Reggae around the world 2012

Photos and Feature by EmpressK for Reggae Reflection


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.   


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.

Kicking off the year in Jamaica 


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


Miami up Next


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


Tarrus Riley

Burning Spear

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


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 



Mothers Day Weekend in Boston

New Award show launched   – Boston Most Elite Awards


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


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 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 for all your entertainment needs.

Elephant Man in Aruba

A Fabolous 50th Independence Celebration in Jamaica


 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 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


Tarrus Riley

Jimmy Cliff

Reggae Summer Showcase in Boston / Providence


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.

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




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 for all your entertainment needs.

Anthony B in Barbados

Closing out the year with 48 hours in Africa


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 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

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