Firstly, Tony Rebel and his family must be congratulated on a very successful staging of Rebel Salute in their new home of Richmond Estate on the North Coast.
Following a very successful staging in 2012, Reggae Month is here again, under the theme 'Reggae 50...A New Dawn'.
This is an implicit recognition of the resurgence and heightened profile of young reggae bands and conscious/roots artistes as well as its deepening integration with other artistic disciplines.
Therefore, the slate of events listed for this year, in celebration of this national treasure, is reflective of the festival's continued growth, showcasing Jamaica's dynamic entertainment sector, as well as the breath and diversity of our music and creative art-forms. Jamaica Reggae Industry Honour Awards's (JaRIA) premier events -- the popular 'Reggae Wednesdays' which have always high-lighted all the genres of Jamaican music, returns to Emancipation Park in St Andrew for the second time, with a twist. Through divine intervention, the first of the concert series fall on Bob Marley's birthday (February 6). The night is dubbed 'From Mento to Marley', featuring a varied musical fare, such as the Jamaican Symphony Orchestra performing the 'Marley Symphony, movements 1 & 2, arranged by Jon Williams and Energy Plus Mento Band playing Marley's Who The Cap Fit and Small Axe in Mento style. Patrons will also get the rare twin opportunity to see Count Ossie's son, Time and his band of drummers the indomitable Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and master drummer, Ras Michael and the sons of Negus. The night will feature Hempress Sativa and one of Bob Marley's sons from Trench Town, Fabian Marley.
Ash Wednesday, February 13, will feature gospel artistes in a concert called 'Reggae Praise' from 2 pm - 6 pm, followed by 'Voices' of Reggae including stars like Freddie McGregor, AJ Brown and Mikey Spice, in the evening. The following week, on Wednesday February 20th, 'Progressions' has an impressive line-up of mostly young performers including: Chronixx, TOK, Akmatic, Lutan Fyah, Ikaya and Pentateuch
The last concert of the month, 'Reggae Gone Global' is going to be an exciting integration of music, dance, fashion and drama.
The elegant JaRIA Awards Concert takes place on Saturday, February 23. Icons such as Jimmy Cliff, Frankie Campbell, Cynthia Schloss, Joe Gibbs, Stephen Stewart, Soldjie Hamilton, Bunny Lee, Paul 'Jah Screw' Love, Aston 'Familyman' Barrett, Bobby Ellis, Queen Ifrica, Beres Hammond, Mighty Diamonds, Third World and Barry Gordon will be honourees in various categories.
As customary, the Tribute to Dennis Brown will be staged downtown Kingston. Having outgrown its original location, the concert has been moved to King Street this year, and will feature performances from Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Ken Boothe, John Holt, Taurus Riley, George Nooks, Horace Andy, Errol Dunkley, Rootz Underground, QQ, Andrew Tosh, Dean Fraser, Lloyd Parkes and We The People.