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Published:Sunday | April 18, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Coming together for Connie

An all-star cast will perform at the Crossroads Entertainment Complex in Bladensburg, Maryland, today, in a fund-raising concert for singer Conradine 'Connie' Campbell who suffered a debilitating stroke last year.

Tarrus Riley, Shaggy, Cocoa Tea, Duane Stephenson, Sherieta Lewis and Dean Fraser are the acts on the card.

Campbell was touring with Riley last summer and was about to take the stage at Crossroads with the singer when she suffered a seizure. She has been in hospital since and requires extensive therapy to sustain her recovery.

"Connie has worked in the past with a lot of artistes," said Crossroads' Lisa Hollomand, who is in charge of booking and marketing for today's event. "They were interested in doing what they could do to help her in time of need."

Proceeds from the show will go to the Connie Campbell Foundation. The artistes will be backed by the Blak Soil Band.

Bajan reggae fest gets going

The annual Barbados Reggae Festival starts today with its traditional pipe-opener, the Reggae Beach Party. Vegas and Konshens are the head-liners for today's gig, supported by several local reggae acts.

The week-long event covers the gamut of Jamaican popular music. On April 23, there will be the Vintage Reggae Show and Dance featuring Marcia Griffiths, John Holt, Ernie Smith and Ken Lazarus.

Some of the leading names in contemporary reggae are billed for the April 25 closing day at the picturesque Farley Hill National Park. They include Maxi Priest, Luciano, Richie Spice, Busy Signal and the emerging Romain Virgo.

Junior Kelly remembers his roots

Singer Junior Kelly's new album, Red Pond, was released on April 6 by VP Records. His eighth album was inspired by the Frazer's Content community in St Catherine where the 40-year-old Kelly was raised.

"Red Pond is the nickname of the area where I was raised and still reside and there is a sinister meaning to that name," Kelly said in a press release from VP. "We have seen a lot of violence and blood in that community, I see people dead in front of me yet I stick to my roots reggae and don't fall for the peer pressure in the music business," he added.

Kelly considers Red Pond to be his most personal effort to date. Co-produced with Melbourne 'George' Miller of the Firehouse Crew, it contains the spiritual Celebrate Life, Papa's Song (done with singer Ras Shiloh) and African Child, a song inspired by his 2003 visit to Haiti.

Kelly is currently on a seven-date tour of France, Switzerland and Colombia to promote Red Pond.

Junior Kelly made the big breakthrough in 2000 with the catchy Love So Nice, one of that year's biggest hits. The following year VP released his album of the same name.