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Blissful Blitz All Black for Bunji

Published:Friday | July 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
From left: Celeste, Leslie love and Joann.
Laquandra Rouse (left) and Ashley Lovelace.
Kalena Richardson
From left: Fay-Ann Lyons, Joe Bogdanovich and Bunji Garlin.
Bunji Garlin gets playful with wife Fay-Ann Lyons.
Tamara Henderson


He had nothing to do with the planning. He didn’t have to lift a finger. All he had to do was show up.

And the ‘Caribbeaness’ of big, bad, soca giant Bunji Garlin and his equally musically rich empress, Fay-Ann Lyons, was celebrated by Joe Bogdanovich and his massive team of organisers, who threw a 41st birthday party for the Trinidadian musician at ‘Blitz’ All-Black party at the Hard Rock Café, Montego Bay, on Wednesday night.

Depicting ‘Out of Many, One Caribbean’, whether it be reggae, soca, dancehall, kaiso, zouk, or tumba, it was an event that tested the diversity of the collection of DJ Crazy Neil.

Those who know Bogdanovich, know that there is nothing normal about him, and this was evidenced by the magnificence in ensuring that Bunji would return to Trinidad and Tobago, his homeland, with extraordinary memories.

In fact, one cake for the superstar, whose birth name is Ian Antonio Alvarez, would have been a drop in the bucket. Instead, a sweet Campari-inspired block, dressed with a signature bottle on top, in addition to a three-litre celebrative edition were among the gifts detailing that he was ‘Ready for the Road’.

Bunji, who refers to himself as ‘The Viking’, also had the sumptuousness of a Viking helmet cake, escorted in sparkling fanfare by Caribbean Airlines representatives, Barcode, and Hard Rock staff.

The black carpet had been laid, the guests had won the coveted prize of ‘Best Dressed’, and the Trinidadian musician was ‘Ready for the Road’.

Admitting that each time he visits Jamaica it is a battle to go back home because of the love affair he has with the people of this country, Bunji was in his ackee, and even his Instagram page stood at attention.

“Jamaicans treat me like I am a member of their family,” he stated between the loud thump of the music and the feverishness in the dancing around his private cabana.

Black is his favourite colour, and he looked stately wearing it.

Having performed numerous times in Jamaica, this was Bunji’s first time to the greatest reggae festival in the world, and he was not about to miss a beat.

His wife, Fay-Ann, was as elated, and when she said, “Jamaica is close to our heart,” the legitimacy was evident.

Accustomed to a similar atmosphere in sync with carnival in Trinidad, Fay-Ann Lyons said she was very excited about the festival’s big nights.

“It’s an honour. Our genre of music is soca. What Joe and his team have done is to create an avenue for us to be a part of their thing. We are truly appreciative of this effort.”

Wednesday night’s Blitz was blissful, and at 12:30 a.m., the party people seemed as if they were just ready to take over the venue.

Reggae Sumfest got underway on Sunday morning with the Morning Medz beach party, which was marshalled by Stylo G and Skinny Fabulous at Tropical Beach.

However, Friday and tomorrow, Saturday night, will perhaps be the most anticipated, show nights ever.

Headlined by Grammy nominee Chronixx, Night One, will also feature the fast-rising 19-year-old, Koffee, Spice, Dexta Dapps, Agent Sasco, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, and others.

Saturday will mark the return of dancehall superstar Buju Banton to the Sumfest stage for the first time in more than a decade. He will perform alongside a star-studded cast, including Beres Hammond, Protoje, Christopher Martin, Jah 9, Dalton Harris, and Romain Virgo.