Caribbean’s Largest Art Festival to Launch in Kingston Tonight Image

by Jordan Delahaye

Since it started in 2007, the Kingston on the Edge (KOTE) Urban Art Festival has celebrated the diverse artists who live, work and are inspired by Kingston. More than 450 artists and performers from the U.S., France, Spain, Canada and even Cuba have  already participated in transforming the largest English speaking city south of Miami into the art capital of the Caribbean.

The annual showcase will span the course of nine (9) days and kicks-off tonight at the Red Bones Blues Cafe. The launch is expected to be a grand showcase featuring a colourful cast of installation artists, painters and performing artists alike. The Gallery at the venue, which opens at 8pm tonight, runs through to June 28th and is free to the public.

Musicians and other performance acts are slated to take the stage at 9:30pm and a contribution of $1500 ($1000 for students with I.D.) accompanies the live show. Brainstorm is expected to bring some jazzy, funky hip hop vibes to the evening’s festivities and will join fellow musicians Jason Worton and Orisha Sound - a singer and multi-instrumentalist (16 instruments in total) of Slavic, Scandinavian and Brazilian ancestry who will be treating audiences to a medley of pop, world and urban music.

There will be also be a live painting performance featuring some of the Caribbean’s leading progressive artists: Antwain Clarke, Taj Francis and Richard Natoo along with DJAZ. The young artisans, each wielding their medium of choice, will create a composition which fuses their imaginations with the audience’s in an interactive showcase of the young talent present in the local artscape.

Starting today and ending next Sunday, venues all over Kingston will be bustling with art enthusiasts and artists coming  together to celebrate a Jamaica that is extraordinary, innovative and brimming with creativity. The festival’s official website,, provides a detailed schedule of the events leading up the closing party on the rooftops of 48 West Street.


Over the weekend, June 14 – 15, over 50 volunteers representing a diverse set of castes and communities including Trenchtown, Germany and Japan, toiled away at giving the Ward Theatre a much needed cleaning.

The Kingston On The Edge (KOTE) Urban Art Festival hosted the project as part of its mission to bring public awareness to the heritage site to  revitalize a restoration campaign that has been lagging for the building.

KOTE will be hosting a concert at the Ward this Sunday, June 22 at 4pm. The concert will feature nine acts from a diverse caste of musicians including: No-Maddz, Dub-Poetry by Randy Mclaren and a cello performance by Cat Coore from the iconic Third World band.

The Alpha Boys School Orchestra will also be showcasing its talented group of boys who are all students at the non-profit vocational school which caters to at risk boys between the ages of 8 and 18.

Luis Felipe Bellorin, an acclaimed Venezuelan poet, songwriter, composer and essayist will be taking the Ward stage to perform trova music - one of the great roots of Cuban music - in what is expected to be a diverse cultural experience.

Lovers are especially invited to regale in DR. Jean Small’s solo performance highlighting the dynamics of relationships. Dr. Small is a Guyanese professor who has taken to writing, directing and acting in performances on issues of the human condition.

Sunday’s concert will attract a fee of $1500 and $500 for students with I.D.

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