Groovin in the Park combines the best of Reggae, Rhythm and Blues July 1, 2012

Photos and Feature by Empress K for Reggae Reflection

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Groovin in the Park,   a NYC summer festival combining the best of Reggae and Rhythm & Blues entertainers held its highly anticipated outdoor event at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Sunday, July 1st, 2012.  By early afternoon, as temps soared into the 90s the show was well underway with early performances by  R&B greats Boyz II Men and the Legendary Jimmy Cliff. 

The King of Dancehall, Beenie Man made his triumphant return to perform for the first time in the US in over two years.  A beaming Beenie Man engaged the audience throughout his hour long set and even called upon his teenage daughter to share the stage for a memorable moment. 

As an encore, Beenie Man performed Bob Marley’s classic ‘Redemption Song’ before it was time to end his set and make way for the King of Lovers Rock,  Beres Hammond.


Photo of Beenie Man at Groovin in the Park (Click on the photo to enlarge)

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Beres Hammond on the road for his ‘Solid Love’ US Summer Tour looked and sounded great. Backed by the Harmony House Band and accompanied by a trio of supporting female vocalists, fans of all ages rocked to all their favorite Beres Hammond songs during his hour long set.  Beenie Man enjoying the show from the side of the stage joined Beres for a few minutes as well. 

Photos of Beres Hammond at Groovin in the Park (click on the photo to enlarge)

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Seven time Grammy Award winner and R&B Songstress Gladys Knight looking elegant in red, added a woman’s touch to close out the day with her timeless catalog of hits.  Gladys only recently had been added to the festival after it was announced that R. Kelly would not be performing. Bubba Knight, brother of Gladys and member of the Pipps joined Gladys on stage for a good natured song collaboration.  


Photos of Gladys Knight closing out Groovin in the Park

With children under 12 free for the event, many brought their families along for multiple generations to enjoy the day.  All Concert-goers I encountered were in great spirits and enjoyed the  high quality performances although some had not been present early enough to see Boyz II Men and Jimmy Cliff including me! 


Soaking up the Sun and Good Vibes at Groovin in the Park

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