Sister Carol 'Live No Evil' Album Release Party 1/18 NYC  

 Report by Grace Vanriel, Sr. Correspondent for Reggae Reflection 
 Photos by MyFlash Photography   Feature by Empress K  - Editor at Reggae Reflection 
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We attended Sister Carol's jam packed NY launch party for "Live No Evil".   Greatly inspired, we purchased a copy of the new album. The powerful messages coupled with strong penetrating rhythms in a traditional style make it a must listen to for true Roots & Culture fans. Fans craving "fresh" approaches to the production of traditional Reggae will also be greatly satisfied. 

While highly recognized and respected as a top-notch DeeJay not unlike critics of Bob Marley's actual singing ability, The Black Cinderella is no crooner. However in the same token, all the greatest and most enduring Reggae music rest eternally in powerful lyrics and the emotional delivery behind it. Albums like "Fear No Evil" transcends the individual singer and effortlessly filters through a powerful message that touches, motivates and positively impacts the thinking of listeners.


Photos by MyFlash Photography

Reggae Reflection Sr Correspondent Grace Vanriel is a long-time Reggae music fan and the organizer for leading Reggae social networks in the NYC area on Meetup.com including: Live Reggae NYC, NYC Roots Reggae, Dancehall and Reggae Alliance and Reggae Rocks. She is also one of the Executive Producers of the successful Reggaeholics Movement themed concerts, shows and parties. Follow her on Live Reggae NYC on facebook at:  www.facebook.com/livereggaenyc   or on the Reggaeholics page at: www.facebook.com/reggaeholics

 
 

Reggae Reflection Favorite Festivals in 2013

Here are five  top festivals that Reggae Reflection covered in 2013 and recommends for you to put on your list for 2014.  Each one offers a slightly different blend of musical genres in various locations.  We are looking forward to see the forthcoming line-up announcements for 2014.  Check the official websites below for more information on each festival.  For more photos of covered events check out our Photo Gallery

9 Mile Music Festival - Miami, FL

Julian Marley, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley at 9 Mile Festival Miami Julian Marley, Stephen Marley and Damian Marley
The annual 9 Mile Music Festival is a day long festival taking  place in Miami in the February / March timeframe.  Always a great get away to escape from the cold Northeast and see members of the Marley Family perform as well as favorite Reggae singers.  Last year the festival celebrated their 20th milestone with a star-studded line-up including Daniel Bambaata Marley, Luciano, Capleton, Konshens, Mavado, Machel Montano, Future, 2Chainz, Stephen Marley, Julian Marley and Damian Marley.  

Reggae Reflection Coverage:  Keeping-the-mission-alive-for-the-20th-year-at-the-annual-9mile-festival-with-a-blend-of-reggae-dancehall-soca-and-rap.html

Official Website:  www.9milemusicfestival.com   The 21st Annual Festival will occur on February 15, 2014 and will include performances by  Chronixx, Mavado, Lauryn Hill,  Sean Paul. Tessanne, Julian Marley, Stephen Marley , Damian Marley and more. 

HangOut Music Festival  - Gulf Shores, Alabama

Toots and the Maytals at the Hangout Music FestivalToots at HangOut Festival
For the first time, Reggae Reflection covered the Hangout Festival. This is a not to miss 3 day festival taking place on the beautiful Gulf Shores of Alabama.  The festival which started in 2010 boasts 5 stages featuring a great blend of Rock, Reggae, EDM, R&B, Hip Hop, Folk, Country and everything in between.  

Official Website:  www.hangoutmusicfest.com   This year the festival takes place on May 15 - May 17th.  The 2014 festival line up will be announced on 1/15. 

Reggae Reflection Coverage & Photos by Day:   Coverage includes Toots and the Maytals, Big Galactic,  Public Enemy, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, Tom Petty and more. 

Day 1  The-hangout-festival-experience-day-1-2013-reggae-reflection-photos.html

Day 2  The-hangout-festival-experience-day-2-2013-reggae-reflection-photos.html

Day 3  The-hangout-experience-day-3-2013-reggae-reflection-photos.html


Groovin in the Park, NYC

Queen Ifrica at Groovin in the ParkQueen Ifrica at Groovin in the Park
The annual Groovin in the Park Concert takes place every summer at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY.  Featured acts include the best of Reggae Rhythm and Blues.  Over the years that we have covered the event it has  included Mavado, Babyface, Machel Montano, Jimmy Cliff, Boyz II Men, Beenie Man, Beres Hammond, Gladys Knight and last year featured Queen Ifrica, Half Pint, Steel Pulse, Barrington Levy, Patti Labelle, and TGT. 

Official Website:  www.groovininthepark.com   This year the 4th annual day long festival will take place on Sunday, June 29, 2014.  

Reggae Reflection Coverage of Groovin in the Park 2013:  Groovininthepark-2013-delivers-another-winning-combination-of-reggae-and-rhythmblues.html

Six Flags Caribbean Music Festival - Jackson, NJ

Beenie Man at Six Flags Caribbean ConcertBeenie Man at Six Flags
The annual Caribbean Summer Concert Series takes place at the Six Flags Amusement park in Jackson, NJ.  A ticket to the concert includes all access to the popular theme park. In 2013, we attended the 8th edition of the event.   Since we've been covering this festival it has included acts such as Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Anthony B, Mavado, I-Octane, Barrington Levy and last year featured Laza Morgan, D'Angel, Mr. Vegas, Bunji Garlin, and Beenie Man.  

Official Website:  www.caribbeanconcerts.com   This year the 9th annual event takes place on Sunday August 10, 2014

Reggae Reflection Coverage of Six Flags Caribbean Summer Concert: Photos-at-8th-annual-six-flags-caribbean-summer-concert-series.html



Montreal International Reggae Festival - Montreal, Canada

Cocoa Tea at Montreal Reggae Festival
The Montreal Reggae Festival takes place in August in the beautiful location of the Old Port of Montreal.  This is a three day festival which just celebrated its 10th anniversary milestone last year.  

We've officially covered this event since 2011 and have seen this festival continue to grow into the quality event that it is today.  Over the years that we've been covering it the line-up has included Beres Hammond, Wayne Wonder, Third World, Jah Vinci, Gyptian, Konshens, Christopher Martin, Jimmy Cliff, Tarrus Riley, Assasin, Popcaan, and Cham.  In 2013 MIRF had an extra special 10 year celebration featuring Morgan Heritage, Sustane, Tifa, Mr. Vegas, Kes The Band, Shaggy, Beenie Man, Yellowman, Serani, Alaine, Cocoa Tea and Freddie McGregor. 

Official Website:  www.montrealinternationalreggaefestival.com   The 2014 festival is expected to take place August 15 - 17th 2014.  Check the site for official dates to be announced. 

Reggae Reflection Coverage of the Montreal Reggae Festival: Photos-montreal-reggae-festival-celebrates-its-tenth-anniversary-in-style.html

Empress K is the Founder, Primary Photo-Journalist and Editor of  www.reggaereflection.com.  The Reggae Reflection team has gained international recognition with quality coverage of premier reggae events in Jamaica, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Barbados, Guyana, and Nigeria as well as numerous completed photography assignments  for notable  reggae events in the New England area, NY, Alabama, and Florida region.   Festival coverage has included Groovin In the Park, Six Flags NJ Caribbean Concert Series, IRAWMA,HangOut Festival Alabama, 9Mile Festival Miami, Rebel Salute, Sunfest FL , www.oneheartfestival.com and more. 

  • * Awarded Best Digital Media (nominated along with 9 other Media Outlets)  Linkage Awards in NY 3/11/12
  • * Nominated by The Association of Independent Reggae Music (AIRM)  for the “Most Reggae Outlet" in NYC
Follow Empress K on Twitter, Instagram & Youtube  @1EmpressK & ReggaeReflection on Facebook

 
 

Photos: Montreal Reggae Festival Celebrates its 10th Anniversary in style

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A trip to Montreal for the annual Reggae Festival is always a special time, however this year the Montreal International Reggae Festival took it up a notch further to commemorate their 10 year anniversary with the best of Reggae and Dancehall acts from the Caribbean.  The three day festival took place August 16th - August 18th with record breaking attendance throughout the festival.   Leading up to the Friday night kickoff, the Montreal International Reggae Festival held a series of free workshops from noted speakers Helene Lee,  Reggae Historian Roger Steffens, and Jabar Richeus on a variety of topics related to the origins of the Rasta Movement, Reggae History, and Empowering People. 

Reggae artist  Hawkeye was one of the Jamaican artists on the opening night lineup then Morgan Heritage headlined Friday night's opening celebration. Morgan Heritage back together as a group since pursuing solo careers have been on tour promoting their long awaited new album "Here Come The Kings".  Despite Una Morgan not being able to perform due to illness, the rest of Morgan Heritage delighted the Montreal fans who had not seen them on the festival since they last played in 2008.  Also appearing on Friday night's set was the next generation of Morgan Heritage. Gramps Morgan's son Jemere on tour with the group opened up for Morgan Heritage and performed songs from his upcoming debut EP. 


Photo Highlights: Opening Night at the Montreal Reggae Festival with Hawkeye, Jemere Morgan, and Morgan Heritage

Day 2 at the Montreal Reggae Festival

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Saturday brought sunny skies and a capacity sold out crowd to witness Dancehall night at the Montreal Reggae Festival.  Dancehall artists Sustane and Tifa warmed up the early crowd in attendance.  Mr. Vegas then charged up the crowd further with his set of dancehall hits.  Easily one of the highest energy acts of the day was Kes The Band, a soca / reggae fusion band from Trinidad and Tobago making their first appearance in Montreal.  At this point, I wondered how the remaining acts might top this crowd favorite, however no worries as the legendary Shaggy "Mr. BoomBastic",  backed by his own band easily entertained the crowd  with his hits as only Shaggy can do along with Rayvon as a special guest on their song collaborations such as the popular "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel".   To close out the night, The King of the Dancehall, Beenie Man backed by the Ruff Kutt band  brought the house down as he worked through his crowd favorite dancehall anthems.

Montreal Reggae Festival Fans pack the venue

Crowd at Montreal Reggae Festival

Photo Highlights of Day 2 at the Montreal Reggae Festival featuring Sustane, Tifa, Mr. Vegas, Kes the Band, Shaggy and Beenie Man

Day 3 Montreal Reggae Festival

Bob Marley Flag at Montreal Reggae Festival
A near capcity crowd was in attendance for the final day of the festival. Late the prior day, it was announced that Luciano would not be appearing as planned due to unexpected Visa issues. Despite the change in line up, fans were in for a spectacular day of Reggae. Canadian Artists Visionary and Jah Cutta had well received opening performances. Next up was Yellowman & The Saggitarius Band for his always entertaining high energy set.  Serani provided a fun and entertaining set then it was time for the Ruff Kutt Band to take center stage once again to back the final acts of the evening. Alaine accompanied by a trio of supporting vocalists had an impressive set and showcased her classical piano background playing lead keyboard on her signature song, "Ordinary Love".  Crowd favorite Cocoa Tea delivered a strong set of his sing along classics then Di Captain,  Freddie McGregor had the honor to close out another successful year of the Montreal Reggae festival performing classics from his extensive catalog and new song selections from his new album "Di Captain".  A classic finale to 3 days of quality entertainment at the Montreal International Reggae Festival leaving everyone in attendance fully satisfied and looking forward to the 21st annual celebration in 2014.  

Faces at the Montreal Reggae Festival

Photo Highlights: Day 3 at the Montreal Reggae Festival featuring Visionary, Jah Cutta, Yellowman, Serani, Alaine, Cocoa Tea, and Freddie McGregor

Congrats to the ongoing efforts of the  Montreal Reggae Festival Team and hosts who made it all possible

See the full Montreal Reggae Festival Slideshow of Photos below on our Flick Gallery below


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Empress K is the Founder, Primary Photo-Journalist and Editor of  www.reggaereflection.com.  The Reggae Reflection team has gained international recognition with quality coverage of premier reggae events in Jamaica, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Barbados, Guyana, and Nigeria as well as numerous completed photography assignments  for notable  reggae events in the New England area, NY, Alabama, and Florida region.   Festival coverage has included Groovin In the Park, Six Flags NJ Caribbean Concert Series, IRAWMA,HangOut Festival Alabama, 9Mile Festival Miami, Rebel Salute, Sunfest FL , www.oneheartfestival.com and more. 

  • * Awarded Best Digital Media (nominated along with 9 other Media Outlets)  Linkage Awards in NY 3/11/12
  • * Nominated by The Association of Independent Reggae Music (AIRM)  for the “Most Reggae Outlet" in NYC
Follow Empress K on Twitter, Instagram & Youtube  @1EmpressK & ReggaeReflection on Facebook

 
 

Photos at 8th Annual Six Flags Caribbean Summer Concert Series

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On Sunday, August 11, 2013  TriniFly Promotions hosted their 8th annual Caribbean Concert Summer Series at Six Flags Park, a  favorite theme park in Jackson, NJ.   This year marked our third consecutive year covering this popular event and as with past years they featured another impressive  line up of Reggae & Dancehall artists along with Soca & Hip Hop mixed in to entertain the mostly Caribbean crowd in attendance.  This year the exceptional all-star line-up included Beenie Man, Mr. VegasBunji Garlin. Lee MazinD'Angel and Young Devyn. Christopher Martin had been advertised however it was learned after the show that he had a visa issue that prevented him from performing.   All tickets for the evening concert included all day activities at the Six Flags Theme Park making this a great value and enjoyable event for all ages. 

Six Flags Caribbean Summer Concert Series Fans

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Young Devyn and her dancers open up the event

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Early performers -  Hip Hop Artist Lee Mazin, Dancehall Diva D'Angel and Dancehall artist Laza Morgan warm up the crowd

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Lee Mazin and Dancers backstage

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D'Angel poses for a moment backstage

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Crowd Favorite Mr Vegas rules the stage

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King of the Dancehall, BeenieMan up next and invites D'Angel for a duo

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Bunji Garlin ready for the road with Fayann Lyons and daughter Syri to close out another successful  year at Six Flags Amusement Park

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Watch the full slide show  of photos from the Six Flags Caribbean Concert below


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
Empress K is the Founder, Primary Photo-Journalist and Editor of  www.reggaereflection.com.  The Reggae Reflection team has gained international recognition with quality coverage of premier reggae events in Jamaica, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Barbados, Guyana, and Nigeria as well as numerous completed photography assignments  for notable  reggae events in the New England area, NY, Alabama, and Florida region.   Festival coverage has included Groovin In the Park, Six Flags NJ Caribbean Concert Series, IRAWMA,HangOut Festival Alabama, 9Mile Festival Miami, Rebel Salute, Sunfest FL , www.oneheartfestival.com and more. 

  • * Awarded Best Digital Media (nominated along with 9 other Media Outlets)  Linkage Awards in NY 3/11/12
  • * Nominated by The Association of Independent Reggae Music (AIRM)  for the “Most Reggae Outlet" in NYC
Follow Empress K on Twitter, Instagram & Youtube  @1EmpressK & ReggaeReflection on Facebook
 
 

Groovin in the Park 2013 Delivers another winning combination of Reggae and Rhythm and Blues

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MC's Richie B and Ras Clem
Groovin In the Park Story  by ©Sheron Hamilton-Pearson
Photography & Feature by Empress K  - Founder & Editor at www.ReggaeReflection.com

The road to Queens on Sunday June 30, 2013 was a well-travelled one, or so it seemed as this writer circled the perimeter of Roy Wilkins Park, ready to enjoy what had for weeks been promoted as the biggest and best park show to hit New York City.  

Tradition dictates that ‘upcoming’ artists are the warm-up act and so on this occasion Culture Wise, Princess Menen and Mr. Glamarus had the unenviable task of kicking things off.  The show was ably MC’d by Clement Hume aka Ras Clem and Jamaican radio d-j Richie B who introduced the first of the headline acts; Half Pint, a last minute replacement for the previously advertised Cocoa Tea whose lack of work visa meant a very late cancellation.  Half Pint's easily recognizable vocals to ”Greetings” wafting in the air was definitely an indication that the show had started.  Dressed to impress in a red brocade jacket and white dress shirt, although a tad hoarse, he warmed up the early crowds who were steadily streaming into the park.


Half Pint brings his Greetings to #GroovinInThePark

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Barrington Levy
Next up on stage came the man Barrington Levy, still performing, still relevant and looking slimmer and trimmer than he has done for some time.  It was a delight to listen to songs of yesteryear that still resonate and evoke such sweet memories, “Under Mi Sensi”, “Black Roses”, “Too Experienced” and the ever popular crowd pleaser “Murderer”.  Barrington's re-working of “Here I Come” definitely got the younger fans bobbing heads and swaying to the pulsating rhythms.  Disappointingly, his set seemed to be cut very short, with a truncated performance lasting no more than 30 minutes, which left fans wanting for more.

Barrington Levy photos  (click on each photo to enlarge)

Queen Ifrica, The Fyah Mumma 

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Queen Ifrica
The only woman to represent reggae at this event, The Fyah Mumah otherwise known as Queen Ifrica was next to perform and she certainly did not disappoint.  Standing barefooted as the rain which had been threatening all day, finally fell heavily at first and then eased to a steady patter.  Nothing could dampen her time in the spotlight, her seamless interaction with the crowd was certainly one of the highlights of the show.  At her urging, the patrons willingly indicated their approval of her set by raising their umbrellas in unison to her lyrics. Looking out into the crowd during Ifrica's set, the visual of a virtual sea of undulating umbrellas was indeed a sight.  More indicative of a dancehall set, the Queen unleashed a rapid succession of hit after hit.  Always delivering biting social commentary, she left no stone unturned ending her set with the poignant “Daddy don't Touch me There.  Queen Ifrica was the only artist to receive a resounding encore, earning a justified seal of approval.

Photo SlideShow of Queen Ifrica at #GroovinInThePark

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Sanchez
Not to be outdone, Mr. Kevin Jackson pulled no punches for his time on stage.  He delivered not only a secular set of his usual standards, but also provided music for the soul in his gospel renditions.  Classic among them of course “Amazing Grace”.  Red seemed to be the color of the day as Sanchez appeared casually dressed in red shirt and blue jeans.  His voice could be clearly heard at the far reaches of the park where food vendors were busy selling their wares and where I found some very tasty treats to quench my thirst and quell hunger pangs.

As the afternoon wore on and the sky cleared, the anticipation was building as next up on stage  came British group, the internationally acclaimed Steel Pulse (added to the roster in place of Toots injured from a bottle thrown by an overzealous fan!) headed by front man David Hinds resplendent in his multi-colored raiment which had the crowd abuzz.  Steel Pulse has always enjoyed massive international success and support, but somehow that did not seem to translate in this Queens park setting.  After spatterings of applause, they seemed to lose the crowd, and despite the lackluster response their set continued for over an hour.


Sanchez Photos (click on each photo to enlarge)

Steel Pulse Photos (click on each photo to enlarge)

Scenes at #GroovinInthePark

Patti Labelle up next for the Rhythm and Blues segment

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Patti Labelle
Dusk was drawing in, the rain had now totally ceased as an expectant hush descended.  It was clear everyone was awaiting the long-anticipated Ms. Patti Labelle!  Introduced by Shayla of 107.5 WBLS, Ms. Patti as she is affectionately known, sashayed on stage in an exquisite light blue ensemble.  For a woman who recently celebrated her 69th birthday, The Diva looks the picture of health.  Of course she has drastically cut back on her on stage antics, but she still has the change of shoes, strategically placed on top of the grand piano.

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Patti Labelle
Whipping out her mirror she quipped that she just wanted to ensure “that everything was in place and nothing had fallen”.  Her performance was in a word “magical”.  The crowd was spellbound, you could hear a pin drop as she mesmerized all within earshot, dropping classic after classic.  My personal favorite -  “If Only You Knew”, delivered with exactly the same pathos as when the song was first recorded.  After Patti, I'm sorry to say everything else was anti-climactic.  TGT, Tank, Ginuwine and Tyrese performed for the ladies, but I was fully satisfied after seeing the Diva up close and personal.


Patti Labelle photos (click on each photo to enlarge)

Tank, Ginuwine and Tyrese (#TGT) performing for the Ladies as they closed out #GroovinInThePark 2013 (click on each photo to enlarge)

The event, brainchild of Christopher Roberts, The Door CEO and his team again melded reggae with rhythm and blues in a winning combination.  www.groovininthepark.com
Sheron Hamilton-Pearson was born in London. With a passion for writing, she has had articles published at www.jamlink.com, Where Itz At newspaper and www.imagesnewsletter.com and has provided news stories to www.streethypenewsletter.com.

She currently hosts a weekly magazine-style internet radio program, The Conduit Show every Sunday at www.ustream.tv/channel/reggae-nation.com between the hours of 6 and 9 pm.

Log on and interact live in the chat room or call in to 718 676 0330


Empress K is the Founder, Primary Photo-Journalist and Editor of  www.reggaereflection.com.  Reggae Reflection has gained international recognition with quality coverage of premier reggae events in Jamaica, Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Barbados, Guyana, and Nigeria as well as numerous completed photography assignments  for notable  reggae events in the New England area, NY, Alabama, and Florida region.   Festival coverage has included Groovin In the Park, Six Flags NJ Caribbean Concert Series, IRAWMA, HangOut Festival Alabama, 9Mile Festival Miami, Rebel Salute, Sunfest FL and more. 

  • * Awarded Best Digital Media (nominated along with 9 other Media Outlets)  Linkage Awards in NY 3/11/12
  • * Nominated by The Association of Independent Reggae Music (AIRM)  for the “Most Supporting Reggae Media 
    •    Outlet in 2012"  NYC award show 2/23/13
Follow Empress K on Twitter, Instagram & Youtube  @1EmpressK & ReggaeReflection on Facebook

View the full gallery of #GroovinInThePark slide show photos below 

 
 
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Continuing the theme of something for everyone, Day 3 had yet another impressive line up of acts for the final day of the festival.   Although there was more cloud coverage, not a drop of rain was in the forecast.  

Galactic on the Chevrolet Stage was the first set of the afternoon for me.  Galactic is a funk and jazz jam band from New Orleans.  Galactic started out their mid-afternoon set with an instrumental selection, before introducing Corey Glover from Living Color as their lead vocalist for the remainder of their set. 

For photos & coverage of Day 1 and Day 2, Click the links below
Day 1 featuring Toots and the Maytals, Ryan Bingham, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Day 2 featuring Public Enemy, The Roots, Kendrick Lamar, Slightly Stoopid and Tom Petty

A friend who is a big fan of Imagine Dragons told me no matter what I had to see Imagine Dragons.  Not at all familiar with them, I'm glad I listened because I was really impressed with their set. Full of energy, this 5 member indie rock band from Las Vegas led by charismatic frontman Dan Reynolds really had the crowd energized during their late afternoon set on the Cheverolet Stage.  Earlier in the afternoon I caught a glimpse of them at Media World as they hosted a meet and greet, eagerly posing for pictures and signing autographs from many supporters of all ages. 

Imagine Dragons Meet & Greet

View the slide show for more photos of Imagine Dragons

#HangoutFest Scenes 

The festival accounted for everything… Amusement rides including a Large Ferris Wheel to take in the spectacular view of the festival to the Mega Drop for the more daring thrill seekers. 

Faces of #HangoutFest

 View the Slide Show for photos from Space Capone on the the BMI Stage  Space Capone made SPIN's Top 15 "Must-See Acts of Hangout Music Fest 2013" 

Bloc Party, an British indie Rock Band greeted their many fans for their first ever performance in  Alabama.   View Photos from their set on the Letting Go Stage on the Slide show below. 

Stevie Wonder Grand Finale 

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For the grand finale of a near perfect three day festival, the masses returned to the main stage area  to see Stevie Wonder's 2 1/2 hour long set.  Since Stevie Wonder is not frequently on tour it was a rare treat for many of the festival attendees. Stevie Wonder's set included a great array of his classic sing along standards as well as many covers including Bob Marley's  Reggae Classic, Is this Love.  

 
 

The Hangout Festival Experience Day 2 2013 | Reggae Reflection photos

A mix of Hip Hop, Reggae, and Rock rule day 2

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As with all days of the festival, the weather was perfect  - in the low to mid 80s with with a great mixture of sun and clouds to catch a break from the heat.  For me, day 2 started out with the old school hip-hop crew of Public Enemy featuring Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Professor Griff, and DJ Lord. 

Day 1 Recap and Photos of Toots and The Maytals, Ryan Bingham, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Link Here
Day 3 Recap and Photos of Galactic, Imagine Dragons, Space Capone, Bloc Party, and Stevie Wonder
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When Flavor Flav took to the stage without his trademark clock pendant around his neck, it wasn't long before he addressed those in the audience wondering why it was missing. He explained that he was going to wear the clock until Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Well this year they were indeed inducted into the 2013 Hall of Fame, but don't believe the hype, Flavor Flav showed everyone he still had it tucked away.  In no time at all Public Enemy proved to the overflowing crowd in the Boom Boom Tent that they were still Kings of the Mic.

Look out for Public Enemy embarking  on the Kings of the Mic tour this summer with LL Cool J, Ice Cube and De La Soul.    

View the slide show for more photos of Public Enemy

Next up The Roots rock the Chevrolet Stage

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By now, The Roots are well known by many for their ongoing stint as the house band of the late night Jimmy Fallon show.  The Roots hailing from Philadelphia brought their dynamic fusion of hip hop, funk and rock showmanship to the beach with a lively fun set that included many of their well known songs as well as covering Sweet Child of Mine. Each band member did his thing to thoroughly engage the audience, and the fans soaked up the positive energy making this one of the most enjoyable sets of the afternoon. 


View the Slideshow for more photos of The Roots

Kendrick Lamar Jets to the Hangout Festival

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As fans and media patiently waited in the HOT Boom Boom Tent, MTV Host Dj Sway held a crowd hip-hop contest to entertain the fans, some of which were received much better than others.  Lamar may have kept his fans waiting as he apparently had to take a private jet to get to the Gulf Shores, but it was certainly worth their wait.  

Slightly Stoopid reigns the Letting Go Stage

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The members of Slightly Stoopid were on hand for a meet and greet in Media World as well as a meet and greet at the Relix Magazine Booth to greet fans who waited patiently for a photograph and autograph opportunity prior to Slightly Stoopid's evening set at the Letting Go Stage.  Slightly Stoopid is an 8 piece California based band best known for their fusion of Reggae and Rock.  With 7 studio albums under their belt,  Slightly Stoopid delivered a solid set with crowd favorite selections including songs from their 2012 release Top of the World

Look out for Slightly Stoopid on their Kickin up Dust Summer Tour.

Slightly Stoopid Meet & Greet with the fans

View the Slide Show for more photos of Slightly Stoopid

Scenes from #HangoutFest 

A classic finale to Day 2 of the Hangout Festival with Tom Petty

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Pretty much everyone I encountered was quite thrilled to catch the legendary performance of Tom Petty whether they they were seeing him for the first time or from years ago.  For me it had actually been over 30 years and I was looking forward to hear some of my favorite classics.  At lunch, I encountered a fan sporting a classic 1980 Tom Petty concert T-shirt only to realize that he had bought that T-shirt well after the fact since he was born in 1982!    As expected Tom Petty played hit after well known hit during his lengthy 2 hour + set.    See the set list Tom Petty posted on his Instagram page @TomPetty. 



 
 

The Hangout Festival Experience Day 1 2013 #ReggaeReflection

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Chevrolet Stage
May 17, 2013 - Last year was the first year that the Hangout Festival made my radar.  Event schedule conflicts prevented me from  attending it in 2012 so I made it a priority to plan for 2013 and I was not disappointed.   As a first time traveler to Alabama,  this was an experience I was looking forward to.   From the first day it was obvious that the Hangout Festival has become a annual retreat for followers from all over. I encountered many individuals that travel each year  from Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas and other nearby locations to attend this festival.  Three day general admission passes sold out prior to the start of the festival that attracts approximately 35,000 fans each day. 

One thing for certain is the Hangout Festival lives up to its name and has done so in a relatively short period of time.  At the center of the festival is a local landmark restaurant aptly named The Hangout and from which the festival is based.  The Hangout's slogan "Where 59 ends and the fun begins" refers to its location at the end of Route 59 and is an accurate description of all the activities taking place.  There were numerous places to hangout within the festival grounds.  One could chill and listen to your favorite type of music ranging from EDM , Rock, Alt Rock, Reggae, Hip Hop, Country and everything in between.  One section of the beach was transformed into an Island Oasis complete with a stretch of grass running down to the Rum Bar along with hammocks nestled under palm trees next door. Plenty of cooling misters were located all over the festival grounds. 

The festival which started in 2010 has evolved into a 3 day festival with 5 stages often running concurrently each day.   Each stage varied  in size from a large covered tent which entertained the youngest crowd with high energy Hip Hop and EDM sets from popular artists such as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Public Enemy, and Kendrick Lemar; to the  largest stage (one of two stages located directly on the white sandy beach)  reserved for the festival headliner acts Kings of Leon, Tom Petty,  and Stevie Wonder closing out the festival on Sunday night. 

While most of the stages had  very nice VIP viewing areas, it was the main stage that really stood out with their Super VIP 2 story cabana type structures making it a very pleasant experience to view the headliner performances.  MTV and VH1 provided unprecedented coverage including a livestream of a majority of the acts making everyone at home wish they were in Gulf Shores having as much fun.  Check out many of the clips on hangout.mtv.com

The only drawback I could even barely mention is that with over 60 bands scheduled there is just too much to choose from so I did my best to attend the Reggae, Hip Hop, and R&B sets along with several rock bands I wanted to check out. Last but not least on my list, a performance from my  long time favorite rock legend Tom Petty whom I have not seen since my early rock concert going days. 

Check out coverage for Day 2 & 3 below

Day 1 Photos & highlights with Toots & The Maytals, Ryan Bingham and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Toots delivers a beach party on the Chevrolet Stage

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In the early afternoon, rocking the Chevrolet Stage, the 2nd Largest stage located at the end of the white sandy beach was veteran Reggae artist Toots and the Maytals.  Band member and lead guitarist Carl Harvey introduced Toots to the stage as the band commenced with the classic song Pressure Drop. This set the stage for an 1 hour + Reggae Beach Party including all their classic songs as well as covers of Louie Louie and Take Me Home Country Roads. 


View the Slide show for more photos of Toots and the Maytals

Ryan Bingham performs on the Letting Go Stage

Prior to his late afternoon set,  Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning Americana artist Ryan Bingham made his way to Media World for a relaxed meet & greet.   Performing on the Letting Go Stage, Ryan played an enjoyable set including several songs from his 4th album Tomorrowland. 

View the Slide Show for more photos of Ryan Bingham

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Energize the Boom Boom Tent

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis an indie rap duo from Seattle was one of the top headliners in the Boom Boom Tent. They appeared just two days before the annual Billboard Awards took place where they won a well deserved Best Rap Song award for their Billboard Chart topping song Thriftshop from their 2012 debut album The Heist.  Making Billboard Chart History, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are  the first duo to take its first two singles to No. 1 in the Hot 100's almost-55-year history (source: Billboard). Also featured on the set was newcomer Wanz who sings the hook on Thriftshop and vocalist Ray Dalton featured on the current Billboard number 1 song Can't hold us Down,  just two of the songs performed on this highly entertaining and high energy set in which they entertained their fans with dancers, outfit changes and even crowd surfing with an inflatable whale.  Yes, I said an inflatable whale.  His loyal fans known as the  #SharkFaceGang were still thrilled. 


View the Slide Show for more photos of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 

#HangoutFest Scenes from Day 1

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The Faces Of HangoutFestival Day 1
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I discovered that some people have come up with clever ways to find friends. Did I mention that one does not go solo to the Hangout Festival?  I saw several flag poles in the crowd adorned with unique tops used as group identifiers and making it a bit easier to find your friends in the crowd. 

My favorite was the inflatable cactus decorated with the patriotic flag and buttons. 




Hangout Festival Logistics

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How to get there:  The Gulf Shores location is easily reached from the nearest airports of Pensacola, FL (45 minutes)  and Mobile, Alabama (1 hour)  Beyond that it is also an easy drive from New Orleans and various key locations in the Southern States. I chose to fly to Atlanta and visit some friends before commencing the 6 hour+ drive to Alabama.   Despite missing my exit on route 65 and ending up traveling through Mobile on the way to Gulf Shores, it was still an easy and enjoyable drive.  The timing worked out and I managed to witness a magnificent sunset upon my arrival. 


Where to stay:  Plan early and book a beach side accommodation on the Gulf Shores. The Hangout Festival website had a variety of lodging sites listed.  Also nearby is the town of Foley. While it is not beach side, it had a  variety of more  reasonably priced accommodation choices and  was a good proximity to drive just a few miles to one of the multiple Hangout Festival Shuttle locations making it an easy and efficient way to get to the Hangout Festival.  Three Day Shuttle Passes were available for $50 and could be purchased online.  An EventBrite android app provided me with an electronic ticket in exchange for a Shuttle bracelet. 


What to Bring / Wear:  It's HOT on the beach.  Bring lots of sunscreen, shades, a hat, your swimsuit, towel, smart phone (use the Hangout Fest app to see the schedule and festival map!), cash and credit card/Atm Card.  Atms were readily available.   Try not to carry too much as you will be walking a lot from stage to stage.  No wheels as some of the stages are directly on the sandy beach.   Attire of the Hangout Festival Patrons ranged from bikini clad to some pretty outrageous costumes.

All in all , the Hangout Festival was one the most organized and best executed festivals I have attended recently with  a steady throng of patrons coming and going throughout the 12 hours of festivities each day.  One of the great aspects about the beach boulevard location of the  festival is that patrons can come and go as they please after passing thru security each time. This allowed patrons to frequent many of the local business located on the outside of the Hangout Festival.  I took advantage of this to take a break each day and sample some great fresh Gulf seafood from some of the well known restaurants in the area. 

I'm already looking forward to next year's Hangout Festival Experience and just may have to make those reservations very soon! 


 
 

The mission continues at the 20th annual 9Mile Festival with an eclectic mix of Reggae, Dancehall, Soca and Rap

Photos and Feature by Empress K for Reggae Reflection

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Heading to Miami to cover the annual 9 Mile Festival is supposed to be a well deserved break from the New England Winter season. Much to my surprise and initial disappointment, a cold spell ensued and southern FL ended up being just a little warmer than home!  Fortunately the eclectic mix of Reggae, Soca, Dancehall and Rap headliners made up for the unusually cold weather. 

The Annual 9 Mile Festival now in its 20th year was held at the historic Virginia Key Beach in Miami  where the previous year's festival was also held.   Gates were advertised to open at 2:00pm  and by the time I got there around 3:00pm,  concert goers were well on their way into the venue . Daniel Bambaata Marley was already on stage with his own band and receiving a warm welcome from the early crowd on hand. Daniel has definitely inherited being at ease on stage from his father Ziggy Marley.   At the end of his well received set he took some time to introduce a next generation of upcoming and conscious reggae artists Dax Lion, Biggz General, and Chronixx.   


Daniel Bambaata Marley reminds the audience there's No Place Like Home

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Lance-O of Kulcha Shok Muzik and a familiar MC at the 9 Mile festival introduced the Ruff Kutt Band to the stage who would be backing the next set of artists starting with Luciano.  Luciano opened up his set with Give Praise to Rastafari.  Supported by two female vocalists, Luciano performed a solid set of his well known songs including For the Leaders, Silver and Gold, Call on Jah, and Gideon War.  He pleased the audience with 2 encores including an acoustic version of Bob Marley's Redemption Song


Continuing with the strong line up of headliners early in the festival, Capleton burst on stage next  as only the Fiyah Man can do with Your day will Come. Capleton's set included more high energy Capleton classics such as Jah Jah City, Momma and PoppaBaby Don't Cry No More, and Acres and Acres

Photos of Luciano and Capleton

Dancehall up Next with Konshens

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Konshens was one of the first dancehall artists of the evening.  Letting the audience know early on that he was battling the flu,  Konshens braved the stage and won over his fans as he announced he wasn't going to let it keep him down and continued to perform many of his well known hits including Gyal a Bubble, Good Girl Gone Bad, and Do Sumn and The Realest Song.   

Despite the cold temperatures, as  the night wore on the crowd  at the festival steadily grew with unofficial reports of attendance between 10,000 and 15,000. Many members of the audience were dressed warmly in wool winter coats or were wrapped in blankets. With nearly 12 hours of music, many of the late comers most likely missed the early headliner acts that they wanted to see such as Capleton and Luciano and Konshens.  Feedback from many  fans I encountered is that a published schedule is needed so they can better plan attendance times at such a long festival. 


Machel Montano proves Vibes Cyah Done

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As the evening started, Soca King Machel Montano  HD of Trinidad and Tobago was up next.  Machel is celebrating over 30 years in the music business and this was his first time at the 9Mile Festival.  He certainly turned the celebration up a notch by creating a party like atmosphere as he along with his dancers, singers and special guest Patrice Roberts had everyone wining to the infectious beat of Soca.  Adding to the celebratory vibe, he opened up a bottle of his own rum brand 3Zero and shared with some of the fans up front during his song 'Drinking Rum'. 

Future, one of two rappers on the festival from Atlanta took the stage next along with two members of his crew all backed by a DJ. Future's set included hit songs from his 2012 debut album Pluto as well as the popular song Loveee Song that he recorded with Rihanna and shares writing credit.  

Fans and Vendors at 9Mile Music Festival

Dancehall Gully Side

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The festival switched back to dancehall mode Gully Side with Mavado who is now primarily based in Miami.  Mavado, a member of DJ Khaled's Label We the Best Music Group was appearing for the first time at the 9Mile Festival.  The Ruff Kutt band returned to back Mavado's set as he performed a variety of his old and newer songs such as Real Mckoy, Star Bwoy, Every Gyal and Box of Money.  Karian Sang joined Mavado on stage to perform their new collaboration on Take It.  The video for Take it just aired on Billboard TV making Mavado the  first Caribbean artist to premiere a video on Billboard. 


The mission continues with Stephen Marley, Julian Marley and Damian Jr. Gong Marley

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As it was nearing 11:00pm, it was finally time for the Marley brothers to take the stage.  Stephen Marley and Jr. Gong kicked off the set with their song The Mission then each of the  Marley brothers took turns to perform their own songs as well as their joint collaborations. Julian took the lead on his song Boom Draw before the brothers performed Jah Army and paid tribute to Buju Banton.  Julian also performed his songs Heart Breaker and Violence in the Streets.  Of course the set also featured a number of Bob Marley classics which included Get up Stand Up, Natural Mystic, War, Pimpa's Paradise and Exodus.    Stephen initiated  the popular song Traffic Jam with Jr. Gong and around that time called Illestr8 and Jo Mersa to the stage.  Jo Mersa  continuing with his track 'Bad So'.  Surprise guest and fan favorite Spragga Benz was also on hand to add his touch to the set. 


Here Comes Jr. Gong, Flying High Like Superman

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Jr Gong energized the crowd by performing Make it Bun Dem  followed by Set up Shop and Affairs of the Heart, two of his latest hit songs which are featured on the his new Ghetto Youths International Compilation Set up Shop, Volume 1.   Damian's  well loved anthem Welcome to Jamrock completed his segment as the next to last song of the performance.

The classic Could you Be Loved was saved for the last song of the set.   Normally the Marleys would have closed out the festival, however unofficial reports were that due to a flight delay, 2Chainz would be going on last.  This did not stop a large exodus of Reggae fans from leaving the venue as soon as it was clear that the Marley set was over. 


@AKVYBZ Video Highlights of  Julian Marley and Damian Marley at 9Mile Reggae Festival

Julian Marley Heartbreaker

Jr Gong Affairs of the Heart

It's not over Yet -  2Chainz closes out the evening

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Closing out nearly 12 hours of non-stop music, Def Jam Recording artist 2Chainz was the last act of the night.   To hype up the remaining crowd, a very effective video montage played with footage from his solo concert tour.   2Chainz the 2nd rapper of the evening also hailing from Atlanta  kicked it off with Mercy, last year's collaboration with Kanye West, Big Sean and Pusha T which earned him a recent Grammy nomination for Best Rap Song.  2Chainz then performed a string of his hit singles  including I'm Diffierent and other popular songs from his recent debut solo album Based on T.R.U. Story - his logo and album title prominently displayed on the large video screen throughout his performance.  His set ended just around the advertised ending time of 1:30am. 

Throughout the evening host Lance-O reminded everyone of the diverse array of performers that have made appearances at the annual festival ranging from Lauryn Hill to Mr. Cheeks to Gentleman to Slightly Stoopid as well as many others over the years.  The 20th year of the festival continued that mission featuring many familiar faces as well as introducing the best in multiple genres, bringing together the diverse fan base in Miami .  The annual festival also has a charity component. As part of the ticket price, it is a requirement to bring 4 canned goods which are donated to Curley’s House, an organization that works to help improve the quality of life for low-to-moderate income families.  


I'm already looking forward to the 21st Annual 9Mile Celebration and of course much warmer weather! 

20th Annual 9Mile Photo Gallery

Special thanks to  the staff at the 9Mile Festival, and to Krystle and Kaceion at , Midori Star Media Group for their assistance and for the opportunity to cover the event.  

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The Latest Reggae News and Photos on www.reggaereflection.com

 
 
Photos and Feature by EmpressK for Reggae Reflection
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Lagos to London
 
Each year  I look back on my own personal reflection of the year's events.   I certainly met some great people in 2012  and I am very fortunate to continue to work with wonderful people who share a common passion and vision.  


I want to thank all the contributors to Reggae Reflection and to the many supporters a BIG Thank you.  I truly appreciate the support and I look forward to even better things to come in 2013.    

Reggae around the World

World travel was the Reggae Reflection theme for 2012 with coverage of premiere Reggae events in 8 different countries.   Not only was it the first time I was fortunate to experience travel to Guyana and Aruba, it was also the first time that some of the artists performed in these locations as well. Damain 'Jr Gong' Marley made his first appearance in Guyana to celebrate 46 Years of Guyana Independence and Elephant Man had a great turnout  for this first time visiting Aruba.  Other new locations for me this year  included Barbados for an Anthony B show in the fall and in December I traveled to Nigeria for #Carniriv 2012 featuring performances by Shaggy and Patra. And further proving that Reggae's impact is indeed world-wide,  a Reggae Reflection correspondent was able to capture a performance by the Wailers in Beirut, Lebanon. 

2012 was also an exciting year for Reggae given that Jamaica as well as Trinidad and Tobago were each celebrating  50 years of Independence from Britian.  This was a recurrent theme  in a majority of events  throughout the year.   
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www.kingimusic.com
I also had the pleasure of  continuing  to work with emerging artist King-i (Kingimusic) who had a very successful year  including  many great performances and  the release of several new & popular songs and official videos including World is Turning in June and Serious Something in November.  King-i  has  numerous other works  in process that will pave the way for his continued success in 2013.  Look out for this #artisttowatch.  www.kingimusic.com

Kicking off the year in Jamaica 

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Tony Curtis, Lymie Murray, Singing Melody and Lukie D
Overall 2012 started off strong with a quick trip to Jamaica for Martin Luther King Weekend for the annual Rebel Salute event celebrating it's 19th year.  It was wonderful timing that I was also able to attend Singing Melody's Launch of his new album They call me Mr Melody.  The release party was held at the Jonkanoo Lounge in Kingston which featured the members of L.U.S.T., Lymie Murray, URoy and Richie Stephens as special guests.  

Rebel Salute is always a truly wonderful experience and 2012 was no exception.  An exceptional list of about 40 performers  were scheduled including the likes of Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, Duane Stephenson, Luciano,  Maxi Priest, Queen Ifrica, Tony Rebel (celebrating his 50th birthday!) Capleton, and  in one of the most well received performances of the evening, I finally had a chance to see Stephen Marley perform in Jamaica with surprise guest Damian Marley!    Full show coverage: Rebel Salute Jamaica 


In January, I received word that Reggae Reflection had received a nomination for the Best Digital Media Category at the upcoming annual LInkage Awards .  What a fantastic way to start the year!    Linkage Award Nomination 

Rebel Salute going strong in its 19th year

Tony Rebel

Damian Marley  

Tarrus Riley

Capleton

Miami up Next

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Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Julian Marley
Highlights of March included my annual trek to Miami for the 9Mile Festival. I have to admit that I nearly canceled this trip when the line up went through some turmoil. Finally just a few days before the event, all was resolved and it was well worth the trip to Miami to see a star-studded showcase with Tarrus Riley, Capleton, Cocoa Tea, Burning Spear, Wale, Melanie Fiona and a grand finale with Julian, Stephen and Damian Marley. The 19th Annual Nine Mile Music Festival was clearly a success in uniting the people with the love of Reggae Music.  As of this publishing, the 20th Anniversary will take place on March 2, 2013 in the same location and has an awesome lineup already announced including Damian, Stephen and Julian.   Full show coverage: Nine Mile Music Festival Miami 

9Mile Festival - Miami

Cocoa Tea

Capleton

Tarrus Riley

Burning Spear

Onward to NYC and the Linkage Award goes to ........

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Wayne Wonder receives a Linkage Award
The 3rd Annual Linkage Awards took place on March  11th with special honors for Marcia Griffith, Wayne Wonder, Ken Boothe, Lady G and many more. I must  thank all my supporters near and far that voted and otherwise supported the Reggae Reflection nomination. It was a great honor to achieve the majority of votes for the Best Digital Media Category.  I also personally  had the great pleasure of  presenting best Canadian Female Artist award to Tasha T.    
Awards List:  2012 Linkage Awards 

Special Moments at the 3rd Annual Linkage Awards 

And the final highlight for March was another quick trip to NYC for DJ Norie's Anything Goes Concert in Times Square at the Best Buy Theatre featuring Damian Marley, Julian Marley and Stephen Marley. It was an amazing evening in Times Square. Guests included Wayne Marshall, Spragga Benz, Black Am I, and Jo Mersa.   Full show coverage:  Marleys in Times Square 

Stephen Marley, Julian Marley and Damian Marley Rock NYC

30 Years of Sunfest in West Palm Beach, FL

It's been a while since I've been to Southern Florida after the Feb/March timeframe. Sunfest, 30 years in the making is a premiere music festival held in West Palm Beach.  It definitely lives up to its name.  The sun was blazing hot and so were the acts!  A great mix of all genres with some Reggae mixed in. The festival featured many acts over the 5 day festival  with 3 stages. The Reggae Reflection team had our work cut out  to cover as many acts as possible focusing on the headlining acts of  Third Eye Bliind, All American Rejects, The Fray, Foreigner, Joan Jett, Matisyahu, Soja, Michael Franti, Pit Bull, Wiz Kahalifa, and Snoop Dogg. Yes, Snoop Dogg/Lion!  In total last year,  I had a chance to photograph Snoop twice since he has embraced Rastafarian beliefs.  I also went to one show in Providence just for the fun of it as  all his shows are always like a fantastic party.

Reggae Reflection Coverage of Rock, Reggae, and HipHop 

Michael Franti

Snoop Dogg 

Pitbull

Matisyahu

Mothers Day Weekend in Boston

New Award show launched   - Boston Most Elite Awards

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The first Annual Boston Most Elite Awards was held in May and featured over 30 categories of awards with an emphasis on acknowledging the urban businesses, industry professionals and community members that support the various Boston area events.   The event showcased local talent as well as international talent during the show which encompassed multiple genres of music including R&B, Dancehall, Hip Hop and Cultural Reggae.   Boston based talent included Janey David, Laquandra  Seymore, International Dancehall Queen Smallie, Lady Keyz and King-I (KingiMusic).  Muma Gee based in Philly was also present to perform as well  as special guest International Dancehall artiste Tifa.  

Full Report & Photos here :  Boston Most Elite Awards 


Independence Weekend in Guyana featuring Damian Marley

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For Memorial Day weekend, I headed to Guyana for the first time for the occasion of The First Annual Food, Arts and Music (FAM) Festival held at the Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana featuring Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley on Saturday 5/26/12  - celebrating Guyana's 46th Year of Independence and Jr. Gong's first appearance in Guyana.   Performing for about 2 hours, Damian made this a memorable moment  to mark the grand occasion of Guyana's  46th Independence celebration. 
Full Coverage:    Damian Marley in Guyana

Another top quality VipConnectedEntertainment event .  VIP Connected Entertainment is the largest Caribbean-American booking agency worldwide. For more information link with them on www.vipconnectedentertainment.com for all your entertainment needs.

Let the Summer Begin Boston / NY

June is usually a quieter month of show coverage as it is just after some of the Florida shows and before the summer rush of festivals.  I stayed a bit closer to home in June and covered the Willie Daniels Birthday Bash at Club Lido with Shaggy, Serani, Ding Dong, Gyptian, I-Octane, Cham, and D'Aville.   And two days later it was fun to celebrate my birthday in Hartford at a similar line up of Shaggy and Friends, this time featuring Serani, Ding Dong, and Christopher Martin. 

July 1st featured  one of the most anticipated summer shows in NYC.  Groovin in the Park, An outdoor festival featuring the best of Reggae Rhythm and Blues.  The show was a follow up to the Reggae Rhythm and Blues festival held labor day the previous year. This year had a stellar line up including  Beres Hammond, Beenie Man, Jimmy Cliff, Boyz II Men and Gladys Knight for a day of family fun in Roy Wilkins Park. 

Full coverage: Groovin in the Park 

Shaggy & Friends Boston/CT         Beenie Man & Beres in NY

The summer continues in Aruba and Jamaica

After returning home it was time to head to Aruba for my first time. I've always heard so many great things about Aruba, but never had the  chance to get there since so much of my travel usually involves Jamaica. It was as nice as everyone describes. Very scenic with great long stretches of white sandy beaches.  Elephant Man's first time in Aruba caused some great  buzz and  the event kicked off with a welcoming press conference the evening before.  

Full Coverage: Elephant Man in Aruba

Another top quality VipConnectedEntertainment event .  VIP Connected Entertainment is the largest Caribbean-American booking agency worldwide. For more information link with them on www.vipconnectedentertainment.com for all your entertainment needs.

Elephant Man in Aruba

A Fabolous 50th Independence Celebration in Jamaica

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 The main Jamaican indepedence event this summer was the  Appleton Temptation Island (ATI) event  in Negril.  ATI is is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.  Speciality themed parties are the mainstay of the celebrations.   The international headliners for this years events were DJ Envy from Hot 105 NY and MTV Sucker Free at Colours on Saturday August 4th and  Multi-Grammy Award Nominee Fabolous at Stages on Sunday August 5th.   The 2012 Summer Olympics were well underway and watched by everyone as it was televised live  delighting all tuned in to witness Usain Bolt make history winning the gold in the 100M on Sunday August 5th.  


Full event coverage: Fabolous in Jamaica 
Another top quality VipConnectedEntertainment event .  VIP Connected Entertainment is the largest Caribbean-American booking agency worldwide. For more information link with them on www.vipconnectedentertainment.com for all your entertainment needs.

Favorite Summer Festivals - Six Flags NJ and Montreal

Two Major festivals occur in August that I always make room for and and fortunately for me they are back to back weekends.   The TriniFly Summer Concert Series at Six Flags in NJ was held August 11 - 12th. This year it spanned two days with rapper Fabolous just returning from his performance in Jamaica on Saturday evening and a Reggae showcase on Sunday with I-Octane, Mavado, and Barrington Levy.  Full show coverage: Six Flags Photos and Recap

 Bonjour Montreal

The following weekend was The Montreal Reggae Festival held August 17 - 19, a fantastic festival taking place in the scenic Old Port area of Montreal.  Three days of music kicked off with a dancehall showcase on Friday night with Cham and special guest  'O'.   Beautiful weather ensued for the entire weekend with great performances from Chris Martin, Popcaan, Konshens, and Agent Sasco on Saturday followed by a  grand finale on Sunday with Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley and Jimmy Cliff.  Jimmy Cliff still forever a young spirit was celebrating his 50th year in the business with a new album release in July 2012 and a world-wide tour.

Full show coverage:   Montreal Photos and Recap

I-Octane, Mavado and Barrington Levy at Six Flags

3 Nights of Reggae Music and Dancehall in Montreal

Chris Martin

Konshens

Tarrus Riley

Jimmy Cliff

Reggae Summer Showcase in Boston / Providence

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Steel Pulse returned to Boston with a packed show at The Paradise with special guest openers Doctor Doom Orchestra (DDO) from Boston.  

The first annual Hotter Summer Blaze event produced by King-i (KingiMusic) took place in Cambridge uniting the talents of New York and Boston Based artists featuring performances by Princess Menen, KGenius, Zebulun De Counselor, Celeste Simpson, Peter Fyine, and King-i. 


Celebrating the 50th Independence of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago closer to home, Jamaican artist Kali Blaxx and Trini artist King-i  (KingiMusic) were featured on a Very Important Sound (VIS) Records show in Providence, RI at the Spot Underground. 
 
The 6th Annual One Heart Festival to promote peace in the community took place on Saturday, September 6th in Boston.  Sounds of Reggae and West African music filled the day with performances by Jah Jah Drummers, Jah-N-I Band, Peter Fyine, King-I (KingiMusic), and Mamadou.  The 7th annual festival will be held on Saturday, September 7, 2013. www.oneheartfestival.com

Stephen Marley returned to Boston on September 17th for a sold out show at the Paradise Boston.  The show also featured Jo Mersa, and Spragga Benz which was one of the best live band shows to hit Boston.  Going to a Marley show is is like spending an evening with the extended Reggae Family. Friends from near and far as well as numerous local musicians came out to support this quality live band show. Full Show Coverage:  Stephen Marley at the Paradise


Hotter Summer Blaze Boston / Spot Undeground Celebration Providence

King-i

Zebulun

King-i

Kali Blaxx

One Heart Festival  - Uniting the communities of Boston for Peace
Jah-n-I Band                   King-i                    Mamadou

Stephen Marley at the sold out Paradise in Boston

One more trip to the Caribbean

 Barbados was one of my last Caribbean trips for 2012.  A beautiful destination and it was lovely to spend some time on the beach before the show that featured  headliner Anthony B performing many of his favorite classics. Anthony B also highlighted new songs from his latest CD Freedom Fighter. 


Anthony B in Barbados: 
Another top quality VipConnectedEntertainment event .  VIP Connected Entertainment is the largest Caribbean-American booking agency worldwide. For more information link with them on www.vipconnectedentertainment.com for all your entertainment needs.

Anthony B in Barbados

Closing out the year with 48 hours in Africa

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Saving one of the best trips of the year for last was my first trip to Arfrica to attend Carnival in Port Harcourt Nigeria featuring Shaggy and Patra on opening night of the annual CarniRiv event. 


Check out all the photos of Nigeria here.  48 hours in Nigeria   
Another top quality VipConnectedEntertainment event .  VIP Connected Entertainment is the largest Caribbean-American booking agency worldwide. For more information link with them on www.vipconnectedentertainment.com for all your entertainment needs.


In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed all the events and places that I had a chance to go to in 2012  and while this does not cover everything Reggae Reflection covered,  I sincerely  hope this brings a bit of Reggae around the World to all the Reggae Lovers everywhere!   All the best for 2013. 


Opening Night at CarniRiv 2012 with Patra and Shaggy

 Photos Highlights from various events in 2012 with some favorite music from 2012 - click the slideshow below

2012 Reggae Live performance, interviews and Music Videos