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Saxophist Bobby Gaynair (left) speaking with Loi Linton, sales representative at Alpha Institute and Herbie Miller, director/curator of the Jamaica Music Museum.

(By Brian Bonitto, Associate Editor, Jamaica Observer, Sunday, October 15, 2017)

Not much is known in Jamaica of veteran saxophonist Ferdinand “Bobby Little Bra” Gaynair. The 89-year-old is one of 171 who will be conferred national honours at King’s House in St Andrew tomorrow.

“Well, this national honour is surprising. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t even know I was doing anything special. I’ve always wanted to come back to Jamaica and get a sea bath and visit Alpha,” said Gaynair, who has made Canada his home for more than two decades. (more…)

Alpha institute visited London in August to work with Raw Material’s Artist Development Group and The Youthsayers on a collaborative music project. Together we ran workshops, recording sessions and music performances.

Performances included a show at the Southbank with the Fontanells, The Ritzy with the youth groups and Clapham Common Festival with Madness who supported the project along with Alpha Boys School Radio (alphaboysschoolradio.com) and National Bakery in Jamaica.

And now there is a video! Click below to watch the highlights and hear from the Alpha students themselves… (more…)

This year Alpha is partnering with SERVOL, a Trinidad & Tobago headquartered service organisation engaged in community-based holistic efforts to develop the education, vocational and economic capacity of parents and youth. SERVOL integrates employment training, enterprise development, and individual and community empowerment initiatives in disadvantaged urban and rural communities. Activities include counseling, teaching, and leadership/life skills programs. Since 1974 SERVOL’s school in Trinidad & Tobago has been catering to children who did not progress in the mainstream education system for various reasons. Many SERVOL students successfully graduated from education and vocational programs after attending SERVOL. (more…)