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Talent-packed show will ‘make Bermuda proud’

Show of appreciation: Governor George Fergusson, centre, meets with, from left, Irvin Hendrickson, Gershym “Shilo” Smith, Cleveland “Sight” Simmons and Mike Markham. (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

A Bermudian entertainer’s showcase hits the stage tonight at the Fairmont Southampton with the aim of boosting local talent.

Project manager Rick Richardson called the show, which kicks off at 8pm in the hotel’s Mid-Ocean Amphitheatre, an unprecedented concert that would “make Bermuda proud”.

It is also aimed at giving Bermuda’s artists a chance to spread their wings, at home and perhaps overseas too.

Invitations have gone out to members of the Bermuda Hotel Association, giving them a chance to scout Bermudian entertainers for possible future venues.

Tonight’s show, originally conceived as an event to be staged at Government House, grew from a connection between promoter Cleveland Simmons and Governor George Fergusson.

“Last year we held a walk and talk through North Hamilton with the Governor, and out of that came talk of local entertainers getting a fair show,” Mr Simmons said.

“Instead of doing the show at Government House, we decided to turn it into something for everyone.”

The organisers, which include promoter Gina Spence, gathered yesterday at Government House to show Mr Fergusson their appreciation for his support.

Tonight’s show includes Twanée Butterfield, Wanda Ray-Willis and Lady Tyson, performers based overseas, as well as Mitchel “Live Wire” Trott, the Simons Brothers, Roy Richardson, Valerie Sherwood, Kion Simmons, the Big Chill with Tony Brannon, Kassie Caines, and limbo dancer Markita Joel.

The show will also be a chance to honour such local greats as Shirley Dill, Everest DaCosta, Stanley Seymour, Clarence “Tootsie” Bean, Freeman “King” Trott and Gene Steede.

Among those watching will be visitor Lynne Cavanagh from Canada, an associate of Ric Levenstone — a recent visitor who has offered to help out Bermudian artists looking for venues in Toronto.

“I’m excited to hear some of the Bermudian artists I’ve been hearing so much about,” Ms Cavanagh said. “I’m here to listen and learn.”

• For more information, go to ginaspenceproductions.com, e-mail info@ginaspenceproductions or call 705-5224