Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Jamaican music burning hot - Capleton, JR Gong carry flag

Published:Saturday | June 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Capleton in full flight at Groovin In The Park held at the Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica, New York on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley feels the music as he performs at Groovin In The Park held at the Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica, New York on Sunday, June 24, 2018.
These patrons ensured they captured the magical scenes from Groovin In The Park Concert 2018 held at the Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica, New York on Sunday. June 24, 2018.
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"Reggae and dancehall is in a class by itself," Capleton reasoned. The lyrics, messages, rhythms and the images of the artistes, he says, are so idiosyncratic to the Jamaican culture that the music becomes the definition of strength and the brand.

Capleton, sometimes referred to as The Fireman, King Shango or King David, makes it his duty to enter the stage in his customary red, green and gold tailored fashion from head to toe. His energy always seem to match.

"Other genres like R&B cannot be put in the same category as reggae. The music just doesn't compare," Capleton said.

"When you talk about reggae, you talk something that's more soulful and full of spirituality."

The reggae entertainer recently performed in New York at the annual Groovin' In The Park concert, a reggae- and rhythm & blues-themed festival. The reggae deejay has since embarked on a tour that will take him to Washington, DC, Philadelphia, California and Chicago before returning to Jamaica to perform at Reggae Sumfest. The Fireman will be the closing act on Reggae Night.

When The Gleaner asked about his plan for the upcoming music festival in Montego Bay, St James, Capleton said: "There is no particular plan. Everything is a feeling, like it is established. It comes from deep within."

Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley is also slated to perform on Reggae Night. Eleven-time Grammy award-winner Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds, who performed at Groovin' In The Park, made sure to take in the performance at last Sunday's event. He quickly moved from his trailer to watch Jr Gong perform. Members of Babyface's security detail told The Gleaner that the young Marley was the act that the R&B singer had anticipated the most. They said he was more than satisfied when Capleton joined Jr Gong on stage.