Ben­e­fit con­cert for pop­u­lar drum­mer ‘Bird’ tonight

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Shere­ita Griz­zle Gleaner Writer en­ter­tain­ment@glean­erjm.com

AP­PROX­I­MATELY FOUR months ago, renowned drum­mer Ju­nior ‘Bird’ Bail­lie suf­fered a heart at­tack which nearly killed him. Bird was un­con­scious when he was taken to the Uni­ver­sity Hos­pi­tal of the West Indies, as his heart had stopped beat­ing. Though the mu­si­cian has re­cov­ered sig­nif­i­cantly from the near-fa­tal in­ci­dent, the en­tire sit­u­a­tion has proved quite costly, and Bird has been un­able to foot the bill that has been left be­hind as a re­sult of the or­deal.

It is with the lat­ter in mind that sev­eral friends from the mu­sic fra­ter­nity have de­cided to host a ben­e­fit con­cert for Bird, to help off­set the cost of some of his med­i­cal ex­penses.

When The Gleaner spoke Char­maine Le­mo­ni­ous, one of the or­gan­is­ers of the event, she ex­pressed that the de­ci­sion to as­sist Bird was in­stan­ta­neous.

“We love him (Bird) very much, so it wasn’t some­thing that we hes­i­tated to do,” she said. “It is go­ing to be such a won­der­ful event. He had a near fa­tal heart at­tack some months ago and we are very lucky to have him still. They had to op­er­ate on him and as you can imag­ine, he has some out­stand­ing bills.”

OVER­WHELM­ING RE­SPONSE

She went on to say that when the calls were made for en­ter­tain­ers to jump on board and give of their tal­ent for the con­cert, the re­sponse was over­whelm­ing.

“No one hes­i­tated. They all came out and said yes, we want to do this. I mean, Bird is some­one that has con­trib­uted so much to the mu­sic, and he has worked with so many of these artistes that they saw it fit to give back in any way they could.”

The con­cert, which will take place later tonight at 5 Keesing Av­enue, the home of Keesing Live, will see a host of artistes grac­ing the stage. Those ex­pected to per­form in­clude Ken Boothe, Ernie Smith, Bob Andy, Dean Fraser, Duane Stephen­son, Er­rol Lee, Johnny Clarke, Ru­pert Bent Jr, Gem My­ers, Wayne Ar­mond, Cher­ine An­der­son, Dwight Richards, Maria Myrie, Peso, Seretse, Naz­zle­man, Harold Davis, Ou­zoune, Di­mario McDow­ell, and Char­maine Li­mo­nius. They will be backed by Desi Jones and Friends as well as Lloyd Parkes and We The Peo­ple band.

Tick­ets cost $1,500 and may be pur­chased at Keesing. Food and other re­fresh­ments will be on sale and all pro­ceeds from the event will go to Bird, who is ex­pected to be in at­ten­dance. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., show­time 8 p.m. All-night se­cu­rity, com­pli­men­tary park­ing and con­tin­u­ous shut­tle ser­vice to and from Tyre Ware­house to the venue will be avail­able.

A GREAT FEEL­ING

When con­tacted, an over­whelmed Bird told The Gleaner that he is grate­ful for the sup­port he has re­ceived thus far, es­pe­cially from mem­bers of the mu­sic fra­ter­nity.

“I didn’t know that I was this much loved in the mu­sic in­dus­try,” he said. “When I saw the out­pour­ing of sup­port, I ac­tu­ally sat down and cried. To see peo­ple com­ing even to the hos­pi­tal and then to see the cal­i­bre of mu­si­cians that have agreed to par­tic­i­pate in this event, it’s just a great feel­ing.”

The drum­mer re­vealed that his re­cov­ery is go­ing very well and he is look­ing for­ward to re­turn­ing to the stage in full force.

“I have ac­tu­ally started play­ing again, as my doc­tors say its car­dio­vas­cu­lar ex­er­cise and it’s good for me.”

Dur­ing his 36-year ca­reer, Bird has played for Bare Essentials, the Mighty Di­a­monds, the Mar­leys, Shaggy, the late John Holt, Yel­low Man, Sean Paul, Freddie McGre­gor, Mar­cia Grif­fiths, Ernie Smith, and many more cel­e­brated artistes.

BIRD

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