Keysha Edwards Taylor hosts ‘Piano Works’ tribute concert in honor of late cultural icon Kayla Lockhart Edwards
She’s released her “Piano Works” CD and now pianist Keysha Edwards Taylor, daughter of Desmond Edwards and late cultural icon Kayla Lockhart Edwards, will take to the stage tonight to present “Piano Works: A Tribute Concert” in honor of her mother.
“I want to honor her memory. I want to honor her contributions to our culture,” said Taylor of her upcoming “Piano Works” tribute concert at Bahamas Harvest Church’s east campus.
Patrons can expect to hear solo piano songs from Taylor’s newest CD “Piano Works” which she recorded to soothe, relax and encourage the soul. Her collection of easy, calm, enjoyable piano solos is likened to musical medicine that can enhance, lighten, uplift and soothe the soul.
On “Piano Works” Taylor captures her piano solos gathered over the years in a simple recording style to bring the listener music in its authentic and original stage. The CD is a mixture of classical, jazz and island melodies and rhythms. And Taylor is bringing all of this and more to the stage.
“Here’s the thing that’s so divine – Hurricane Dorian comes and nobody had any idea of the colossal destructive experience it would be. I will be bringing something that I believe truly deeply within my soul is a soul-healing experience,” said Taylor.
Taylor has family that lost everything after Hurricane Dorian devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama, so she knows first-hand how devastated people are, and says she hopes to give people hope through her music.
“My music is very sweet and the piano works so you can rest,” said the pianist, composer and recording artist.
Art will also feature prominently during the evening with an exhibition by Matthew Wildgoose, Jodi Minnis and Allan “Pachino” Wallace, with Wallace also painting under inspiration, and performing in the sanctuary while Taylor performs.
Taylor has tried to do something special every year in the 13 years since her mom died to honor her memory. The first five years she marked the occasion by having lunch with her husband, Charles, and their children. In the ensuing years she had lunch with her mom’s sisters and her brother. She missed three years due to travels. This year she said she knew she had to do something notable.
By her mom’s birthday on May 21, Taylor said it was like a Bunsen burner went off for her and she knew she had to return home. After collecting and recording her latest CD, she decided to present a concert in her mom’s memory.
She reached out to JoAnn Callender, a fellow creative, whom she likens as her surrogate mom, and spoke to her about her heart’s desire. She also spoke to her dad about coming home because she wanted to make a contribution as Keysha Edwards Taylor as well as the influence of her mother.
“I want to reconnect and just be the Bahamian that I am…that I’ve always been. But I want to make a presentation that this is who I am – this is Keysha Edwards Taylor – this is Kayla’s daughter, Kayla and Desmond’s daughter, and the sacrifices that she made for me and for her country, for me and my brother, for our family, for this country, for the Bahamian people at large.”
Taylor recalled spending time with her mom before she passed at which time her mom reaffirmed her pride in her daughter.
“We sat in a hotel room, and over candlelight she told me she was proud of me. I will never forget that day. One year to the day she died she told me that.”
She also recalled her mom encouraging her throughout her entire life to live her life, and to know who she is.
“The words she would always say to me – ‘Go in love. Go in power. Go forth in excellence’. And she would say, ‘Empower your people.’ And she would say, ‘Your cultural expression is deep within you. Yes, you are in another country, but don’t you worry about that – you’re a Bahamian woman.’ All these things she would tell me I forgot, and this summer it was like boom, I was having experiences. It’s for this season, for this time, to stand up and to stand on a stage and really just present to my country and to my family, the memory of my mother resonating within my music.”
“Piano Works” takes place tonight at Bahamas Harvest Church, east campus, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.