Dre Island contributed to the BBC 40th anniversary tribute. Dre’s task was to capture the elusive Bob Marley tune Exodus and he made it his own with just a piano and a sweet raspy voice.
“Contraband the album speaks about the message in the music and how the powers [that be] doesn’t want the people to hear this message and therefore see it as forbidden. I see myself as a mouthpiece for the people, here to deliver this message,” he told Splash.
Kabaka is preparing to depart for their summer tour and concert dates in Europe and North America. This kicks off in Europe on June 16 and will be highlighted by his appearance on Summerjam in Cologne, Germany, which also features Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Protoje, and American hip hop act Nas. He then returns to Jamaica for his second appearance on Reggae Sumfest on July 22, and then it’s on to the North American leg with dates in the United States and Canada.
Among them is JA’s vintage Reggae Sunsplash officiated Reggae Sumfest the Greatest Reggae Show on Earth now in its 25th year. This year’s staging will feature Jamaican dancehall star Sean Paul, American-Jamaican R&B/hip-hop artist Sean Kingston and Canadian R&B singer Torey Lanez. Jamaica’s own Rebel Salute and Jazz and Blues Fest also made Billboard’s list.
My personal favorite Rebel Salute was founded in 1994 by Tony Rebel as a celebration of his birthday, the two-night event is inclusive of all Jamaican music but emphasizes roots, culture and lover’s rock vibes with a strict no meat no alcohol policy. When the event outgrew its St. Elizabeth venue St. Ann became it’s permanent home.
Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival has seen the likes of international icons like Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, and Mariah Carey as well as top-tier reggae talents like Shaggy and Ziggy Marley. Celine Dion who has an unusually expansive Jamaican following drew a reported 27,000 patrons in 2012.
Just a baby on the list birthed just last year, Pure Grenada Music Festival seemed poised to make it’s distinct mark on the Carib’s festival destination watch-list. Last year’s floating stage sounds pretty extravagant for an island with just 100,000 population. Joss Stone, Etana, Jessie Royal and Mr. Killa made memorable appearances that got things buzzing. This year’s show which took place just 3 weeks ago featured Tarrus Riley, Third World and The Grenadian steel pan Orchestra, the Pan Wizards .
“We intend to promote Grenadian artists on an international stage and establish Grenada as a music tourism destination,” says Arlene Friday, Festival Coordinator, Head of Marketing and PR. source:billboard.com
Over the past 21 years the St. Kitts Music Festival has delivered dynamic festival experiences. Every year it’s a balancing act — what combination of acts can we put together that will make international audiences want to come to St. Kitts and also satisfy a local audience? The Chairman of the St. Kitts Festival Artist Selection Committee told Billboard.
In 2016 Dexta Daps, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Kes and 50 Cent were featured on the line up. The festivities continue this year with Goo Goo Dolls and Shabba Ranks alongside a soca band clash between St. Kitts’ own Grand Masters and Small Axe Band.