Tag: reggae

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Damian Marley had the Sumfest crowd hooked with lively performance

Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)Damian Marley performs at Reggae Sumfest 2018 on Sunday morning. (PHOTOS: Marlon Reid)

Damian ‘Junior Gong’ Marley had the Catherine Hall crowd hooked for just over one hour with a energetic performance at Reggae Sumfest on Sunday morning,

It was Marley at his best as he engaged the crowd constantly and had audience members lapping up every minute of his set which also saw him showing off his fitness with knee lifts as he celebrated his 40th birthday,

Numbering in the tens of thousands, the Catherine Hall crowd sang loudly to almost all of Junior Gong’s presentations that included samples from hits by his father, late reggae legend Bob Marley.

Marley’s son Elijah perfoms ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’ in tribute to his father who turned 40 on Saturday.

Marley’s performance also included songs from his last album ‘Stony Hill’ which earlier this year beat an illustrious field to cop the Reggae Grammy. It was not limited though, with music from his previous works.

The audience was also treated to a touching moment when Marley’s son Elijah joined him on stage and sang Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’, dedicating the song to his father, whose birthday was on Saturday.

Marley had opened his set with ‘Here We Go’ from the Stony Hill album before going into his combination with Skrillex, ‘Make It Bun Dem’, ‘Set Up Shop’, ‘Ghetto Youth’ and another combination, ‘Beautiful’ with Bobby Brown.

Marley would then talk about the healing benefits of ganja before doing ‘Medication’, ‘The Mission’, ‘Police And Thief Inna Shoot’ and ‘Love And Unity’.

Kabaka Pyramid joined Junior Gong on stage.

His father’s ‘War’ and ‘Exodus’ would follow before ‘Everybody Wants To Be Somebody’ and ‘A Man Is Just A Man’ .

Kabaka Pyramid joined Marley on stage for their combination, ‘Kontraband’, after which ‘Junior Gong’ performed ‘Living It Up’, a song celebrating his father’s victory over poverty and inspiring others in similar circumstances to do the same.

He once again had the audience singing along to ‘Road To Zion’ and the ever-popular ‘Welcome To Jamrock’ with which he closed his well-received set.

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Twenty three years romance with Reggae Sumfest

July 20, 2018
Italian Steve Giant (left) poses with dancehall ace Shabba Ranks at a previous staging of Reggae Sumfest.

When Reggae Sunsplash folded in Montego Bay after its 1992 staging, Italian newspaper publisher Steve Giant, a loyal fan of that festival, was left a disappointed man, as making the annual trek to Jamaica had become an integral part of his life.

However, Giant’s disappointment was short-lived as in 1995, he learnt that Reggae Sumfest had replaced Reggae Sunsplash on the Montego Bay entertainment calendar and since then, he has been travelling to Jamaica for the past 23 years to satisfy his passion for reggae music and his growing love for Jamaica.

“My first Reggae Sumfest experience was in 1995. Basically, it’s been 23 years without interruption,” said Giant.

Over the years, it has not only been Reggae Sumfest that has been pulling the big Italian, who also manages a radio station, the Radio Base Popolare Network, which broadcasts reggae from morning to evening.

“I love the music, the parties, the beach… the Jamaican way of life style. That’s why I come back every year,” said Giant.

“Unfortunately, there’s no reggae festival like Reggae Sumfest in Italy … we had a big one, but they moved it to Spain.”

Despite not having a major reggae festival in Italy, Giant says reggae is nonetheless quite big in his homeland. He sees his popular magazine, RASTA SNOB, which he has been producing for more than 30 years, as one of the vehicles driving the growth of the music.

While each new year at Reggae Sumfest gives giant fresh “emotions, sensations, vibrations,” there are some special memories that have not dimmed over time.

“Definitely Shabba Ranks arriving by helicopter,” said Giant, in reflecting on Shabba’s spectacular arrival by helicopter at the venue back in the 1990s. “I also enjoy the clash in music between Beenie Man and Bounty Killer, and the many international artistes who have duet with the Jamaican top artistes.”

Like many fans of Reggae Sumfest, Giant is mightily impressive by this year’s star-studded line-up and has identified several acts he can’t wait to see.

“I am looking forward to seeing Damian Marley, Cham, Capleton, Sizzla, Assassin, Beres Hammond, Raging Fyah,” said Giant.

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MoBay designated special entertainment district for Sumfest

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has asked the security forces to consider special operational plans to facilitate this year’s staging of Reggae Sumfest without undermining the State of Public Emergency in St. James.
Speaking in the House of Representatives Tuesday, Mr. Holness said the government has designated a special entertainment district in Montego Bay.
The Prime Minister said there will be some leeway until the festival ends on July 22.
This is aimed at facilitating the extended operations of some establishments for Sumfest in this district. These include clubs and fast food restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets and other places offering goods for sale.
He noted that consideration will also be given to persons in the St. Catherine North Police Division which is under a State of Public Emergency.
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Sumfest Street Dance rocks Old Hospital Park    Okoye Henry

July 18, 2018
Okoye Henry photo Scenes from Reggae Sumfest Street Dance.
The relaxing and leisurely landscape of the Old Hospital Park in Montego Bay had its temperature ramped up with the inaugural Reggae Sumfest Street Dance on Monday.

It was an explosion of entertainment and activity as the aesthetically pleasing coastal venue delivered on the second night of the festival, bringing together hundreds of local patrons and their international guests.

DJ Noah Powa got the crowd jumping in the early hours of the evening as party enthusiasts made their way into the free event and were greeted by good food and drink, prizes, surprises and tons of giveaways.

In addition, Jamaica’s rich heritage was front and centre showcasing the finest cultural cosmetics, clothing and treats to the delight of tourists.

Dancehall top selectors Ikel Marvlus and Flabba Dabba of Team Shella took to the set later on and had fans dancing up a storm with hits such as Elephant Man’s Signal the Plane, Vybz Kartel’s Life Is What You Make It and Tommy Lee’s Money Make Friend.

The event also rolled out the red carpet to local celebrities such as Orville Hall and his Dance Xpressionz team; Dancing Dynamite finalists, Anchovy High; and even Reggae Sumfest’s principal and CEO of DownSound Record, Joe Bogdanovich.

“Reggae Sumfest 2018 is bigger and better than ever and it is going to be a lot of joy and togetherness with great music and great art,” said Bogdanovich.

“We are bringing a whole new level of entertainment in Jamaica. There are hundreds of people here at the street dance party. The vibes is good and it is all about reggae and dancehall. I feel good about it,” he added.

One patron, Jevaughn Brown, described the event as an amazing night of good fun and entertainment.

“It was great to see so many people come out, including tourists, with their family and friends to enjoy this wonderful experience,” said Brown.

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Grace Previews Its Sumfest Line-Up

Thursday, July 12, 2018

From left: butter almond festivals, sweet and spicy buffalo wings and Scotch bonnet buttered sweet corn (Photos: Karl McLarty

On Sunday, July 8, Grace Kitchens in conjunction with Downsound Entertainment previewed some of the items that the brand will serve in the food hall at Reggae Sumfest between July 15 and 22. Executed by Christian Sweeney, executive chef, Fuzion Food Services, the menu showcased some of Grace’s best items. The Red Stripe bar was stocked with sorrel, lemon paradise, light and original Red Stripe beers; Grace coconut water, Tropical Rhythms, D&G sodas and Catherine’s Peak water.

Guests mingled in the courtyard of Downsound HQ while noshing on an array of fare. On offer was a selection of pasta, meat, fish and side dishes. There were Grace tuna and sweetcorn pasta, Grace jerk chicken pasta and Grace jerk veggie pasta. Sweet and spicy buffalo wings, jerk pan hot dogs and jerk stuffed whole snapper. Rounding out the meal were butter almond festivals and Scotch bonnet buttered sweet corn.

The pasta had an expertly made béchamel — it was creamy, had a mild jerk flavour and the veggies and the chicken were fresh and well-cooked. The hot dogs (marinated in jerk seasoning) were very appetising but would have been a sure knockout were the buns toasted or steamed. The wings were very yummy and Thursday Food broke all the rules of etiquette by licking its fingers; they were that good. The stuffed snapper, roasted whole in aluminium foil, was filled with fresh herbs, earthy callaloo and al dente carrots. However, it would have benefited from being served fresh off the grill as the butter began to congeal in the foil wrapper.

The corn was flavourful and slick with butter. And, just when you thought you’ve had every variation of festival there is, Chef Sweeney turns up with a buttered almond version. Nuanced with nutty flavour and perfectly fried, you’ll want the recipe.

As a parting gift, guests were given an insulated cup and a VIP pass that entitles them to unlimited soup and one full meal from Grace on any Sumfest night of their choosing.

This sneak peek of Grace’s Sumfest food offerings along with ice-cold Red Stripe was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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Hermine Shaw serving up good food at Sumfest

July 10, 2018
Hermine Shaw

Reggae Sumfest is much more than just the entertainment and limelight for many people like Hermine Shaw of St James.

Shaw will tell you that the food is also equally one of the biggest highlights of the ‘Greatest Reggae Show on Earth’.

For the past 26 years, Shaw has been at the helm of homestyle cooking on the main nights of the summer festival held at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.

Her food stall, branded under the household name ‘Hermine Homestyle’, is a godsend for the thousands of local and international patrons who come out each year looking to chow down on Jamaican mouthwatering dishes.

“My cooking is homestyle, and I do everything like rice and peas, brown stew, curry stew peas, oxtail, ackee and salt fish, salt mackerel, soup, shrimp, conch, and more,” Shaw told the WESTERN STAR.

“People look forward to me every year because they know my stall and know that I cook nothing but good and tasty food. I have people from Canada that come every year for them oxtail,” she added.

Shaw explained that last year’s staging was one of the best as she had more customers than she was able to provide service for.

A second stall

No doubt that she is now looking forward to the upcoming staging, and she has brought in her son in to operate a second stall.

“I came to Reggae Sumfest off of Sunsplash, and over the years until now, I have always lived good with the promoters. I work with their system and do my business, and I was able to put both my daughter and son through school and college, assist my grandchildren …,” said Shaw, who is also a taxi operator.

“So Reggae Sumfest did a lot for me. It keeps me alive,

motivates me, and I plan for it every year. I appreciate the promoters, and I thank them very much. I thank them a lot for what they have done for me and what I do for myself,” she added.

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Grace and Red Stripe partner in tasting party

As the iconic Reggae Sumfest prepares for it’s 27th staging, it will be introducing a new layout and more activities for patrons between sets.

This includes a food court by Grace Foods. The brand partnered with long time sponsor Red Stripe to present an exclusive tasting party on Sunday as a preview for the festival.

Guests were greeted to a well-decorated venue, music and food, food and more food as the company crafted a variety of pasta dishes, wings, steamed fish and more to wet the appetites of veteran Sumfest-goers. The food was complemented by a fully loaded Red Stripe bar stocked with beers and an assortment of Grace lifestylee drinks.

Red Stripe will once again be a presenting sponsor for Reggae Sumfest, which will take place in Montego Bay from Sunday, July 15th to Saturday, July 21st.

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WHAT IS REGGAE SUMFEST

It is no doubt that Jamaica has made a huge impact on the world through their distinguished reggae music— and Reggae Sumfest has definitely had much to do with this influence. As the premier reggae festival on the planet and the biggest party in Jamaica, Reggae Sumfest is an entire week of head bobbin´, drum beatin´, hip-swayin´ fun.

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July 3, 2018 

Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year

All-star Lineup to Perform at Reggae Sumfest, July 15 – 22

 KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s iconic music festival Reggae Sumfest has been expanded to eight days this year, according to Downsound Entertainment, festival owners since 2016. Thousands of reggae and dancehall fans from across the world will be descending on the island to attend the 26th staging of the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth,” from July 15 – 22 in Montego Bay.

This year’s festival has attracted some of the genre’s biggest names, including Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley, Beres Hammond, Capleton, Bounty Killer, I-Octane, Spice and Raging Fyah.

Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year with Beres Hammond Performing

Beres Hammond

Damian Marley to perform at Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest

Damian Marley

Patrons are in for an extra treat this year as for the first time, a Latin flavor has been added with Mexican reggae artist Jah Fabio set to perform on Friday night.

Jamaica's Reggae Sumfest Expands to Eight Days This Year with Jah Fabio

Jah Fabio

“Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae music, and this world class festival, Reggae Sumfest, affords music lovers an opportunity to enjoy some of their favorite artists in a great setting,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Summer is an exciting time to visit Jamaica and this event is one of the many activities visitors can enjoy as they immerse themselves in our culture, interact with our people and experience our scrumptious cuisine.”

Reggae Sumfest Activities
  • Sumfest Colorfest Beach Party on Sunday, July 15
  • Sumfest Street Jam on Monday, July 16
  • Sumfest All White Party on Tuesday, July 17
  • Sumfest Blitz on Wednesday, July 18
  • Sumfest Inspire Awards & Heavyweight Clash on Thursday, July 19
  • Reggae Industry Symposium & Sumfest Dancehall Night on Friday, July 20
  • Sumfest Reggae Night on Saturday, July 21
  • Sumfest Morning Medz on Sunday, July 22
Reggae Sumfest Hotel Packages

With the festival dates fast approaching, hotels are filling up quickly with many already sold out.

Hotel partner and Platinum Sponsor Iberostar Hotels & Resort, the all-inclusive luxury five-star property is offering the following Reggae Sumfest packages for July 20 – 22:

Hotel Single (per person/per night) Double (per person/per night)
Iberostar Beach               US$210                US$170
Iberostar Suites               US$256                US$196
Iberostar Grand               US$329                US$249

Other partners offering special Reggae Sumfest packages include: Deja All-Inclusive Resort, Grand Palladium Jamaica & Lady Hamilton Resorts & Spa, Holiday Inn Resort, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Sandals Resorts, Sea Gardens Beach Resort and The Wexford Hotel.

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