Wednesday, 28 July 2010

SOUND BYTES from REGGAE SUMFEST Press Conference @ Iberostar, Rose Hall (Friday, July 24)

MEET THE PRESS: Sponsors, organisers and top entertainers Usher and Gramps Morgan sat on the panel of the 2010 Reggae Sumfest Press Conference last Friday at the Iberostar in Rose Hall to offer thoughts on this year’s staging of the festival and the benefits for all.

HEAD TABLE: Johnny Gourzong of Summerfest Productions; Usher’s road manager; Usher, Gramps Morgan and Robert Russell of Summerfest Productions.

ROBERT RUSSELL, Chairman, Summerfest Productions

Are Jamaican dancehall entertainers turning over a new leaf? Russell noted a marked improvement in the behaviour of performers who hit the stage on Dancehall Night at this Reggae Sumfest at Catherine Hall, Montego Bay. “It augurs well for our music to see how the artistes behaved [on Dancehall Night]. I felt very proud. Up to the last song that Vybz Kartel performed, people stayed in place, and it just goes to show that if you provide good entertainment, people will stay.”

JASON HALL, Jamaica Tourist Board

Reggae Sumfest still draws mega crowds to Montego Bay after 18 years, working wonders for the economy of the resort town, observes Hall. “The fact that [Reggae Sumfest] has survived is testament to its resilience and importance. MoBay is like the mecca of reggae music with hundreds of tourists and foreign press coming here to cover. The positive economic impact is great for MoBay. It’s truly a valuable event in this regard and makes our job of marketing the city that much easier.”

JOMO CATO, Red Stripe

“We promote and support Jamaican music not just because it benefits the music industry but also the hospitality sector. Producing a world class festival here adds value to brand Jamaica; we all benefit.”


“Sumfest provides a great mix of local and international brands and talent. A job well done. Congrats to Summerfest Productions.”


“As the platinum hotel sponsor, Reggae Sumfest has secured us increased hotel revue and marketability. We are already signing off on next year. Reggae Sumfest is a great opportunity for reggae music to shine.”


The R&B superstar is an unabashed lover of the tropics, digs the fusion of hip-hop, R&B and reggae and strives to stay current creatively:

On loving Jamaica: “It’s wonderful to be here to perform and be a part of this culture. I’ve been here many times, but this is my first time at [Reggae Sumfest]. I’m sorry the weather is looking the way it is, but I hope you’re ready for it. We’re going to have a wonderful time. I’ve planned something special for Jamaica.”

On reggae-meets-R&B-meets hip hop: “The fusion is beautiful; it’s a chemistry that has worked for many years. The rhythms that come through the drums and the keys are amazing.”

Staying current: “Music is a universal language, so I just have to adjust and be consistent. I gotta give a nod to classic artistes of the past who were able to bridge the gap and also give love and respect to artistes of the past year. Being consistent is about being in touch with whatever music you perform as it evolves. No matter what I sing, I’m going to entertain.”

Related Posts:

* Top 9 Moments of Reggae Sumfest 2010

* King of R&B: Usher kills it on International Night II @ Reggae Sumfest

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