Gregory Isaacs, John Holt and Frankie Paul – Classic Reggae!
Great Vocalists Rule at the Jamaica Vintage Independence Celebration
Review by M. Peggy Quattro
Photos by Lynn Dearing and M. Peggy Quattro
Ft. Lauderdale, FL – The Jamaica Vintage Music Fest is becoming one of the must-see shows in South Florida. In celebration of Jamaica’s Independence, a group of the island’s finest singers came together for a night of true niceness.
From Rock Steady to Dancehall to the Cool Ruler himself, Club Cinema was packed with an all-ages audience eager for the music and ready to dance!
Code Red band was red hot and successfully backed a string of performers. Early acts included Tenor Blue Ras Baba, Teena, and crowd favorite Honorebel. General Degree brought back the fun back to Dancehall music and stormed his way into the fan’s hearts with his hits, including “Pianist” and “Pass Mi My Cellular.” His braids and beads had the 90s singer looking as young and fresh as the gals glued to the front of the stage. Next up was Singing Melody, in a mint green suit and white curl-toes shoes. He owned the stage and filled the room with his sweet voice, closing with his hit “Just As I Am.”
Reggae’s most famous tour manager, Copeland Forbes, was in the house celebratiang his birthday. He was surprised on stage with a proclamtion commending him for his 40+ years in the Jamaican music business. When the unmistakeable groan from Gregory Isaacs was heard, the rush to the front of the stage was lightning fast.
Looking slick in his gray silk suit and trademark hat, Gregory performed well, despite being a bit ill. He went through his decades of hits, including “Rumors,” “Diamonds and Pearls,” “Nightnurse,” “Raggamuffin,” “Front Door,” “Mr. Brown,” “Love is Overdue,” and more.
Although not quite vintage, singer Etana made her way onto the list of a “future vintage star.” She performed her hit “Roots” and songs off her latest CD. A crack on the band was unnecessary and the energy slightly changed.
John Holt still commands the crowd when he steps on stage, and this night was no different. In a stylish suit and ites wool cap, the dreaded crooner dashed from one edge of the stage to the other, singing and dancing and genuinely having a great time. “Stick by Me,” “Tribal War,” “Wear You to the Ball,” “If I Were a Carpenter,” and “Tide is High” are just few hits from his distinguised career that had the fans shouting for more.
Frankie Paul, looking dapper in a white suit with trademark long jacket, was welcomed with loud applause that followed after every hit song the crooner delivered. Looking out over the audience, it was a sea of motion as the large crowd moved in unison to the reggae standards delivered the way only Frankie Paul can deliver. “Sarah” was booming in the background as we made our way out of Club Cinema, another great show featuring the classic artists who have contributed to reggae’s history.
Kudos to promoter Luther Mac and all the fine sponsors for supporting the music and the always pleasurable stage shows. Congrats to Jamaica on their 47th anniversary of Independence!