published: Sunday July 22, 2007
Soldiers of the Jamaica Defence Force and members of the combined military band march to Buckingham Palace to carry out guard duties. - Contributed
England’s capital is set to come alive with the sounds of Jamaica this summer, when the unmistakable sound and look of the military bands of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) fill the air.
A combined Jamaica Military and Jamaica Regiment band is now in the United Kingdom as part of the annual military exchange, Calypso Hop.
They arrived at the start of July and support the JDF contingent engaging in ceremonial duties, including the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace which started last Tuesday.
The combined band is also due to make several appearances in and around central London, as they prepare to commemorate two of Jamaica’s most significant dates, Emancipation Day on August 1, and Independence Day on August 6.
The 34-strong band led by its Director of Music Major Roy Wade is particularly striking, not only for their distinctive music, but also for the highly unusual ‘Zouave’ uniforms worn by the Jamaica Military Band (JMB) and the full-dress scarlet tunic worn by the Jamaica Regiment Band.
The JMB’s return to London is being greeted with much excitement and anticipation by the Jamaican community both at home and here in the United Kingdom.
Schedule of appearances
July 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 from 11:00 a.m. – The Queen’s guard at Buckingham Palace
July 31, 11:00 a.m. – Windsor Castle guard
August 1, 12:00-2:00 p.m. – St. James Park bandstand
August 3, 11:00 a.m. – The Queen’s guard at Buckingham Palace
August 5, Time TBC – Brixton, Windrush Square
August 6, 12:00-2:00 p.m. – St. James Park Bandstand
August 19, 3:00 p.m. TBC – Grand CarnivalCostume Splash, Alexandra Palace
August 23, TIME TBC – GLA Slavery Memorial Day.