In the spring of 2015, Award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Ed Roman and his wife, Kim, travelled to the island of Jamaica, to deliver humanitarian relief and teach music to the local kids. It’s no secret that the beautiful country holds a special place in Ed’s heart; he even wrote a song dedicated to the island, “Jamaica.” Watch the epic video, shot on location, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caBbTg-kkdA.
Now, Ed is sharing his first-hand account of his and Kim’s return to Jamaica in April 2017…a return to the home of one of Ed’s musical heroes, the legendary Bob Marley…a return to the people and culture of the place Ed lovingly calls his “second home.” While Ed and Kim always take something with them to give, it is what they experience, and what they take with them, that is more precious than gold.
“Jamaica 2017..Been a while, but the necessity to get back to the jewel of the Caribbean was overwhelming. Our experiences there are always fast-paced, long running and filled with adventure. Music seems to be a theme on the island, other than football and food, but it’s one of the many reasons I feel so connected to this beautiful place. I’m always in search of a guitar, to be able to play music with people and teach young children, if they’re willing to learn. This trip was much like a lot of the other experiences we had, in terms of connecting with kids on a regular basis, amazing friends and family, including a few new ones. Kim and I find ourselves always giving and sharing, not only our food and what we have, but our knowledge and know-how and skills, when it comes to certain things, but at the same time, I think we’re learning even more. This is another continual thing that is going on: Sharing… so many people are willing to do anything and everything for each other, even if it means traversing across the entire island to achieve the goal. It is, of course, the strong sense of community that we feel welcomed into, and it has enhanced and accentuated our existence as humans..’
“We spent our Sunday evening putting together an elders’ dinner for five of the elders in the community that are unable to cook for themselves. One of which had most recently had a stroke. That evening, we fed close to 20 people, and I’m sure a few more, but what was important to us, is being able to give back to the place that gives to us. I’m sure many people walking by and or driving, wondered what the white man on his knees was doing feeding the Jamaican stroke victim. I really don’t care what anybody thinks, because my experiences are what I hold close to me, in my heart, and feed me for the rest of my duration. They are gold..This is one of the many powerful experiences I remember. As duality would dictate, on that very same evening, we decided to cross the same road and found ourselves amidst a 40th birthday party for one of the locals. Red Stripe, a little bit of rum and ganja, and great pumping tunes were the effervescing moments of the evening, punctuated by an incredible tropical rainstorm. There had to have been at least 40 of us all inside of Miss Annie’s little shack, dancing and partying away till 4:30 in the morning.’
“I had the pleasure, a number of nights, to be able to cook on Papa’s coral and stone fire pit, where I’ve been honing my skills as a jerk chicken and fish maker. Yes I Did. Sweet pimento leaf slowly seeps its way up through the metal grates, lapping the luxurious meats, which earlier were christened by fresh garlic, thyme, pepper and onion.. ah YEA.. The two jerk recipe for smoking meats came from Portland. The home of the concept of using the sweet pimento leaf…”
“Scaling the cliffs to breach the crevice of flowing ocean water, that needed to be timed in order to cross; It was there we found ourselves swimming in UB40’s ocean fed pool.. RED RED Wine.’
“Kim had a wonderful experience of being able to go to the Good Hope Plantation.. an incredible one week experience of comprehensive wood firing in a Jamaican kiln.. Teaching kids, throwing pots and connecting with amazing people and potters from all over the world.’
“Our experiences there are rich and fruitful, and usually, the last thing we want to do, is get back on the plane. It is good to be home and feel the Canadian soil in my hands and the sweet smell of spring air. See you soon, my friends and family, for part of my heart belongs there..’
“Little to no sleep, swollen ankles from continually on our feet. It’s there, in a subtle pulse, hidden in the islands beat. The continual array of culture, not deceit. It’s where I find friends and family to meet.’ –Ed Roman
Ed Roman is an Award-winning singer/songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist from Shelburne, Ontario, Canada. Blurring the lines between pop, rock, folk, and country music genres, Ed’s uniquely crafted songs have received regular rotation on more than 100 terrestrial radio stations across North America and more than 600 stations, worldwide. Ed is a 2014 Artists Music Guild Award Nominee, a 2014 International Music and Entertainment Association Award Winner, a two-time 2015 IMEA Award nominee, a 2015 and 2016 Josie Show Awards winner, an Akademia Awards Winner, and a two-time Indie Music Channel Award winner. Ed’s latest release is the critically acclaimed album, Red Omen. www.edroman.net