Sun | Feb 23, 2020

Rebel Salute seeks to preserve legacy

Published:Sunday | October 29, 2017 | 12:03 AMStephanie Lyew
Tony Rebel
A videographer records the audience at Rebel Salute 2017 at Grizzly's Plantatioon Cove, St Ann, in January.
Queen Ifrica on stage at Rebel Salute 2017
Jahyudah Barrett

Rebel Salute has managed to continue under the theme of the preservation of reggae without having a monotonous presentation of the music and entertainment reflecting that part of Jamaica's culture.

It began in 1994 in Mandeville as a small concert to celebrate the birthday of reggae recording artiste and producer Tony Rebel but has matured into the quarter-century year old cultural festival that is anticipated globally.

"People need to identify Jamaica as the authentic home of reggae music and that there is a positive side to the culture, and the aims of the festival are to keep the work of foundation reggae artistes alive, create a space to entertain people while simultaneously educating patrons through the use of music," Tony Rebel told The Sunday Gleaner.

The two-day festival highlights the musical talents of the past, present, and future, giving the younger generation of reggae artistes the opportunity to let their voices be heard. It also doubles as a marketplace for educators and innovators who have a conscious idea or product to share.

"Rebel Salute speaks to a holistic kind of living, from the music to the food that is made available. It is about a healthy place where people can be motivated. We hope it can benefit the future of Rebel Salute as well as the future of community tourism and Jamaica as a whole," he said.


The show must go on


Rebel Salute prides itself on being the only event hosted on the island to maintain a strict no-meat, no-alcohol, and drug-free policy. For this reason, it has been known to be a family oriented environment, and Tony Rebel, along with the Organic H.E.A.R.T. Group of Companies, has melded large families throughout the 25 years to make the event what it is today.

Attorney-at-law and one of the directors of Rebel Salute Jahyudah Barrett says, "The 25th year is special. to have survived as a non-alcoholic event where many persons would not necessarily party without those things is awesome. For this year, we are showing patrons our appreciation by giving them the best of the best, an experience that is next to none.

"The show must go on no matter what. we perfected it without sponsorship or monetary support, and I believe where there is no vision, people perish. Generation next in my family has tremendous potential. it is in their DNA, but I am not looking forward to the continuation of Rebel Salute for my lifespan alone but beyond that. it is also important that it benefits Jamaica," Tony Rebel said.

The family said that the wealth acquired from Rebel Salute goes beyond dollars. it is an educational journey for all to know how to become a good manager, a respected artiste, and it is a wealth of knowledge. The event has been used as a medium to prepare future generations to be good stewards of their own assets and careers through a shared vision.

"Rebel Salute epitomises what our family values are. that is something all of us have understood for a long time, but it spans further in relation to certain behaviors. it influences us with how to set priorities and our mentality towards everything," Jahyudah Barrett said.

The event will host its launch for the second time around in New York on November 2. Following the growth in attendance, the promoters have made it part of the scheduled activities to kickoff the festival, and at the same time, raise awareness and inform international audiences about the roots of reggae music outside of Jamaica.

The Organic H.E.A.R.T. Group of Companies has not yet released the names of those who are performing on the event slated for January 12 and 13, 2018, but promises a fulfilling musical line-up even better than the last one.