Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Literary fest the perfect place for reggae

Published:Monday | June 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Patrons pull out mobile phones to record performances at the ‘Midnight Ravers’ session of Calabash 2018.
Guitarist Inilek (left) is captivated as he plays alongside Lila Ike, who performed ‘Second Chance’.
Tommy Cowan shares a moment and the microphone with his daughter, Naomi.
Naomi Cowan

Calabash's Friday after-hours session Midnight Ravers Live Concert, which featured up and coming reggae recording artiste out of Protoje's Indiggnation camp, Lila Ike, followed by Naomi Cowan, the daughter of Tommy Cowan and Carlene Davis and the strong one, Etana who closed the show, brought lyrics lovers front stage and centre. It's was no wonder why Tommy Cowan, who emceed the concert opened the show by stating that the Calabash International Literary Festival is "the right place for reggae".

The vocal range of all three women echoed through the speakers as they performed originals and paid tribute to veterans, the face of reggae music Bob Marley and 'The Crown Prince of Reggae' Dennis Brown, as well as the 1970s Euro-Caribbean group, Boney M.

Imani Duncan-Price, chief of staff for the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips, told The Gleaner that her Calabash 2018 experience started off with Big Woman Tings on Friday night, which featured three powerful women sharing their perspectives on power, identity, social reality of abuse and humanity. "Their voices were strong, their ideas and wit on point and their spirits on fire. It was an absolutely amazing way to start the weekend literary festival," said Duncan-Prince, who attended with her family.




Her review of the closing concert showed that she was equally impressed with the entertainment.

"Lila Ike and Naomi - who, by the way, is a powerful combination of her parents - both made their mark on the stage and I know they will go far. And I have to say Naomi's original song, Naked, moved my core. The band was phenomenal and I loved how Etana connected with the audience - performance craft was superb," she added.

Saturday night's Cala-Clash, featuring female disc jockeys Bad Gyal Marie and ZJ Nova, also had lighters in the air when reggae music was infused with every other musical genres. Poet and mixed media artist Nancy 'Inansi' Burke was one of the many guests invited to join the DJs on stage to show just how 'footloose' she could get. As she served up traditional ska moves to the remixed sounds of Eric 'Monty' Morris' 'Sammy Dead', Millie Small's My Boy Lollipop, Jimmy Cliff's Reggae Night and Miss Jamaica.