Gombey Festival To Be Held This Saturday

September 10, 2015

The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs will host the annual Gombey Festival, a showcase of Bermuda’s premier folk dancers on Saturday, 12 September at the W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium.

The Gombeys are a blend of many cultures – African, Caribbean and North American Native music. In Bermuda, Gombey dancing and music has been passed down through the ages from generation to generation and in many instances it is a family tradition

Warner Gombeys at the 2014 Gombey Festival

At each festival, the Department honours an individual who has cultivated and preserved the tradition of Gombey music and dance. This year the recognition goes to Mr. Allan Warner.

Through his lifetime, Mr. Warner has demonstrated a respect and love for his chosen cultural tradition. Mr. Warner has been a dedicated mentor to people willing to learn how to perfect the craft of costume making, dancing and drumming.

Mr Warner began drumming for Warner Gombeys at age 16. The Warner Gombeys, under the direct influence of Mr Warner with Captain Willis ‘Old Man’ Steede and Andrei ‘Mice’ Simons have taught traditional gombey dances depicting oppression, slavery and freedom to many young members of the group.

Slideshow from last year’s Gombey Festival


The Warner Gombeys under Mr Warner’s leadership have travelled to various islands and countries representing Bermuda in different events.

In 1995, he was the recipient of the Queen’s Certificate of Honour, ‘for keeping the Gombey tradition alive’ and was the first Gombey Captain to receive this honour. He is still performing and drumming today, mostly in hotels and on cruise ships under the Warner Gombeys.

In addition the Festival will include performances by Gombey troupes —Warner’s, Place’s, H & H, Warwick, Gombey Evolution and Gombey Warriors.

The Festival begins at 5:30 p.m. and admission is free.

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Comments (3)

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  1. Onion juice says:

    Long live our African Roots.

  2. sheshadri peyalla says:

    hi all,
    cant wait for this festival…