Photos and feature by Empress K for Reggae Reflection.
Photos and Video: 9th Annual Montreal Reggae Festival delivers a great mix of Dancehall and Reggae
The 9th year of the Montreal Reggae Festival kicked off three days of Music on the evening of Friday, August 17th with a dancehall night featuring Cham. At very affordable prices for the 3 day event, the Cham tickets were only $10 for one evening and fans also had the option to purchase mulit-day tickets to encompass the entire line-up occurring Friday through Sunday. Weather always an unknown factor in outdoor events and a problem in past years of the festival could not have been better throughout the weekend. With 2012 being celebrated around the world for Jamiaca's 50 years of Independence and and Usain Bolt's domination at the Summer Olympics, displays of Jamaican pride could be seen everywhere.
Cham Headlines Opening Dancehall Night
Day 2 with Christopher Martin, Popcaan, Konshens and Assasin
Saturday's line-up continued a great blend of Dancehall and some Lovers Rock as well with Christopher Martin, PopCaan, Konshens and Agent Sasco. All quality and good length set times backed by the Ruff Cut Band.
At approximately 7:30pm, the first international headliner Christopher Martin dressed in vibrant Orange pants and a black sleeveless vest easily won over the ladies in the audience when he sang 'his hit songs Cheater's Prayer, Chill Spot, and Paper Loving. Martin also performed a well received selection of R&B covers including Bruno Mars Just the Way You Are and classics from Marvin Gaye Sexual Healing, and Al Green Let's Stay together and I'm so in Love further sealing it with the ladies.
PopCaan one of the most highly anticipated dancehall performers of the night was the second performer of the evening did not disappoint and gave a strong performance of his hits including Ravin and Only Man She Wants.
Photos of Christopher Martin and Popcaan
Konshens made dramatic entrance to the stage dressed in a hooded grey sweatshirt, sunglasses, black pants and a leather studded black glove completing the outfit. Konshens easily engaged the crowd and and brought a female audience member on stage which provided some light hearted humor when revealed that the female fan was indeed married and very happy to be on stage with her favorite performer.
Assassin aka Agent Sasco then closed out the night with a powerful set, a great close to the successful dancehall night.
All of the artists were performing for their first time in Montreal and were pleased with the crowd reaction to their sets. Only one performer that was scheduled to perform was not present. Khago tweeted prior to the event that he would not be attending due to embassy issues.
Photos of Konshens and Agent Sasco closing out dancehall night
Montreal Reggae Festival Supporters show their spirit
Day 3 with Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley and Jimmy Cliff
Sunday, the final day of the festival featured three more class acts from Jamaica. It's nice to see Romain Virgo continue on his successful path along with Tarrus Riley's quality performance and Jimmy Cliff celebrating 50 years in the entertainment industry.
Former Digicel Rising Star Romain Virgo backed by the Ruff Kutt Band battled some sound issues during his set, however he handled them like the pro that he has become and entertained the the audience with a solid set of his hit songs with several including I Know Better and the title track The System from his latest album released in 2012.
Tarrus Riley backed by Dean Fraser and the Black Soil Band was just in from a show in Kenya and about to thit the road to Europe to resume his tour. As a nice touch, he greeted the audience in French and received an enthusiastic response as he continued to belt out hit song after hit song from his solid catalog of well known selections from his albums Parables and Contagious as well as new singles.
I missed Jimmy Cliff in NY this past summer so I was looking forward to see Jimmy Cliff perform for the first time. Forever a young spirit, It's hard to believe that Jimmy Cliff has been entertaining audiences for 50 years and is still making new music! Just over the summer he released 'Rebirth' his first studio album in eight years. Jimmy Cliff is the consummate entertainer and knows how to please an audience and did so by performing the audience's favorite selections from his many decades of music. He opened up his set with an appropriate selection of You can Get It If You Really Want It and gave the audience what they wanted - a great finale to the 9th Annual Montreal Festival and a testament to the longevity of Jimmy Cliff's years in the business.
Photos of Romain Virgo, Tarrus Riley, and Jimmy Cliff
I had a chance to speak briefly with Tarrus Riley, Jimmy Cliff and Romain Virgo. about their experience in Montreal as well as to ask Romain Virgo his advice to new artists and Jimmy Cliff's advice to having career longevity. Check the video for clips of the show and interview.
A Reflection in Time
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