A new day dawns in TRENCH TOWN

THE baton passed from the old guard to future stars at the inaugural Jamaica Music Institute (JaMIN) Song Competition, held at the Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town, St Andrew, on Saturday night.

Approximately one hour after Trench Town native Christopher ‘Prince Okeito’ Duhaney was declared the winner, Lascelles Perkins — winner of the first Vere Johns talent contest at the venue in 1956 — took the stage and gave a great performance.

“I was the first man who won a contest here [at the Ambassador],” said Perkins, 80, who opened the musical showcase.

Perkins, who won back then with Old Man River, proved he had not lost anything with his renditions of Colour Him Father, No Man Is An Island [in tribute to Dennis Brown] and Mr Bee’s Blues.

Twenty-two year-old Prince Okeito came out ahead of nine other contestants with the song Many Lost, to take the grand prize of $75,000, and a recording contract at JaMIN Recording Studio.

Second place went to Conroy Dunkley for his entry Without Jah which earned him $25,000. Third was Tasha for her entry Trench Town.

“Once you believe in yourself you can achieve anything, and determination is always the key,” said Prince Okeita. His acceptance speech was greeted with rousing applause from the large gathering which included United States Ambassador to Jamaica Pamela Bridgewater and former Prime Minister PJ Patterson.

Some colourful performances included a Skatalites medley by backing band Lloyd Parks and We the People, the timeless duo Bunny and Scully, Derrick Harriott, Ken Boothe, Errol Dunkley, Bongo Herman and Lymie Murray.

Also performing were Mr Myaz, Nesbeth and Duayne Stephenson.

Tommy Cowan and Debby Bissoon shared master of ceremonies duties.

Prince Okeito, winner of the inaugural staging of the Jamaica Music Institute (JaMIN) Song Competition held at the Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town, St Andrew, on Saturday night.Duo Bunny (left) and Scully (Photos: Joseph Wellington)Lascelles Perkins in performance at the Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town, St Andrew, on Saturday night.

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