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Irie Seabreeze Festival 2012

Irie Seabreeze Festival 2012

Irie Seabreeze Festival 2012

By on - Photos by Lee Abel - Comment

Sweet Sounds Over the Waters of Southern California.

The 15th annual Irie Seabreeze Festival took place in Long Beach, California, on the waterfront next to the famed (and reportedly haunted) Queen Mary ship. 2,500 people lounged in the sun and later rushed the stage as a mixture of Jamaican and Central American artists played on.

Irie Seabreeze 2012

New Kingston, a vocalist/instrumental group comprised of 3 brothers and their father, started things off and also brought international dancer/choreographer Blacka di Danca to join then onstage.

Since the Los Angeles area is home to one of the largest Central American populations, it was no surprise to see them well represented at the festival. Belizean punta rock artist Jasha, came on to the stage, complete with golden mask. Honduran Garifuna artist and politician, Aurelio Martinez, brought his enticing blend of African and Latin roots. Beliziean reggae artist Lova Boy, with red hair flying, upped the energy.

Jamaica’s Live Wyya “Spread the Love” in their own set before backing soulful UK artist Lloyd Brown. Unfortunately there was something wrong with the sound equipment during Lloyd’s set, but he kept up the vibes and by the end of his set had the crowd grooving and asking for more. 

As the sun went down, E-Dee brought Jamaican dancehall to the stage and then turned it over to Eljai. Originally from Belize, Eljai is gaining in popularity with timely songs such as his recent “Frenemy”.

By the time Duane Stephenson strode out, it was impossible to move about in front of the stage. Duane put on a solid set, singing his poetic songs of love and social justice. Jah Messenjah Luciano followed Duane and closed the show in style, jumping, flipping, and engaging the audience, all the while singing songs of spiritual and cultural upliftment.  

From the cloudless, pleasantly hot day to the light evening chill that accompanied twinkling lights on the bay and the city beyond, Irie Seabreeze delivered its name’s promise.

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