Fri | Aug 14, 2020

The Meditations for Rebel Salute - Last performed in Jamaica at Bob Marley One Love Concert

Published:Monday | November 25, 2019 | 12:22 AMAnthony Turner/Gleaner Writer
Ansel Meditation and Jahyudah from the Rebel Salute team.
Ansel Meditation and Jahyudah from the Rebel Salute team.


Veteran vocal harmony reggae group, The Meditations, which last performed on Jamaican soil with Bob Marley at the One Love Peace Concert in 1978, is confirmed for Rebel Salute 2020, which unfolds at Grizzly’s Plantation Cove in St Ann, on January 17 and 18. Also confirmed to perform at the 27th instalment of the festival are The Abyssinians, Flourgon, Kenyatta Hill representing Culture, Steel Pulse, George Nooks, Wayne Wade, Ugandan musician, actor and politician Bobi Wine, Stevie Face and Tony Rebel.

The announcement was made by festival founder and CEO Tony Rebel at the New York launch at Sands Bar & Grill in Queens, NY ,on Saturday.

“It is a very long time since the Peace Concert with Bob Marley in 1978 when I last performed in Jamaica,” lead singer Ansel Cridland, told The Gleaner.

“When I got the call a few weeks ago from Rebel, I said yes, I will be there. It’s a very good feeling to return to a stage in Jamaica after over 40 years,” the artiste shared.

Group member Danny Clarke was not present at the NY launch, but he has been confirmed for the festival.

The Meditations was formed in Jamaica in 1974. The group, which comprised Ansel ‘Meditations’ Cridland, Winston Watson and Milton Henry, had their biggest hit in 1976 with Woman Is Like A Shadow, which reportedly sold over 45,000 copies in its first month of release. Other hits followed including Tricked, Babylon Trap Them, Fly Your Natty Dread, Turn Me Loose and Running From Jamaica. They have released popular albums No More Friend (1983); Return of The Meditations (1993) and their 2015 disc, Jah Always Find a Way, which featured Sly Dunbar (drums), Lloyd Parks (bass), Ansel Collins and Sidney Mills (keyboards), Dwight Pinkney & Willie Lindo (guitars), and Derrick Barnett (bass). The group is now a fixture in the US, touring the west coast and Europe regularly. Besides performing at the One Love Peace concert, made famous for the handshake between then Prime Minister Michael Manley and Opposition Leader Edward Seaga, The Meditations are known for singing background vocals on Marley’s Rastaman Live Up, Blackman Redemption and Punky Reggae Party.

What began as a show to commemorate the birthday of Patrick ‘Tony Rebel’ Barrett has become a staple on the live music events calendar in Jamaica. New York showed it appreciation for the festival two years ago with a proclamation from New York State Senator Leroy Comrie for its contribution to the preservation of reggae music globally. Comrie was present at the launch.

With Canada and various states in the USA legalising cannabis, festival organisers are expected to again receive a ganja exemption from local authorities for the Herb Curb, which could be an even bigger draw this year. The ‘curb,’ in the past, featured a symposium that discussed the sacramental, religious, economic and medicinal value of ganja.

Barrett and his team announced that the Jamaica launch will be held in Kingston on December 17. Special guest speaker will be high-profile Jamaica-born, NY attorney Stephen Drummond. He is the lead attorney representing deejay Flourgon, who filed a US$300-million lawsuit in NY in 2018 against pop singer Miley Cyrus, claiming that her 2013 smash hit, We Can’t Stop, too closely resembles the lyrics to Flougon’s 1993 hit, We Run Things. Emcee for the NY launch was Irwine Clare of Caribbean Immigrant Services and Irie Jam radio, 93.5 FM.