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By Reginald Andrew
ST LUCIAN –born international reggae artiste, Taj Weekes, is persistent with his goal to spread the message of peace and joy, globally, through a combination of his music and humanitarianism endeavours.
Since making his first international performance at home during this year’s St.Lucian Jazz, Weekes has gained greater recognition amount the local folk. He is adamant about perusing his community projects in an effort to enhance the lives of the needy and underprivileged.
Taj is quite pleased with the greeting that his band Adowa received at this major annual event on St. Lucia’s entertainment calender.”The Jazz Festival was a unique experience, simply because it was the first time that I played in St Lucia,” he told the MIRROR. “Most people in St Lucia had known me more for my humanitarian causes than as a musician. Through people had heard of the albums and the accolades that we received internationally, they had never seen us play…the public response was generally, overwhelming.”
He was equally delighted to have the band members’ visit his homeland, during this year’s Jazz festival, and they were happy with the reception and scenery in St Lucia.
Taj was on island for a tried 8-day visit from December,12, and whilst here got immersed in his social obligations, distributing toys to underprivileged kids as a guest at the 2011 Veterans revival Football finals, where he met with the teams,
Prior to this, Taj has been on the go at a hectic pace. As a Goodwill Ambassador to the Caribbean working on the behalf of the World Association of Former UN Interns and Fellows(WAFUNIF), a division of the United Nations(UN); He recently distributed 5,000 pairs of shoes to Haiti, following the Hurricane disaster. Through the working of his charity group ‘They Often Cry Outreach’ (TOCO) he had also visited Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Dominica to assist with aid for impoverished communities.
He plans to visit Haiti next March, and is currently working on the release of a single dedicated to that country.
On the USA circuit, Weekes completed a vigorous College and High School Lecture series dealing with the Tolerance and Violence. His next major musical project involves the release of the single targeting the Occupy Wall Street protest, entitled ‘Against the Machine’ …
and a line from the song goes, ‘when law oppresses the people, then an outlaw will rise’. This latest task also includes a video release.
He tells of a n interesting story in which members of the audience at the one of his shows were requested to donate shoes at the next outing. Not only did persons bring in foot wear, but “some people donated their shoes and left the show barefoot.”
Taj is ever conscious of the tremendous contribution made by TOCO and remains committed to the cause of eradicating poverty. “We are striving to spread the works of TOCO throughout the region and plan to undertake a myriad of community projects; it is a good ‘to shine a little light” , in the hope of providing a better life for the people,” he declared.