Officials deny ignoring local musicians

| 07/08/2011

(CNS): The country’s premier and minister of tourism has denied not supporting local artists and says his ministry considers entertainment and culture important elements of Cayman's tourism product. In a statement on behalf of theministry and McKeeva Bush, the Department of Tourism rebuked comments made in the press by Jean-Eric "Notch" Smith, president of the Cayman Music and Entertainment Association about the lack of representation on the Tourism Advisory Council and other tourism related bodies of CMEA. Smith had also said that government had shown a lack of respect towards local entertainers and was not prioritising culture as part of tourism policy.

Speaking to the Caymanian Compass last month, Smith made a number of allegations about CMEA having never been placed on tourism bodies and the government’s failure to consider the importance of local entertainment.

“Every Caribbean Island under the sun has sand, sun and beach. What makes a place different is its offerings in terms of entertainment and culture, neither of which are priorities in the Cayman Islands,” Smith said. “We have young Caymanians investing in this country and going unnoticed. Many of them are making music and videos that depict the Cayman Islands and in turn promote this place on radio, the Internet, and places too numerous to mention for all of us. Yet no entity will stop and take the time to partner with them.”

The ministry denied that culture and entertainment was not an important element in tourism promotion and said it was ripe for development.

“The ministry of tourism remains open to working with performing artists and producers to ensure home-grown entertainment attains its rightful place as part of the visitor experience in the Cayman Islands,” the statement read. It added that the department of tourism had supported CMEA by providing assistance for the development of a website to promote its aims and objectivesand bring greater visibility of their membership to a wider audience and had sponsored the annual Musaic event.

Where possible, it said, the DoT had provided airline tickets to CMEA performers to export local talent and assist Caymanian artistes to gain international exposure.

The ministry didn’t deny that CMEA was not represented directly on any tourism board. It acknowledged that TAC members are appointed by the Governor-in-Cabinet on the advice of the tourism minister and that most of them are Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) members. However, it denied that they were all food and beverage purveyors, as claimed by Smith. The ministry said some members came from the water sports, events and wedding, hotel and attractions sectors, as well as a marketing consultant.

“The fact of the matter is that CITA's membership is representative of Cayman's tourism industry sectors; therefore it follows that a majority of the TAC membership would be comprised of CITA members. Nevertheless, membership on TAC has much more to do with years of tourism experience than it does the sector in which a member works,” the MoT stated.

Officials also said that Smith had implied the ministry could prescribe that live music must be played at hotels and other establishments, but the statement noted that this was not possible as private business should decide what entertainment it offers customers. However, what Smith had actually said was that hotels did not consider the concept of live local music as a priority, which was evidenced by the fact that not one of them had facilities to accommodate live music.

“We are always an after-thought,” he said. “That is why we have ivory tower hotels that are not equipped with one bandstand. It’s because musicians and entertainers do not have a say when decision, policies, standards and laws are being made that will ultimately affect them.”

The ministry also denied accusations made by Smith that the reason there is no Cayman Jazz Festival now is because CMEA is not represented on the TAC. It said that Bush along with the acting chief officer of tourism had met with Smith and other CMEA representatives last year, when Smith had undertaken to write a letter to the premier giving input on the jazz festival and a review of CMEA's constitution.

“The understanding was that the purpose of the letter they were to submit went beyond the specific points mentioned,” the ministry said. “It was to show seriousness of purpose on their part, as they had made an approach for a more active and meaningful partnership with government, and were told that a letter from them could serve as the beginning of a more serious relationship.  To date, no such letter has been received from CMEA.”

However, Smith noted the continued lack of representation of CMEA on boards and in policy decisions, despite his advice that musicians should not always be considered after the fact. He said government’s attitude towards local musicians was an indictment on its priorities when it came to local entertainers.

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Comments (52)

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  1. Big Baby Jesus says:

    I have read everyones comments and just have to ask the simple question; If a bar believes that your band will not draw a crowd, should they have to book your band anyway?  Just because 51% of your band is Caymanian doesn't mean they are talented.  It is my opinion that when government gets invloved in the arts, the arts suffer.  People should be allowed to perform simply because it is in their soul, not because of where they are born.  If the CMEA gets it's way, Cayman artists may flourish; however the music may suffer. 

  2. B.Hurlston says:

    HiShane & Jean, (Hitide) appreciate your tolerance & supportive comments.

    I have little time & patience for such but its fruitful & informative.

    Sure exposes the mingled minds…….

  3. Andre Christian says:

    The support does not have to come from The Government but being in the music business I know the true fact: The music you hear on the radio is not about most talented, or best singer, it is about the money being pushed behind it. Fact is, that any artist can become a worldwide sensation once the appropriate amount of funds has been allocated in the right places. You people mention Drake, Eminem, whoever, all these artists have had major money pushing behind them. If it were not for the money, you would nothave heard of any Drakes, Soulja Boys, Sean Kingstons, Jason Derulo's. (All of whome I think have little talent and many money behind them.)

    Money is the key to musical success. Not talent.

    One prime example of why Government should be pushing a artist for its tourism promotion  is: Akon's song for Africa. Which was a great effort at musically visualizing the beauty of Africa.

    The fact of the matter is, as with most government 'ideas', the money is allocated but the project is not managed by the appropriate individuals. Government has previously allocated funds for a top level recording studio (was the plan anyway). Only for me (A pro tools engineer) to arrive at the studio and find an array of equipment, nothing making sense, a lot of money spent with no particular direction, no industry standard software and get this… The recording studio quickly turned into a after-school child facility/recording studio. Which FOOL on the planet would allocate funds for a recording studio, then have dozens of children running around and making noise in the facility? Not to mention the location, which was acceptable in my opinion but far from being what the project was intended to be.

    So, Notch do your thing, but instead of worrying about Government support, let us just understand that the Government has good intentions, but rarely delivers to expectations. I say we need a revolution because as taken from a International news article I read recently… "Governments worldwide are f*cking up!".

    Let me also voice my opinion that I have no faith in The Government and I believe that if they did allocate xxx,xxx funds to promote the music… They would pick the wrong artist, wrong style of music, launch in the wrong market and do it at the wrong time. 

    Notch, lets put the music on hold and become politicians. I say again: Cayman Islands Government = Good Intentions, Failed Conclusions (in majority of projects island-wide).

    I am not a member of the music organization but I understand your concern because I am my own musical organization.

    Mac if you read this, allocate some funds for some more technical musical scholarships, engineering, mastering and if you see the money cross your table, allocate some for another professional recording studio but as far as I'm concerned, it should not be a 'free' studio, people need to respect it. The next studio should be mostly a education project where someone with many years in INDUSTRY STANDARD projects, techniques and equipment (whistles) can make use of it.

    Mac you need some good audio engineers, even in the house, because the audio quality, equalizations and final delivery of the recordings and live discussions is very poor.


    • Anonymous says:


      "Money is the key to musical success. Not talent."

      I guess that depends on your definition of success.  I find this a depressing reduction of the possibilities.

  4. William Verhoeven says:

    I have serious issues with the Music Association’s policies and to me it draws many parallels with the rollover policy. While both of these policies definitely had good intentions, I feel that they haven’t accomplished the goals they set out to achieve. Instead they have only tapped into the underlying current of xenophobia that flows beneath any small or previously isolated community. The implementation of both policies has been extremely flawed and the side effects unaccounted for. We must not ‘stick to our guns’ but instead look at the overall picture objectively. Have these policies helped the music scene and economy flourish? If the answer is anywhere near a no, we need to do away with them immediately.

    Besides, there are far more efficient ways for the government to help our local music scene. More festivals, more talent shows, more music scholarships, and sponsoring our musicians to represent us abroad just to name a few. The most important thing the government can do to help our music scene is to increase the music curriculum in the public schools and increase funding for a music program at UCCI. We are also in dire need of some forward-thinking people in charge of these agendas. We need to be teaching children digital music, DJing, hip-hop, and modern recording practices right beside the classical, jazz, calypso, and steel pans. Music, as with any form of art or culture, will die unless it is constantly changing.

    You can’t force the people of Cayman to have pride in their own music, but I guarantee you when someone starts creating music that truely resonates with this new generation of Caymanians, everyone in Cayman will be beaming with pride.

    • Anonymous says:

      STAY ON THE SUBJECT PEOPLE!!!  Its amazing to read all of these opinions and comments bashing local music and the CMEA when nonE of them have actually addressed what the CMEA is asking the Governement for. foer those who can comprehend the situation is a simple one. The CMEA is merely asking the Premier to give them a seat around the table of the Tourism Advisory Council (TAC). They are not asking for a handout. They are not practicing xenophobia they are merely asking for a chance to give the council experienced feedback and hopefully a direction for the future where tourism, local music and entertainment is concerned.  Can we have a true tourism product without the participation and inclusion of the local music and entertainment scene as a bonafide element??

  5. Anonymous says:

    Blame Canada! After all, Celine Dione is from there!

    • Anonymous says:

      Canada? exactly where is that and what do they have to do with our music? Celine Dion who is he/she? Is Matrix the primary product of Canada? 

      • Anonymous says:

        The poster may be referring to Canada's local content law, CanCon, which has been controversial amongst Canadians in the same way this plea from Caymanian musicians is controversial here.  Other countries struggle with this issue too…

  6. Shane Allenger / Hi Tide says:

    I said to Sean I wasn't going to do this again but I find myself in awe as usual on the comments and remarks of a few Caymanians. Well, they say they are but as usual they have no identity…. LOL  I am not going to say what I am about to say from a Caymanian point of view but a Caribbean.

    Has anyone ever heard the saying that the Caribbean was the last stand for the black man. Well what I'm saying isn't about colour, it's about culture. We have so many influences in the Caribbean that many have forgotten where they are from and who they are. If you stop and take a look we have been segregated. Many of our old friends and classmates don't like or acknowlege each other. We are creating our own cultural death!!!!    

    Now everyone has their own tastes for foods, arts etc…. We have never stopped that because it was your right and we are a free Country although under British rule. But freedom comes with a price as progress. I see our children changing and not being Caribbean, I hope not to generalise. For we do have families that have keeped true Caribbean values.

    Being in the music business for so many yearsI have been fortunate to meet so many visitors who have come to Cayman and loved everything about it including it's people. We welcome you with open arms and you feel at home. But there are those of you who come with a smile and miss what you've left behind and want to change who and what we are. Then you complain about evrything we represent, yet this is what you wanted. You don't help to grow with us but to change us and bring with you all that you ran from. We are still open to you and welcome you and hope that you accept us and understand. But you fight us and ridicule us for who we are and what we have to do to protect ourselves and the future of our Country.

    We vacation and spend money in Countries around the world and accept and obey all their Laws, because we have respect for you. But when things do not go your way, we face ridicule, and still we accept you. I write this because I am not sure if it was young Caymanians that are writing in or just  pranksters who have nothing else to do with their time than to stir the pot.

    As old as Cayman may be, we are still a young country trying to make our way into they world. We have many hurdles to make and eggs to break but we are not going anywhere. We have a chance to make our own mark in the world and not to be known only for tax evasion. Our world has had to adapt to change and we as a people from the workplace to the sports to the arts. And to ask to protect ourselves in our place of work is only fair because it's our country.

    We have never turned away any chance of listening or learning something new. In music we have many acts who have come to Cayman and perform in the Hotels. Some without public knowledge and some have shows for the public. As Sean said we have tried to perform in many countries and without the right documents or permission from their Unions we were refused.

    This is the same thing the CMEA introduces in Cayman, creating the rules from other Countries (USA, Canada, UK, Jamaica etc…..). As a people we really do need to stand together and create a Country that we can be proud of. I am not just talking about Caymanians but Status Holders and Expats. Well I hope I haven't offended anyone I am looking forward to us being more pro active and move forward to a promising future. Peace and Love to all!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:


      "But there are those of you who come with a smile and miss what you've left behind and want to change who and what we are. Then you complain about evrything we represent, yet this is what you wanted. You don't help to grow with us but to change us and bring with you all that you ran from. We are still open to you and welcome you and hope that you accept us and understand. But you fight us and ridicule us for who we are and what we have to do to protect ourselves and the future of our Country.

      We vacation and spend money in Countries around the world and accept and obey all their Laws, because we have respect for you. But when things do not go your way, we face ridicule, and still we accept you."


      Shane, I love Hi Tide and up until now have always taken my guests from home (Canada) to Deckers to enjoy your music.  I am even a fan on Facebook.  Although I guess I understand why you feel the way you do, I find it disappointing nonetheless, and must confess that I may not feel as welcome at your shows in future.

      You have made a great many assumptions in your comments above, namely that expats have "run from" their home countries to something better here.  For many of us (and, I would hazard, most of us who come to your shows), that is simply not true.  An opportunity may have presented itself for a change of scene, that is all.  Our countries have advantages too — different ones — and the difficulties they face are none but the same you are facing now.  They are conditions of modern life, nothing more.  We may have come to them sooner, but we did not bring them here, nor are we trying to foist them on you.  Your heritage and pattern of development are not unique; they are mirrored all over the world.  My mother-in-law, reading the displays at Pedro Castle about old-time life in Cayman, shrugged and said, "That is just what it was like in Ireland for us."  Now you have invited modern life into your islands — namely, development — and you are finding that it brings with it both good and bad.  That is not our fault.

      You say these comments apply to just some of us, but you use the collective pronoun "you" so that it seems you feel all expats are here to "fight and ridicule" you.  That is simply untrue.  And being on vacation is not the same as being invited to join and participate in a culture that smiles to welcome you and then refuses to assign any value to the culture you have come from, and can't help but bring with you.  Has it occurred to you that there may be many good things to adopt from Canada, the US, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia — and dare I say it, Jamaica, the Philippines and India?  This country is not a melting pot — it can't be, given its immigration policies.  It is a mosaic, and that is unlikely to change.  My culture is not inferior to yours.  Yours is lovely, but mine is not so different, and it certainly is not worse.  If you invite other nationalities to join the life here, why not celebrate what is good about them instead of seeing them as a threat to your own identity?  You may even find some musical inspiration by blending what is available in the local culture now to create something new and exciting.   That is an opportunity, not a disadvantage.  

      Or, if you prefer not to invite us, speak to your MLA. 

      Having said all that, I do miss the Barefoot Man at the Holiday Inn, and would rather hear a live local musician play in a quiet beachside bar than hear techno at the Ritz.  We are not all against you, man.  Please don't be guilty of the same prejudice you assign to others…

      I hope you will not mind if I continue to enjoy your shows, despite the fact that I am an expatriate with different experiences and opinions from your own.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As this medium represents the closest thing we have to a forum for public debate, excuse me for editorializing for a moment, as people are still weighing in on this issue – I'd like to pose a pose a hypothesis:

    What do you have in your life that you are so passionate about that you that without it, it would be like being asked not to breathe?

    Imagine desiring something so much that you would work at a crappy day job, at night rehearsing and practising just to play a night or two a week? Imagine the will that it takes to present an original song to an audience? Imagine scraping and saving from your day job and your gigs to finally have enough to book a studio and production staff to produce your original material and then self-promote, self-market same? All the while living on a small Caribbean island and knowing how distant your dreams may be.

    I want to applaud CREATIVITY,  the world would be a sad and dreary place without those with passion. You need to walk a mile in another man's shoes to both open your mind and learn a little compassion. So whether you are a Top 40 artist who has been so over-produced that you are barely able to recognize the artist you orginally intended to be or sitting on a stool in a coffeehouse – just you, your guitar and your music – being an artist takes GUTS and I will always respect those that try.

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge, knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world"  – Albert Einstein


    Sherry Robinson

  8. Anonymous says:

    A handful of CMEA people restricts our access to international acts, and that sucks for thousands of people who enjoy live music in Cayman.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The music played at local establishments is controlled by what people want to listen to.  Some poeple don't have a taste for local music and that doesn't mean that local music isn't good it just means they don't like it.  Based on that why should I be forced to listen to it?  Where is the free will in forcing people to do things they don't want?  I'm not a fan of techno music, it gives me a headache, and there are bars and clubs that are known for playing this so I can make a choice and not go.  There should never be a situation where if I decide to go to a bar/club/etc I am forced to listen to a type of music I don't like because everywhere is forced to play it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Im a young Caymanian…and honestly If I heard local artists that had reputable music that I liked I would buy it….its an art. You shouldnt put pressure on the government to support something just because its local? Talk about entitlement. Listen if its good people will listen, people will buy, people will support, Its proven everywhere else in the world. Thats hilarious to me…..For instance whether you like Selita Ebanks or not…she did her own thing, she didnt need the government. The government can partner with her now to exploit Cayman as a product…cool. So why are the muscians different?  What these people do are apart of the Entertainment industry…If people are entertained they will support. IN MY OPINION I havent seen or heard any local Caymanian thus far I would bet my top dollar on to succeed locally or international. As for Notchs band….yawn yawn yawn. Like seriously. you want the Government to suport you abroad? I go to school abroad and what he does would not cut it…Put the work in and success will come to you…you wont need a hand out.

    • Sean Hennings says:

      By the time" Young Caymanian" finishes school abroad I hope you learn something. Just because you haven't seen and heard any local act that you would support it does not mean they do not exist. Maybe you should tune in to a station that plays local music and support your own and stop comparing us to foreign acts.

      Go ahead and bet your top dollar.

      Memory of Justice (you won't know who that is, you just reach ya) had a song "Me an My Crew" reach number one on the charts in Jamaica. Yeah only Jamaica. But how easy is it for another Caribbean artist to beat out the multitude of great Jamaican talent to reach number one over there?

      Tabia entered and won the title of Band of the year in a competition sponsored by the New Yorker Magazine and Island Records and given a contract by Island Records to record a beautiful EP. Hi Tide came third in that competition a year later.

      Barefoot Man has had a song reach #21 on the charts in England. No easy task.

      Hi Tide has had two songs reach the bubbling under charts on Billboard and another two reach nubmer one on internet charts.

      This is all international and local success if you ask me. How much did you bet again?

      All these artist appeal to a different demographic and the more support they get and the more they are pushed down peoples throats (as that's how the music business works) the more success they, and the many talented youngesters coming up behind them, would acheive.

    • Sean Hennings says:

      And "Young Caymanian" when you are done with your studies abroad, if you cannot get the job that your degree deserves you, please go to the Government for support. They are supposed to be there for us.

    • Common Sense says:


      I hope you ain't studying history, because you really don't know any.  And I know you definitely ain't studying marketing because again you fail again.  You probably aren't studying teaching because you still have alot to learn.  So what are you studying?

      Let me guess- you are studying what other people say and what you hear amonst your narrow circle of friends.  Let me school you to some info if you are willing to listen and learn.

      You think what you listen to on the radio is dictated by market forces?  HAHAAA!  What you watch and see on radio and TV coming out of the states is more dictated by 'dic' than anything else.  Yes  there's an invisible hand controlling everything you see, watch and wear so when you are off popping off your mouth about reputable music etc just know that there are huge companies PUSHING individuals in the states, UK and Canada.   

      Let's not talk about the nitty gritty that goes on behind the scenes- the artist you hear is often the artist that 'puts out'  or 'sells out'- some of it is quite scary to be honest.  

      You ever heard of Eurovision in Europe?  Countries get behind their performers and they support them and have national campaigns to ensure they are the winners.

      Right here in the Caribbean, Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad's governments and private sectors firmly support and promote local artists because they help to sell the national brand unlike anyone else.

      So get your facts straight.  Not all local musicians are up to scratch, yes.  But if you are looking to hear a local version of Drake, Eminem or Justin Beiber then you probably won't find your tastes fulfilled here.  But broaden your horizons and sharpen your ears.  We have some super stars in the making who need the right support and venues to gain exposure.

      You learn anything yet?  If not I gonna find one tamarind switch and beat it into ya!  Just joking…you probably don't even know what a tamarind switch is!

  11. Anonymous says:

    First of all I am Caymanian and secondly I love music.  I am thankful I have a choice in what I want to listen to in my home and in my car and at venues around the island depending on who is playing and what.  I do not feel that local establishments should be required to hire Caymanian bands at their places of business.  I feel ithat if all these complaining musicians had established their own good reputation like some other local bands like Hi Tide, Gone Country, Barefoot Man, Chuck and Barrie, Red, White and Blues etc. have done, you would all be playing at least more regularly at local bars, clubs, and special events.  The fact is not all of Cayman's musicians have the work ethic, dependability and consistency that the bands I have mentioned above have which is all part of being in a band that people want to lhire and people want to listen to.  I for one know for a fact that "Notch" has never shown up for an event he was performing at on time and entire shows have been delayed for sometimes over an hour waiting for his arrival which I can tell you is flat out unacceptable.  CIMA members if you want to make it in the music industry you need to establish your credibility here first and I can tell you times are hard and you will have to do like the rest of us… your job and do it well…..the rest of us have to prove ourselves worthy of keeping our jobs daily and so should you.  My other suggestion would be to not follow your leader….and maybe choose a new one who will lead by good example.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps we should limit the type of news broadcast by the radio stations & television to local only. Or the TV programd should be of local content only. And the food in the supermarkets etc. etc…….protectionism gone wild!!

    • Anonymous says:

      oh yes…and caymanians should be only allowed to vote and only allowed to vote for caymanian politicians………oops…. oh no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Shane Allenger / Hi Tide says:

    it's not nice to see how many hearts have been broken from the rules that are now in play in Cayman. But we havebeen told throughout the years that we should step up and move into the times. Well as we know with progress comes many things that we won't all agree with and to be blunt hate. It affects everyone from Caymanians to Work Permit Holders. There are some very interesting comments and personal attacks, and for this reason I had to say something. Thank you to those who understand just what we are having to deal with in Cayman not just from a musical point of view. For those who's hearts are broken because their dreams of a life in Cayman didn't work out. Well you still have a home to go to, and the battle goes on for the rest of us Caymanian and Expat alike. I am a true believer in speaking my mind to the point that I put my foot in it. LOL  But I have never hid behind an alias when I want to say something. You may have your reasons, but for those out there who really care about what happens in Cayman or anywhere else in the world. Why should we listen to a voice with no name or face?? You have the right to your opinions but if you can't even be honest about your identity then your opinions are as false as you are. Please step out of the kitchen and let the cooks do their jobs. As some have said if they don't like the music playing they change the channel. Well if you don't like Cayman, MOVE ON!!!! I am sorry that we may have burst your bubble, but we all have dreams that we are still either working towards or living. So give the kids the ball so the game can go on, please…….. LOL

  14. 345 = A DOZEN says:

    Stay positive and stand firm Rasta!! Represent like a President!! Cayman is for Caymanians who have status so I dont see why it shouldnt be equally for those who are born here too.  I suggest that since the tourism product is a national issue and we are supposed to be a democratic society we have a national poll and let the people decide whether or not the CMEA  and local music should be a part of the TAC . I most certainly do and know that every other Caribbean destination sees the value too or else they would not be promoting their music and artists so strongly. Personally, I am sick and tired of seeing only white faces advertising the Cayman Islands as a tourist destination  and also of hearing only foreign music at our local venues. Grow up all you follow fashion monkeys and get some national pride. WE ARE IN THE CAYMNAISLANDS !!!!!  It is high time we stop adding to this confusion about  who the Caymanian people really are. Promote our diversity  and work with our local musicians. I remember back in the day when  the only entertainment we had was local bands, For what its worth we seemed more together then. we were definitely less segregated, isnt that what we want as a nation. I say give CMEA a chance to contribute whatever they can and let solidarity grow!!

  15. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Well…..Cayman has lots of DJ's and bars are to blame quite often for lack of support for local musicians because it costs less to hire a dj than a band or a real performer. And don't get me started on how little talent it takes to be a dj. Mind numbing DJ's are to music what Big Mac's are to food.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the CIMA should try and band Caymanian DJ's!

      • Anonymous says:

        Please pay closer attention and learn to spell before you are "band"

      • Anonymous says:


  16. Anonymous says:

    Hello!! Simple solution to this…open your own 'church' and get part of that 4 million every year. If you can't beat them, join them !!! 

  17. Anonymous says:

    The musicians here are and always have been embarrassingly bad when compared to elsewhere. Let market forces work, if they are any use they will thrive, if they are no good they will sink out of sight. In Cayman, we have this dreadful protection of Caymanians in everything so we have to put up with inferior stuff. That may-repeat,may- be ok in civil service employment but as far as music is concerned, no way. Why would I listen to inferior stuff when I can change the dial to artists who can actually perform?

    • Anonymous says:

      Long before you were privy to the Cayman Islands embarrassingly bad music and the dreadful protection of Caymanians in everything.  Caymanians loved and enjoyed listening to their own musicians who were as good as and better than anyone else anywhere in the world.  As inferior as we might be in your eyes we are in our own country and not your.  You did the right thing in changing the dial to avoid listening to music that you do not appreciate, now I would suggest that you bid this dreadful protectionist place called the Cayman Islands farewell and go back to your perfect paradise and make  it really snappy as we don't want to serenade you with "Don't make the door knob hit you where the good Lord split you"  I believe you should know that song and our local musicians do a very good rendition.

    • Sean Hennings says:

      "In Cayman, we have this dreadful protection of Caymanians in everything so we have to put up with inferior stuff."  ?????????????????

      Every country that I have ever set foot on, their natives come first.

      Anonymous… be happy that you are in a country where you are free to bash the locals with such terrible comments. Go somewhere else and try that. You will be hunted down.

      I attended music school in California and was not allowed to work there as a musician while going to school because the Californian musicians came first.  We got hired to play a wedding in Jamaica and the Jamican authorities said "Not necessary. We have enough local musicians to play weddings"….. I didn't kick up a storm or write nasty comments about either of these instances because they have their laws and I respect that.

      I am the first to admit that Cayman is not flooded with great musicians like the rest of the Caribbean, but we do have our outstanding talents.

      Next time you change the dial, know that you are listening to some computerized crap with vocal enhancement that has been forced down you throat so much that you actually think that it is good music.

      CMEA keep up the fight

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are really wrong here on so many levels, but, to each his own. Please name the "bad" musicians and let's see if we agree?


      Can't name them? Do you even know any local musicians/bands? Or were you speaking of "bad" non-local musicians/bands?


      Do you know what you are talking about?

      • Anonymous says:

        Percy Whorms, Andy Martin, Barefoot Man, Brent Mclean, Chuck and Barrie endearing folk they may be, talented like Tabia i'd beg to differ.

        • Anonymous says:

          Andy Martin, Barefoot Man, Chuck and Barrie and all the others you mentioned are still around……and making music and doing gigs… and abroad!!!!  What happened to Tabia????? 

          • Sean Hennings says:

            Tabia does not exist as a band anymore but they live on in the beautiful music that they recorded. That is where they are.

            All the "where are they now?" superstars are still getting respect and endless airplay.

            Let's do it for our great local "where are they nows" too 🙂

        • Sean Hennings says:

          Brittney Spears, Beyonce, Rhianna, Fergie and Jennifer Lopez, absolutely beautiful women they may be, talented singers? I'd beg to differ. But adored by millions nonetheless

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok, I'd give you Barefoot and Chuck n Barrie. I don't know Brent's or Percy's music too well so can't comment on them – but DO NOT EVEN THINK of saying anything bad about MY Cayman Cowboy.


          Other good local bands: HiTide, Gone Country, Coco Red, Bona Fide, Stuart Wilson, JR Douglas, Dexter Bodden, Tradewinds, Daily Report, Tabia, Nick Johnson – just to name a few.

  18. Hi Tide says:

    Hi Tide makes at least 10 new fans every night we play at Deckers.

    We have been performing at Deckers for 14 years now and have sold over 20,000 Cds there.

    Who needs Alan Nivia? 

    • Anonymous says:

      I love you, Hi Tide! I don't go to Deckers for the food, I go for the music!

    • poissonmonsieur says:


      Sean and Shane (of Hi Tide) are talented musicians and shrewd businessmen who have earned every dollar they've squeezed out of their opportunities here in Cayman because they are workhorses with strong work ethic who have created a product that sells.  As a musician I greatly appreciate what they have accomplished here and they should be heralded as a model for success to anyone who isn't afraid of a lifetime of hard work to earn their living.


  19. Anonymous says:

    Get a gig in a church.


    That's where the money is going.

  20. Anonymous says:

    mo sympathy fro cmea….they are a local cartel who want their sub-standard product shoved down the throats of the public and at the same time deny many expats the right to perform music in cayman…….

    • Common Sense says:

      Local Cartel?

      If I wasn't mistaken it sounded like you were describing CITA, or the Chamber of Commerce.  or the Banks.  Pick anyone.

      When we talk about sub-standard let's not forget about 75% of the tourism product which I can assure that  real Caymanians don't own and forget about the local businesses where you can't get decent customer service in English!  

      And I don't know any Caymanian running a bank but look at how they have been screwing us over for years.

      So who is shoving more a substandard product down the throats of locals and tourists?  At least you can change the dial on the radio.  With these other cartels you can't live with out them!


  21. Alan Nivia says:

    Perhaps people in "ivory tower hotels" (just say the Ritz man), do not want hackneyed electro-pop covers of Bob Marley while they eat.  Having to suffer HI-Tide murder songs was a reason we stopped going to Deckers.  The musicians as one arrives at the airport provide an exceptionally tacky and cheap welcome to Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Alan Nivia (not verified…)

      Whether or not your particular "taste" runs to the music of Hi-Tide, it is true that local musicians, many of whom are EXTREMELY talented, are not properly represented on island  I  do not  see the need to make such a snide public comment about someone's artistry and much beloved local entertainers. As for hackneyed cover bands; those are brought in all the time by major hotels and other venues leaving local musicians out of the picture and it is largely due to cost. The musicians on island are not unionized as they would be in similar environments – Canada, the US and the UK. I can say with confidence that the island boasts very talented jazz musicians and sadly they have few venues to truly show their chops, let alone being left out of their OWN jazz fest, which apparently was intended to only make BET big bucks.. And no, I am not a local but have been here for many years and have enjoyed live music in Toronto, New York, New Orleans, San  Francisco., London, Paris and elsewhere, and I wish there were better venues for the local artists to shine. (however, I don't consider a great night out sitting at a picnic table with a beer in my hand…) You are welcome to your opinion but I think you are sadly misinformed.

      Oh, and I will sign my name,

      Sherry Robinson