Honey Jam lacking sponsors
The show must go on. And Honey Jam founder and producer Ebonnie Rowe says the three year-female empowerment showcase provides more than just an avenue for women to sing on stage.
“The train has already left the station. I am moving forward on faith, hope and charity. I am passionate about this project . . . . It is all going to come together.
Rowe was speaking at the launch of Honey Jam 2014 at Divi Southwinds Tuesday night.
The show, which has a female-only cast of musicians, is an opportunity for the young women, ages 16 to 25, to hone their skills and develop their potential. It also gives them a chance at being scouted by producers and labels in the music industry.
“The show is not only about really cute girls who can sing,” Rowe stressed. “We also encourage them to be ambassadors for their country.”
Rowe was recently in Canada, celebrating Honey Jam Canada’s 19th-year anniversary, where singer Melanie Fiona was a guest attendee.
Rowe said staging Honey Jam at the Frank Collymore Hall in November was proving to be a huge challenge.
“This was the most challenging year so far. The show has gotten bigger and better but the sponsors’ budgets have gotten smaller. We want to be the premier event in its genre and attract international attention. People see the final production and think we have it all sorted out but we fake it pretty well. We have a huge shortfall.”
Rowe said just days before the launch a couple of sponsors pulled out, but she is grateful for the ones on board, the long-term sponsors and some new ones.
Christopher Simmons, who spoke on behalf of sponsors Purity, who were there from inception, said the company made the commitment despite the economic challenging times. Host at new radio station Y103, Gaynelle Marshall, said as first time sponsors they saw the Honey Jam as a perfect fit for them and were “proud to be on board”.
Another new element to the show is the stepping down of long-time host Caroline Reid and the return of Alex Jordan.
Jordan, who hosted the first Honey Jam showcase, said she was pleased about the focus on young women and calling the event “valuable”, she pleaded with the private sector to put more sponsorship behind the brand: “It is more than just a show,” she said.
The first audition will be next Tuesday at Divi Southwinds before a panel of judges, including Alison Hinds, Jaicko, Sonia Mullins and Kellie Cadogan.
Kristen Walker, who was on last year’s Honey Jam stage, sang two songs for those gathered, accompanied on guitar by Xavier Jhon-Clair, and inspirational words were given to hopefuls by alum Rhesa Garnes.