Bahamian Culture Under The Spotlight

Music Voyager TV Show to air on BBC, PBS and National Geographic 

Millions of people around the world will get an in depth glimpse into the culture of The Bahamas as the award-winning, music television show, National Geographic’s Music Voyager (NGMV) will feature indigenous Bahamian music in three 30-minute shows.

NGMV is a travel-based music series which features host Jacob Edgar, an ethnomusicologist, cultural musician and music critic — exploring thriving, exotic global music scenes to discover existing and emerging talent.

In endorsing the NGMV production, The Bahamas Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Obie H. Wilchcombe said, “The task at hand is to grow Bahamas’ tourism industry at a faster rate to expand our economies to meet the rising expectations of our growing population. In this highly competitive and challenging global environment, we cannot rely only on our natural features of sun, sea and sand, as the compelling reasons to visit our shores. We are taking advantage of our heritage and featuring our rich culture, our festivals, our literature, our art and craft, the bounty of nature, our cuisine and our celebrated music. The broadcast of Music Voyager will help to do just that,” the Minister concluded.

In January, the show visited Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Cat Island in hopes of capturing the musical soul of The Bahamas. Producer of Music Voyager Farook Singh said The Bahamas will be featured in 120 countries and dubbed in 33 languages.  “These artists are the cultural ambassadors and they have taken us into the culture of a place that most tourists will never see. You cannot buy a ticket for the music voyager. It is not a concert. It’s your life and that’s the whole point of it,” he said. Mr. Singh said the majority of the show will look beyond the sun, sand and sea of The Bahamas.

“We found that the gold of The Bahamas is its people. The reason I say that is because it is a very honest spirit. There are no frills around it. It is really what you see. But it is refreshingly polite and hospitable. The reason I say that is because everywhere we went it was more like going to someone’s home. It was not like you were a visitor or tourist. It was like you were a friend. We’ve filmed a lot of countries all over the world, but with The Bahamas, you have to see it to believe it,” he said. “There is a heartbeat in The Bahamas that you will not get unless you let the people show you around. Step out of those beautiful resorts and go out and meet the people.”  

Mr. Edgar said he was intrigued with Bahamian music. “In the short time that I have been here, I have been so amazed with Bahamian music – the history, the sound of it the depth of it. It so appealing and there are so many different characters involved in the music scene and it means so much to the people of The Bahamas. The rhythm is in their soul and that’s what sets them apart from other places in the Caribbean and the world and that’s so important,” he said. “I think this show will really help people to understand that going to The Bahamas offers a lot of great experiences, not just going to the beach.”

The episodes will air over 30 times on PBS, BBC and National Geographic beginning in May 2015.

Media Contact: Anita Johnson-Patty | Bahamas Ministry of Tourism | ajohnson@bahamas.com