Sun | Oct 2, 2022

The feeling was right at Jamaica 55 Kingston Reggae Night

Published:Monday | August 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew
Imeru Tafari, son of Queen Ifrica, makes a tribute to 'Lioness on the Rise', his mother and all women.
(From left) Kadiya, Keznamdi and Kellisa McDonald show a little sibling love.
(From left) Allison Dawkins, grand-daughter of Peter Tosh and Wayzero Smith, daughter of Garnett Silk show support to the next generation performers at Jamaica 55 Kingston Reggae Night.
Pashon Minott, daughter of Sugar Minott, mimics her father's performing style during her tribute to his music at the Jamaica 55 Kingston Reggae Night.
Three members of the soulful Jamaican reggae/dancehall group L.U.S.T. (from left) Thriller U, Tony Curtis and Singing Melody in an expressive moment of their performance at Jamaica 55 Kingston Reggae Night.
(From left) Tanzania Barrett, daughter of Queen Ifrica grabs friend, Jade-Ann Sinclair for a photo.
The emotions of Chaka Demus during his performance at Jamaica 55 Kingston Reggae Night is visible here in his facial expressions.
Reggae artiste Pliers takes over the stage to romance the audience while Chaka Demus looks on.

Jimmy Cliff's words were on point when he sang 'we come together when the feeling's right' in the popular single, Reggae Nights.

And although Cliff was not part of the line-up at the Jamaica 55 Kingston Reggae Night, the mood of the evening was just right, as the song's lyrics suggested.

Kingston Reggae Night, conceptualised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), saw reggae music lovers turning out at the National Arena dressed in their colours.

After pre-show announcements and the National Anthem, brand manager for the Bob Marley Group of Companies and master of ceremonies for the night, Debbie Bissoon, quickly addressed the audience and welcomed the first act of the night.

The musically renowned Sparrow Martin and Ska Sonic band took to the stage with a varied though brief musical tribute to ska before inviting Ibo Cooper to join in on keyboard.

Still the most impressive set on the night, labelled 'Next Generation', featured performances by the children of some of reggae music's powerful artistes. First up, daughter of Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis, Naomi Cowan, performed her new single, a remake of Things You Say You Love, which was originally recorded by The Jamaicans (the ska/rocksteady group of which her father was a member).

Then Davianah, Pashon Minott, Meleku, Garnett Silk Jr, Imeru Tafari, and Tanzania Barrett (children of Tony Rebel, Sugar Minott, Sizzla Kalonji, Garnett Silk and Queen Ifrica, respectively) did the reggae icons justice by capturing the spirit of their music with each solo.




The harmonious vibe kept the audience's attention front and centre as it demonstrated that ska, rocksteady, and reggae music were still very much alive and secure in the hands of the next generation. It became even more pleasurable when all the progenies joined Meleku on stage to wrap the segment with an open display of unity.

The National Arena was feverish by the time L.U.S.T. entered the stage. The group, though missing Lukie D, was able to bring members of the audience to their feet as they belted out lyrics from Let It Be, You're My Inspiration, She Got Me, Want You Back, as well as remixing lyrics from other greats of the Jamaican music industry.

Chaka Demus and Pliers did not fall short either as the compatible reggae duo (appearing as though they had not aged since the '90s) provided their typical show of engaging collaborations.

Other performances by Keznamdi and sister, Kellisa, Bugle, Queen Ifrica, and Sanchez were also well-received.

Overall, Kingston Reggae Night ran smoothly, the Ruff Kutt band accompanying the majority of acts.

The event, though rooted in Jamaican tradition, was very refreshing and is sure to attract an even larger audience at next year's Independence week festivities with the right amount of publicity and a setting that encourages the patrons to get up and move to the vibrations.