Let's Do It In The Caribbean

The 25th Edition of Reggae Sumfest, a historical marker of Reggae music in Jamaica

Queen-Ifrica-sizzles-at-Sumfest

Source: Positive Tourism News. Photo Caption: Positive Tourism News Staff.

Catherine Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I. (July 22, 2017) The 25th Edition of Reggae Sumfest took place during the period July 16, 2017 to July 23, 2017. The showcase held the spotlight on the genres of dancehall, reggae and ska. Highly acclaimed Jamaican headline acts, the likes of Stephen Marley, Sean Paul, Queen Ifrica, Richie Stephens, & Ska Nation, Christopher Martin, Jah Cure, Beanie Man and Sizzla Kalonji displayed their star quality and thrilled fans in the audience. The penultimate performer with the largest music catalog in Jamaica, Kalonji closed the show on Sunday morning, having just returned from a successful Summer performance schedule in the USA. He challenged youth with guns in Montego Bay to go to business school, earn, money and begin uplifting themselves. Kalonji delivered a full set despite inheriting a loss of audience share by 5:30 am. Blazing set performances by Stephen Marley, Richie Stephens & Ska Nation, Sean Paul and Queen Ifrica made an indelible mark on the blistering and exciting production of Sumfest 2017.

One of the Festivals founding directors, Robert Russell, later that evening, was recognized for his vision and service to the Reggae industry, said in an interview with Positive Tourism News that key features of this year’s production included the main stage design, having huge video screens for patrons to see the show from any angle of the main village showcase. A Taste of Reggae Sumfest Acoustic Café, was a highlight in the food court. He was abundantly pleased that the LiveStream (www.ReggaeSumfest.com) which he had some initial reservations about, “proved to be a lure for patrons to come in because they wanted to see themselves on television”.

The presence and performance of Richie Stevens & Ska Nation is an example of the homage paid to Jamaican Ska, which underpins our other music genres. Ska Nation, performed within Stevens set and lit a fire across the audience as they witnessed an International Ska dance craze coming out of Europe. The audience witnessed Italian performers passionately dancing and singing what I would declare a Ska Revival. Towards the end of his performance, Richie Stevens gave a Ska operatic rendition of the Italian Classic “Oh Solo Mia,” which found resonance with a riveted and sometimes surprised audience judging from their halting applause. The Jamaica Tourist Board paid Homage to Ska with banners, pictures and quotations in their Sky Box.

The evening’s stellar performance par excellence goes to Queen Ifrica, a human rights advocate for women and children who highlighted the issues to be fixed in our beloved Jamaica with new and popular songs, sung with passion and determination. She added equal pay for female recording artists to her causes. She opened her set with “Welcome to Montego Bay” followed by “Daddy”, “Lioness on the Rise”, “Below the Waist,” etc. She drew her performance catalog from albums such as: “Times Like These”, “Lioness on the Rise” and “Serve & Protect”. Queen told Positive Tourism News that her new album ‘I Can’t Breathe’ from the 2017 Climb Album has caught the attention of the Mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and other victims of police violence. “Mothers of the Movement,” is a sisterhood of moms. She promises in the album “we ain’t gonna stop till people are free”.

Jamaica is experiencing a cultural music Renaissance and has been declared by UNESCO as part of the Creative Cities Network.  With over US$130 million and employing approximately 43,000 people, Jamaica’s music sector remains the driver of the local economy. In fact, the historical legacies of the music genres of Ska, Rock Steady, Dancehall and Reggae have contributed to Jamaica as the cultural leader of the Caribbean.

Contact: Sharon Parris-Chambers
Publisher, Positive Tourism News
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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