Jamaican Folk Songs with Lorraine Liyanage & Adwoa Dickson

Find us at Bell House in January 2019

Dulwich Music Festival director Lorraine Liyanage and Forest Hill-based soprano Adwoa Dickson present a recital of Jamaican Folk Songs.


Lorraine & Adwoa are South London-based musicians that have recently started collaborating on a project to showcase the rich musical heritage of Jamaican that spans a diversity of styles and forms. They performed in October 2018 as part of Southwark Council’s Black History Month celebrations. They are hoping to perform the same programme of music at local schools in South London as well as venues further afield.

Throughout the island’s modern history, music has played a significant role in the social, political and economic life of its people. Adwoa & Lorraine’s recital draws from the wealth of Jamaica’s folk music – the music of the Jamaican people which, with its colourful range of forms, reflects the way of life of individuals or entire communities. The Jamaican folk song gives voice to the heart, soul and experience of the Jamaican people.

Jamaican Folk Songs
Our repertoire includes:
Sammy Dead
Fan Me Solja Man
Evening Time (Barbara Ferland)
Island in The Sun
Jamaica Farewell
Call Me Dinah
Wata Come In Me Eye
Hosanna
Docta Bud
Linstead Market
Yellow Bird
Nobody’s Business
Docta Bud

The doctor bird or swallow tail humming bird (Trochilus Polytmus), is one of the most outstanding of the 320 species of hummingbirds. There seem to be a bit of unsettled thoughts with regards to the origin of the name ‘Doctor-bird’. It has been said and speculated that the name was given because of the erect black crest and tails that resembles the top hat and long-tail coats that were worn by doctors in the old days.

In most rural parts of Jamaica today, there is a belief that killing a doctor bird will bring bad fortune, or in other words, bring bad luck.

It is not easy, however, to kill a doctor bird. This belief is manifested in a folk song which says:

“Doctor Bud a cunny bud, hard bud fe dead”

which translates to

“It is a clever bird which cannot be easily killed”.

The Jamaican doctor bird has been immortalized in Jamaican folklore and song for many years.



Adwoa Dickson (Soprano) is a professional singer who trained with Eiddwen Harrhy at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she graduated with distinction. She later studied with Mary Brennan and has sung at the Royal Opera House, Sadlers Wells, Pegasus Opera, Grand Union Orchestra, and Chineke Orchestra, amongst others. Adwoa is a solo performer of classical and Caribbean music and was recently a part of an ensemble formed by Voquality who performed the vocals for Black Panther the latest Marvel superhero film released earlier in 2018. 

Accompanied by Lorraine Liyanage (piano).

We next perform at Bell House in Dulwich Village on January 19th 2019. Early bird tickets available until 1st of December. [Book Tickets]

A huge thank you to everyone that came to hear us perform on 27 October at St. Barnabas Parish Hall in Dulwich Village. We raised £210 in donations to Westminster House Youth Club in Nunhead.

Jamaican Folk Songs
Black History Month ~ October 2018
Jamaican Folk Songs
Black History Month ~ October 2018
Jamaican Folk Songs
Black History Month ~ October 2018