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Showcase of local talent ‘a success’

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A handful of Bermudian artists could find themselves performing to audiences in Canada and Los Angeles after a successful entertainment showcase that took place at the Fairmont Southampton on Saturday evening. The event, organised by local promoter Cleveland Simmons of Communications Plus, was designed to boost local talent both locally and overseas.

Organisers invited music industry professionals including Lewis Nathan of LA-based Fearless Entertainment and Canada-based Lynne Cavanagh, as well as a host of representatives from the local tourism and hospitality sector, to attend an evening of live music by Bermudian artists.

According to Mr Simmons there was interest expressed in many of the artists including Live Wire, Wanda Ray-Willis and Roy Richardson though no contracts have been finalised as yet.

Other entertainers who performed on the night included Twanée Butterfield, Lady Tyson, the Simons Brothers, Valerie Sherwood, Kion Simmons, the Big Chill with Tony Brannon, Kassie Caines, and limbo dancer Markita Joel.

The showcase grew out of a connection between Mr Simmons and the Governor, George Fergusson. The organisers, which include promoter Gina Spence, gathered at Government House last week to show Mr Fergusson their appreciation for his support.

Mr Simmons told The Royal Gazette: “It was an excellent night of entertainment. The aim was to bring on the authorities in tourism and other bodies of government as well as our overseas guests to see the overall talent in Bermuda. We had a good representation of the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Bermuda Hotel Association and members of the association.

“In my 40 years of promoting I have rarely seen Bermudians showing such appreciation for local talent — they gave standing ovations, they danced, they whistled, they stamped their feet … it was like a new era for local entertainment. The Governor said that it was a top night.

“The ultimate goal is to develop the entertainment industry in Bermuda.”

Advisor to Communications Plus, Michael Markham, added: “The foreign guests said this was as good a show as they could see anywhere else.

“It was quite remarkable — there was a good selection of talent — the musicians were tight and the presentation was excellent. I have to give credit to Gina Spence Productions which put on a professional show.”

Communications Plus is taking developing an exchange programme overseas while overseas guests from the same countries will perform in Bermuda.

The company also runs the Bermuda Island Agency with a view to facilitating bookings with local artists.

For more information contact Mr Simmons on 504-1063

Giving it her all: Lady Tyson puts on a powerhouse performance at the event, organised by local promoter Cleveland Simmons of Communications Plus (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Just Wanda-ful! Wanda Ray Willis performs at the Fairmont Southampton (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Wowing the crowds: Mitchell “Live Wire” Trott closes the show in style at the entertainment showcase at the Fairmont Southampton (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
On song: Roy Richardson at the Bermuda Entertainers Showcase (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published May 09, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated May 09, 2016 at 9:02 am)

Showcase of local talent ‘a success’

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