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Billboard names top 5 Carib Fests

in Reggae News by

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.

Next Stop

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.

Frankie Paul Transitions at 52

in Reggae News by

Frankie Paul was dubbed the Jamiacan Stevie Wonder early in his career. He was born blind yet gained a small visual capacity following an eye operation. Like Stevie, Frankie also played the keyboard and various other instruments.  Born in 1965, Frankie came from the generation of Jamaican children born after Independence. Frankie ‘Dancehall’ Paul was part of the computerized age of Jamaican popular music evident in many of his popular songs, including Casanova, Head to Toe, Sarah and Shame Dem.

Some of his most successful recordings included ‘Worries in The Dance’, ‘Big and Ready’ with rapper Heavy D and Supercat, ‘Kushumpeng’ and ‘Alicia’. Frankie Paul recorded his first single, “African Princess,” in 1980, when he was just 15 years old.

As news of Frankie Paul’s death emerged, David Rodigan‏, tweeted “His incomparable voice and songs are his legacy.” Shaggy posted a clip of Paul during his last appearance Irie FM  saying; “We have lost one of our biggest voices in Dance Hall/Reggae today! #FrankiePaul R.I.P Frankie Condolences to the family.”Dancehall DJ Tony Matterhorn posted a video on his Instagram page with the caption”… greatest #soundkillerartist and one of the legend(s) who ran the dancehall for decades”


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