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Buju Banton and Friends live in Miami

Buju Banton and Friends live in Miami

Buju Banton and Friends live in Miami

By on - Photos by Gail Zucker - 4 comments

Buju Banton graces Downtown Miami with Before the Dawn Concert.


"Why them wan’ see Buju Banton cry" Is it because I said ‘Boom Bye Bye? Is it because I say Selassie I? Is it because I’m black and not shy?" Buju voiced these outspoken words onstage Sunday evening in Miami, Florida. Buju Banton has now over a year to ponder these questions that has made him a target for his anti-gay lyrics and then “Driver” which drew a different kind of attention to him.

Buju Banton in Miami

January 16, 2011, the highly anticipated date of ‘Before the Dawn Concert’ finally arrived! It was a perfect Miami night, a comfortable 65 degrees and clear skies. In conjunction with Rockers Island and Gargamel Music, Bayfront Park Ampitheater was filled to its capacity of 8,000 enthusiastic fans. The production was tight, with Chuckles working hard behind the scenes. The security was even tighter, with US Marshals as Buju’s escorts and police presence backstage.

Aside from all Buju’s legal issues, his performance was the best I would say of his whole career. He looked healthy, vibrant, in great spirits and physical condition. His is stamina onstage was non stop and the audience could feel the vibez that this humbling experience has given him the opportunity to look into himself and rise above his situation. Music is his calling and the stage is obviously where he is most comfortable singing and dancing. 
The spiritual heights of his presence onstage connected emotionally with his fans.

Judging from his awesome beyond words performance, the harmonies of the ‘Gargamel girls’ stronger than ever, the band tighter than I’ve ever seen them, the 2 hour performance delivered most of his hits. He entered the stage singing an acapella version of “Destiny,” and the crowd went wild. He then broke into tunes like “Not an Easy Road, “Untold Stories”, “Wanna be Loved” and a few bars of “Driver”.
Buju Banton and Marcia GriffithsJoined onstage by the timeless beauty Marcia Griffiths they performed their duets “Closer” and ‘Live On.”
We were promised a surprise guest on the show flyers, and at this point Buju states that his mentor Beres Hammond was supposed to be his guest, but was unable to make the journey. He chants into “Who Say Big Man Nuh Cry” that he duets with Beres.
Stephen Marley, who “rose up” to Buju’s rescue for release during these troubled times joins Buju onstage. The crowd goes wild once again! Then when Damian joined them a roar from the audience swept the ampitheater.
Stephen & Buju sang Bob Marley’s “Duppy Conqueror,” which was so appropriate for the occasion, then Stephen and Damian Marley ended their portion with boom new hit, “Jah Army.”
Next his Penthouse days bredren, Wayne Wonder, takes the stage and they sing “I Don’t Know Why” and “Forever Young.”
Gramps Morgan spiritual presence manifested, and together they sang the “23 Psalms” which brought tears to many eyes in the audience. It was a touching moment as he prayed to the Lord to have mercy on him.
The audience cheered as David Marcus, Buju’s attorney came out for the finale, who earlier in the evening Buju commented “Nuh watch him skin color, him black like we!”

Buju’s support group of family, friends and fans travelled from far and wide to witness this extraordinary event. Media people amongst us even flew in from Amsterdam! Others came from New York, Jamaica, Canada and England.

Artists flew in to perform and show their support for their fellow showman. Richie Loop opened the show singing his hit “My Cup.” Next Rastafarian Everton Blender entertained the audience with his hits “Ghetto People Song” and “Lift Up Your Head.”
Nadine Sutherland has matured into a beautiful young woman, but can still wine and dance like a young girl! Singing her hits such as “I’m in Love,” she rocked the crowd.
Foundation artist Freddie McGregor took the stage with his lovely backup songbirds Twiggi and his daughter Shema. The audience sang along as he did a medley of his tunes.
Another surprise! Gyptian runs onto the stage..breaks into his hit “Hold You.” He has gained experience and displays much confidence in his stage presence.

Smooth Wayne Wonder takes the stage, followed by another surprise guest Michael Rose of Black Uhuru fame. Gramps Morgan belted out some of his tunes as a single artist.
Tarrus Riley and manager/mentor Dean Fraser are always a hit.
He couldn’t go away without singing “She’s Royal.”
To my surprise... who is this sporting a Mohawk? Wha? Sean Paul!
He sang his hits and was joined on stage by Spragga Benz! What a combination!
Shaggy performed a little longer, singing “It Wasn’t Me” with Rayvon accompanying him. Serani also joined them onstage. Shaggy sported a baseball cap with jeans to match. He gyrated and grabbed his crotch Shaggy style.
Miami’s own DJ Khaled hyped the audience and an almost bald Busta Rhymes dressed in a red t shirt, chanted with him toasting style.

Ten P.M. Buju Banton embraced the audience and the rest is history! I feel so fortunate attend this spectacular event and I pray Buju Banton will be set free to entertain the world in the manner to which we have become accustomed. His next trial date is February 7, 2011... FREE BUJU!


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Read comments (4)

Posted by pjrasi on 01.24.2011

Posted by Monica Harvey on 01.24.2011
Gail, this is an excellent article. Well written, the best I have read so far. Also the pictures are very beautiful.

Posted by Meakai on 02.18.2011
Great article, I was transported to the show while reading the article. Thanks.

Posted by Andrew on 05.10.2011
Awesome article Gail, I did not make the show but you made me experience it ...

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