Portlanders taste Festival


Portlanders taste Festival

By Everard Owen
Observer writer

Saturday, June 22, 2019

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PORTLAND, known for its international jerk festivals got a taste of the songs in this year's Jamaica Festival Song Competition. The occasion took place in the town's square in Port Antonio last Saturday.

Etana brought the curtains down on the memorable evening, much to the delight of the audience on hand.

The reggae singer took the stage after the 10 of 11 finalists completed their sets. Unlike the acts before her, Etana refused to stay on stage and performed in midst of the audience.

She did a number of her popular songs including Arise, I'm Not Afraid, and People Talk. The Grammy nominee then threw in Dennis Brown's Love and Hate and Revolution for good measure. She closed with Love Song, which was well received.

Etana left the island on Monday for Paris, France, to to begin the European leg of her Reggae Forever world tour. The jaunt, which started on April 16 in the United States, is expected to end on August 25 in the United Kingdom.

Shows are slated for Dortmund and Frankfurt, Germany, on June 21 and June 22, respectively. The Mauritius gig is on June 28.

Earlier this year Etana was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Reggae Album category for Reggae Forever. The Grammy went to Shaggy and Sting's collab work 44/876.

Meanwhile, absent from last Saturday's acts was Percival “Dharma” Lord, whose entry is A Jamaica We Love, which he penned.

The occasion saw former gospel song winner Edwin Myers with his song Piece a Jamaica; Vernon “Ramize” Smith — Jamaica Fi Life; Nickoy “Shawn D” Green -— Sweet Jamaica; Jerome “Jay Smith” Smith — Embassy Appointment, written by Allison Morris; Meckedah “McKada” Henry — Love For Jamaica, written by Courick Clarke; Alero “Alley Bless” Perrier — Queen Jamaica, written by Michael Reynolds; Escarpment Road New Testament Church of God (NTCOG) — Jamaica Bless, written by Patrick Kitson; Jason “Iya Concord” Wright — Hero Fight; Nester “Humility” Chung — Battlefield; and, Raldene “Loaded Eagle” Dyer — Big Up Jamaica.

Also attending the event was Orville Hill, chairman of the Festival Song competition.

Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Jamaica Festival Song Competition is the longest-running song competition in Jamaica and has showcased myriad artistes and numerous songs which have become the soundtracks to Jamaican life and culture.

The competition, which started in 1966, has been the driving force behind some of Jamaica's acclaimed singers and songwriters, and continues to unearth and showcase several talented individuals each year.

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