The crowd cheered and roared as James Malcolm played an instrumental rendition of No Woman, No Cry, to kick off the reggae segment of a recent charity concert in Pinecrest.
Malcolm, a pianist and cousin to the late Bob Marley, hosted a benefit concert and silent auction to raise funds for the Omeriah Malcolm Music Foundation.
Malcolm took the audience on a musical journey of genres that have impacted his life and career.
“This will take us through the path of our musical encounters,” said Malcolm during his Nov. 29 performance at the Banyan Bowl in Pinecrest Gardens, where he was accompanied by the student orchestra from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. The Marley family owns a home in Pinecrest.
Later in the performance, Malcolm’s famous musical cousins joined him onstage. A treat for the crowd was a rendition of Redemption Song by Bob Marley’s son Stephen Marley. Surprise performances by two of Bob Marley’s other sons, Julian and Damian Marley, brought the crowd to their feet with applause and cheers.
The musical family gave the crowd a memorable experience, but the event was really about empowering the less fortunate. Julian Marley, Grammy-nominated recording artist and another son to Bob Marley, said it felt good to perform in the community where his family lives, but the main message was about giving.
“Being in Pinecrest is a very nice place for a charity to be held,” said Julian Marley. “The message is give back to the community. Love the community and love thy neighbors as thy self.”
The event was close to Malcolm’s heart for many reasons. He got a chance to reunite on stage with his family but was able to help children is various countries around the world.
“This event means a lot to me because it’s a continuation of the family’s legacy; it’s an opportunity for me to donate keyboards to kids around the world.”
Malcolm started the foundation in 2009 to honor his grandfather Omeriah Malcolm, his cousin Bob Marley, and aunt Cedella Marley-Booker. The primary role of the charity is to introduce music to poverty stricken areas around the world.
The foundation donated keyboards as well as shows and other essentials to less fortunate children in Jamaica, Ethiopia and South Florida. Malcolm also gives the children music lessons on the piano when he delivers the instruments.
Malcolm wants to inspire the children to dream bigger than their surroundings. He has had the pleasure of playing for presidents, including President Barack Obama, and wants the children they can aspire to the same and more.
“When I go and play for these kids in orphanages I tell them, ‘you can learn and you can play for presidents too,’ ” said Malcolm. “So I take playing for the president and playing with Bob, and I take that to the kids.”
“We are going to continue to give. It’s the gift that keeps on giving,” said Malcolm.