20 August 2018
The musical line-up of the 5th day on the Main Stage of the 25th edition of the festival leaves Jamaica to show that reggae can also be seen as a worldwide phenomenon. Every time Beres Hammond plays here he has left a footprint and surely won’t disappoint this time. He is a singer that infuses soul into his reggae in a unique and incomparable way.
He was born in 1955 and among his first experiences in the realm of music his role as the singer in the super-group Zap Pow. As a solo artist he found success in 1976, when he was only 21 years old, with his album ‘Soul reggae’, whose title hints at his style. In the 90s Beres Hammond became one of the flagships of Jamaican music with a wave of hits, many produced by Donovan Germain in his penthouse or by Richard Bell for Startrail. In this period he had many memorable duets with artists such as Marcia Griffiths, Tony Rebel, Cutty Ranks and Buju Banton. Later he launched his own record company Harmony House, whose orange label became synonymous with high quality, as much for the songs as for the other artists that produced for him. Aside from his list of hits, all of his concerts are a musical voyage through 30 years of Jamaican music.
Following on will be the turn of the Jamaican sounds of Protoje, one of the leaders of ‘reggae revival’ movement. His real name is Oje Ken Olivierre and he’s the son of the singer Lorna Bennett. He started singing in 2004, but rose to fame with his debut single ‘The seven year itch’. He was inspired by role models from the golden age of roots but also draws on the influences of hip-hop and r&b, combining them with intelligent and original lyrics. His latest release is entitled ‘A matter of time’, adding another jewel to his extensive discography.
Bringing the The Main Stage to a close we will have a really exclusive show, the son of an Italian town; Alborosie. He moved to Jamaica and is now a global star of the first order in the reggae universe. He’s celebrating his 25 years of activity in a special way, with his latest work ‘Unbreakable’, which he recorded with members of Bob Marley’s Wailers. It’s considered to be one of the best reggae albums of 2018 and his most recent tour will end with a unique show where he will be accompanied by Aston Barrett Jr., Tyrone Downie and Junior Murvin of the Wailers with his band. Also among those invited will be the Jamaican artist Duane Stephenson, who showed all of his talent with his three albums released on the VP record label, as well as composing hits for other artists, for example Luciano.
Another highly anticipated moment of the night will take place on the Lion Stage, with the celebration of the 30 year career of the British artist Zion Train. An incomparable example of fusing dub and electronic music with lyrics that tackle issues like the environment, injustice and the fight against racism, expressing a new vision for the world. Joining Neil Perch for the anniversary celebration there will be the likes of Dubdadda, Raiz, Nish Wadada, Paolo Baldini y Paolo Polcari. Other artists on the Lion Stage are Ras Kuko,Danakil y Saritah.
Last but not least, the Dancehall area will host another historical show, featuring David Rodigan and the legendary King Jammy; a foundation artist that took Jamaican sounds from the 70s through to the 80s, passing through esoteric dub to the launch of dancehall superstars such as Frankie Paul, Cocoa Tea, Bounty Killer and Ninjaman, among others.
Written by Pier Tosi. Translated by Finn Darco