The two-day staging of Rebel Salute on January 15 and 16 in Priory, St Annes, Jamaica was non-stop conscious roots-reggae music. Friday, the abundant line-up was dubbed Singers’ Paradise, celebrating promoter Tony Rebel’s birthday featuring the likes of Kelissa, Kabaka Pyrimid, Pluto Shervington and Ernie Smith, Jah Mason, Chezidek, The Congos, Louie Culture and others. Many in the crowd were there to see Sanchez who lived up to his reputation performing hit after hit. Ritchie Spice, Luciano (with a prayer for the youth) and Everton Blender sealed it up in the morning hours.
A new feature this year was the Herb Curb, where several displays including an interesting tubular extraction machine featured by a company named Epican committed to creating jobs in Jamaica. There were also edibles and ‘ganga’ dealers. The Jamaican Justice Department awared the event a marijuana exemption. The symposium Saturday evening revolved around the herb as sacrament and changing legislation in Jamaica.
Saturday after sunset, the musical vibes went on with a host of artists such as Ken Boothe, Andrew Tosh, Michigan, The Abyssinians, and Macka B. When I-Octane walked on stage in the early hours of Sunday, the energy ‘turn up’. Queen Ifrica took over and then seasoned entertainer Bares Hammond ruled the show, with the massive singing along and Marcia Griffiths gracing the stage. Beres was followed by Half Pint, The Pinchers, Junior Reid and two of his sons, Turbulence and Mavado.
Sunday, IrieFM’s Running Africa presenter, Andrea Williams (aka Kabu Ma’at) was moving through the Herb Curb broadcasting live. Many interviews threw light on the upcoming celebration of the 50th anniversary of HIM Halie Sellassie’s visit to Jamaica on April 21, 1966.
Saluters who took a turn through the vendors found accessories, clothes, books, shoes, flags and other trinkets, plus the food sellers with fresh ital stew, ackie patties, Blue Mountain coffee, sugar cane juice, and many other treats on offer.
“Its more than just an event …it’s a lifestyle!”
Author: The Biography of Empress Menen