Wednesday, 24 December 2014

FACES IN THE CROWD: Star-studded Tarrus Riley and Friends light up Emancipation Park

FOR MY PEOPLE: By the time Grammy nominee Sean Paul hit centrestage at around 11:30pm on Tuesday night, Emancipation Park was awash with the kind of electric euphoria one usually experiences at Reggae Sumfest. It's a measure of Tarrus Riley's influence and the level of respect he commands from his peers that his annual free-to-the-public mega production Tarrus Riley and Friends continues to attract the best in reggae and dancehall to bring holiday cheer and high-energy performances to music lovers hailing from across the capital. Headliners Ninja Man, Cherine, D-Major, Prodi, Raging Fyah and Duane Stephenson shared top billing with Jah Vinci, McKeehan, Jah Bouks, Ikaya and Busy Signal, among several others, treating the massive crowd to their most popular and beloved tunes and end-of-year messages. As such, the WATA-sponsored event co-emceed by Isis, Debbie Bissoon and Riley himself proved a thrilling success as much for its appealingly diverse lineup as for its richly cathartic blend of live music and holiday spirit. 

 DREAM TEAM: After a show-stopping performance featuring "Rebel," "Eagles and Doves" and "Haffi Come Back" songstress Cherine was spotted hanging with duet partners Natel (left) and Stratdon. A high-school tour and tonnes of new music, Cherine says, are in the works for 2015.

 UP CLOSE: D-Major had reason to smile given the year he's had chart-topping singles, a warmly received debut album capping it off with vocally sharp renditions of his most well-known tracks at Tuesday's concert and posing for pics with pretty ladies like songbird Kaye.

TRUE COLOURS: Delivering one of the best sets of the night and one of the best reggae albums of the year, Dangerously Roots Duane Stephenson caught up with soulful sistah Shuga while hanging backstage.

FLYING SOLO: Reggae icon Richie Spice, whose next as-yet-untitled album drops in 2015, also stepped out in support of the star-packed concert.

LONG TIME NO SEE: Former Jamaica  film commissioner Kim-Marie Spence (right, now based in Australia!) was a ball of energy backstage as she reconnected with long-time pals like publicist Carlette DeLeon. "I really like Australia for a number of different reasons," Spence told TALLAWAH. More anon.

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