonwu delivers the piece “Almost Saved” at the Poets in Autumn Tour on Saturday, February 4 at Emmanuel Apostolic Church.
Other highlights from McReynolds set included a surprise mic takeover by host church pastor Bishop Everton Thompson to display the Jamaican music styling for Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus.

According to event organiser, RaeChelle Hamilton, bringing Poets in Autumn Tour to Jamaica was a new way to present the gospel.

“The poets have really inspired me and impacted my walk with the Lord and I don’t think that’s something I want to be selfish with,” stated Hamilton. “It’s not just poetry or writing, whatever they [poets] say comes to life. They have been so blessed with this talent to share their experiences that God has delivered them through in a universal way. I definitely wanted for Jamaicans who haven’t had the chance to, to experience it.”

Poets In Autumn Tour arrived in Jamaica fresh from a performance in Bahamas on February 3. They will return to the Caribbean on March 3, 4 and 5 in Antigua, Trinidad, and Barbados respectively.

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