BENAIAH Delivers Roots Rock Reggae
Inside the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival
Words and photos by M. Peggy Quattro
The 8th annual Jerk Fest was a major success, rammed with more than 15,000 South Florida fans and 60 food, art and crafts, and corporate booths. The weather was perfect and Markham Park, a beautiful spacious park in west Broward County, was overflowing with family fun, food, and live music.
The fest began at 10 a.m. and the music kicked off around 5PM. The Benaiah Band backed the opening acts, which included LG and Ambilique, before veteran musician, performer and producer Dean Fraser thrilled the crowd with his stellar tenor and soprano sax talents on such standards as “I Believe in You and Me” and “Dance with My Father Again.”
Next up, Joseph Benaiah, lead singer and producer of the Miami-based Benaiah band came bounding on stage to bring a roots and lover’s rock set of outstanding and uplifting original music. With four CDs released since the 1990s, Joseph Benaiah performed songs from the latest CD, New Beginning, including “Make Ends Meet” and ”Money Strategy.” The crowd responded positively to the smooth lover’s rock music and the equally smooth stage performance. The Benaiah Band was rock solid with seasoned musicianship and excellent harmony vocals.
Since 1985, Benaiah has toured with, and opened for or performed with, such reggae greats as Dennis Brown, Mighty Diamonds, and Michael Rose. The band has toured the world – from Japan to Brazil, and played for fans in most all of the North American cities with major venues.
Joseph Benaiah is currently in the studio working on his next CD, Fully Loaded, to be released in the first quarter of 2010.
Benaiah tapped top Kingston studios and producers – including Dean Fraser – to contribute to the band’s much-loved authentic roots reggae sound. A major tour is in the works to promote this latest release. “I just want to keep making songs that uplift people,” says Benaiah, “and taking our music and message to the world.”
Fans can watch Benaiah’s video for “Once There is Life,” shot on various locations throughout Jamaica, on YouTube, MySpace.com/BenaiahRecords, and on ReggaeReport.com. Two more videos are in the planning stages.