Jordane Delahaye, Gleaner Writer
Studio 38 hosted the third staging of Pikkihead Records' ReggaEVOLUTION on Sunday, and even though the live performance event failed to attract a big crowd, the music and the musicians were well received.
The atmosphere was cool and relaxing, which proved to be the perfect setting for the musical onslaught to come. The stage was shared by both reggae veterans and newcomers who hope to one day become veterans themselves.
An energetic Kabaka Pyramid opened the show, armed with an array of lethal lyrical quips and backed by the One Drop Band. The young artiste definitely started off the evening on a high note and even invited onstage fellow reggae freshman Chronixx for a well-received collaboration. Both artistes left no doubt that there is still a bright future for reggae music coming out of Jamaica.
It was then time for Pikkihead Band to take the reins for the night as they set the tone for the musical excursion. They were first joined by DubKor, whose set started off strong but then dragged on somewhat languorously.
Action singer Nadine Sutherland revived the crowd with her performance, which stayed true to the theme of the event and highlighted her musical evolution.
The evergreen queen started off her set with high energy, explaining that she was very excited because she was not sure if she would have been able to perform due to illness.
not visibly ill
If she had not mentioned her ailment, however, no one would have noticed. Sutherland danced and worked the stage as she took the audience on a musical journey which showcased her range as an artiste and her sensational vocal ability.
Sutherland revealed to The Gleaner that Bob Marley greatly influenced her sound when she just started out in the music industry. Since then, her music has gone through various developments that have worked in her favour to produce a number of hits, including her new single, Karma, which is doing very well abroad, according to Sutherland.
When asked about reggae music today and the future of the genre, Sutherland said she feels roots reggae is making a comeback.
"If you really look at it, you're seeing a return to the roots. There are a lot of underground authentic reggae bands right now, so I'm watching the music to see what will happen," Sutherland said, adding that she hopes for dancehall and reggae music to share the spotlight as they are authentic Jamaican creations.
Sutherland was then followed by reggae legend Ken Boothe, whose immaculate vocals had the audience in a tizzy.
The reggae crooner highlighted the best of roots reggae music with his performance, which included reggae renditions of popular songs such as Puppet on A String, as well as some of his own hits, which were all well received.
Iba Mahr closed out the night of performances at ReggaEVOLUTION with his own entertaining tribute to reggae music.