Dance aiding Jamaicans

COMOX VALLEY'S BYRON MAIER is collecting gently used instruments and money for a music school in Jamaica.

Drop off a gently used instrument, dance up a storm and donate to a good cause.

The Alpha Project, organized by Victoria BC Ska Society president Byron Maier, is a fundraiser to collect gently used instruments and money for the Alpha Boys’ School, a music school in Kingston, Jamaica.

“The Alpha Boys’ School is famous for having nurtured and produced some of the world’s most celebrated ska, rocksteady and reggae musicians — particularly horns musicians,” said Maier in a news release. “Still active today, the school relies upon charity donations to continue its work which started over a hundred years ago.”

To help raise some money, The Truth Soundsystem will spin vinyl at the Waverley Hotel on Saturday. Admission is a minimum $5 donation, or a gently used instrument, and the doors open at 9:30 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Alpha Boys’ School, and Maier said he expects the show to be a good time.

“They’ve been DJing for years, and they play the authentic old school Jamaican tunes off the turntables so it’s a great way for people to come hear the original roots music and dance and have a good time,” said Maier.

Maier has an instrument wishlist from the school that he hopes to fill by the end of the month. So far he said he’s got about one third of the instruments on it.

He’s mainly looking for woodwinds or brass, since these are the kinds of instruments the school teaches kids to play. Saxophones, trombones, trumpets, French horns and baritones are now the most needed on the list.

Once he has collected all the instruments, which he hopes to do by the end of the month, Maier will take the instruments and cheque down to the school.

The Truth Soundsystem will play in Campbell River on Friday at Island Style Creative Studio with proceeds going to the Alpha Boys Project as well.

For more information, visit www.victoriaskafest.ca or www.waverlyhotel.ca, or e-mail Byron Maier at byron@byronmaier.com. Maier is excited to be able to help the school that he considers integral in the development of ska and reggae music.

“I feel it’s important to give back,” said Maier. “Jamaican music has given so much to the world and the school was quite important with giving those musicians — well they taught them how to play music.”

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com