Red, hot concert for Cool Ruler
In honour of The Cool Ruler, Gregory Isaacs, his widow June Isaacs has masterminded a concert with Jamaican and overseas star vocalists paying respect to the late, legendary singer.
The inaugural Red Rose for Gregory, initially slated to take place on Sunday, February 12, at the Constant Spring Golf Club, was put off due to rain. The postponement proved serendipitous as, when the concert was relocated to the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium at Jamaica College on Valentine's Day, members of the crowd created patches of red with their clothing.
Scheduled to start at 8 p.m., the event was again stalled, the organisers citing technical difficulties. The mostly patient patrons intermittently applauded the empty stage, the most polite way to prompt attention from the organisers. The concert commenced after almost an hour's delay.
Backed by Lloyd Parks and We The People Band, reggae artiste Yvad was first to take the stage. Sandwiched between two original songs, was a lukewarm rendition of Isaacs' Night Nurse. Next was Cat Coore of Third World fame, who offered his songs through the cello. Though Coore initially appeared to have some difficulty hearing his instrument, he quickly found his key.
The veteran played melodies of Isaacs' songs, to which the audience heartily added vocals. Coore roused the audience into a chorus for his version of Bob Marley's Redemption Song.
A sensational Ikaya was scintillating with some suggestive and outright sexually instructive songs, then D-Major took the stage to demonstrate impressive vocal range. Altantic Starr closed the show, but it was the penultimate act that brought the house down.
Rising Stars alumnus Chris Martin performed songs from his recently released debut album, Big Deal. Martin's set included notable hits and then took a turn for the exciting with the introduction of new, raunchy material from the album. He had many of the ladies in the audience on their feet with an old-school medley. The singer delivered classic hits like Big All Around, Bring It On Home To Me, Let's Get It On and Sexual Healing.
Despite the hiccups, the concert's organisers expressed their intention to make it an annual event.