One Love Reggae Concert begins today
Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer
The second staging of the One Love Reggae Concert Winter Series begins today with roots singer Jah Cure performing at the Negril Escape property.
The series of 25 shows is scheduled to run until April 19 with Tony Rebel, Gyptian, Ky-Mani Marley, Richie Spice, Queen Ifrica, Tarrus Riley, Marcia Griffiths, Julian Marley, Freddie McGregor, John Holt and Etana among the other acts down to perform.
Most of those artistes performed in the inaugural series which ran from November last year to March 2 this year. Promoter Carey Wallace is a director of Negril Escape, a 44-room resort capable of hosting 1,500 patrons.
He said the shows are geared at giving tourists an opportunity to see high-profile reggae acts outside of the winter and summer seasons.
"When Reggae Sumfest is held, it's just for one week. A visitor to Jamaica should be able to see a top reggae performer over a period of months, and that's what we are trying to do," Wallace told The Gleaner.
Shaggy was the biggest of the first season's performers. Julian Marley, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, Marcia Griffiths and John Holt are some of the return acts.
Negril has enjoyed an entertainment boom of sorts in the last nine years, with the emergence of the Appleton Temptation Isle and now Dream Weekend weekend parties, which are held throughout the town during early August when Jamaica celebrates its independence from Britain.
Before it became dominated by swanky, all-inclusive hotels, Negril was a sleepy, fishing village. During the 1960s and 1970s, it became a popular hangout for back-packing American hippies and Europeans.
It also attracted respected musicians like John Oates of pop duo, Hall and Oates, and jazz guitarist Eric Gale best known for his work with Rhythm and Blues singer Roberta Flack.
The resort town was also the inspiration for Gale's acclaimed 1975 album, Negril.