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Rebel Salute 2011

Rebel Salute 2011

Rebel Salute 2011

By on - Photos by Sista Irie - 4 comments

Rebel to the Core.

Rebel Salute 2011

"The darker the sky, the brighter the stars"... Persian proverb

Each year, Tony Rebel celebrates his birthday in a crowd of 20,000-30,000 fans. On January 15, 2011, Tony Rebel and Flames Productions once again brought to the quiet little seaside village of Alligator Pond, the 18th annual Rebel Salute, which this year landed exactly on his special day. Deep in the countryside, close to the seaside and always on the conscious side, Rebel Salute brings together many of Jamaica's finest singers and players. Rebel Salute is a cultural showcase carefully crafted to emphasize the positive side of reggae and attracts music lovers from all over the island while continuing to grow in international fame. Rebel Salute has become the premiere stage show, to many of the island’s music loving tourists, due to its old time roots atmosphere laced with positive vibes and Rastafari livity.

I always arrive a day early to take in the austere beauty of Alligator Pond located on the border of St. Elizabeth and Manchester Parishes. Cruising past the bustling town of Santa Cruz, one sees a jagged mountain ridge eventually leading down to the smoky dark green sea. The bumpy silhouette of the mountain distinctly resembles the back of an alligator, sloping gracefully into the image of a forested green snout resting lazily on the water's edge. In reality, there are no alligators in this area, only crocodiles, laying quietly in the watery morass and lazily sunning while watching for a quick meal. Pockets of fishermen congregate along the beach, while clouds of crystal white birds circle above worn wooden canoes. Alligator Pond is known for quickly changing weather. The first day was a hedonistic, joyful experience, full of sun, swimming and relaxation. Late the next afternoon, a darkened sky broke into heavy rain. A few hours later, the rain fully retreated at dusk leaving a glowing red, gold and green rainbow painted across the alligator mountain, a radiant symbol of Jah's magnificent handiwork.

Rebel Salute 2011

After the skies cleared, Rebel Salute began early in the evening, maintained a well organized pace and ending hours past dawn. Tight band changes transitioned the night, highlighting the talents of premier players from Gumptian Band, Live Wyaa, Ruff Cutt, Harmony House, Black Soil, and Toots' legendary Maytals. Newer singers were mixed between legendary artists making it risky to arrive late or leave early. The line-up, shorter than previous years, offered a comprehensive history of reggae evolution, emphasizing magical moments from early reggae to the latest trends. Old time legendary favorites included Carl Dawkins known as “Mr. Satisfaction,” “Johnny Dollar's” Roland Burrell and long time favorite Ken Boothe performing a solid history of foundation reggae. Lone Ranger and Dennis Alcapone delivered an outstanding primer of early Jamaican dancehall riddims. 

Dazzling appearances included Beres Hammond, David Brooks (aka Mavado), I Octane, Tarrus Riley and Queen Ifrica. The audience worked into a frenzy, waving flags, blowing horns and craving more with each appearance of these Jamaican favorites. Beres Hammond connected hard with the women in the crowd and ran through favorite tunes such as "Rockaway," "I Feel Good," "Tempted to Touch," along with the “A” Class sounds of  the Harmony House singers and players. Beres remained true to his reputation throughout, undeniably demonstrating his legacy as one of Jamaica's most beloved singers.

Rebel Salute 2011

I Octane artfully revved up the crowd followed by David Brooks aka Mavado, singing a strictly cultural set including “Jah Jah is Coming Soon,” “Hope and Pray” and “Messiah.” The crowd roared throughout Mavado’s set begging for it never to end. Queen Ifrica may well be reggae’s most respected artist. Her stage presence commands respect from all, dancehall and roots lovers alike, delivering critically potent messages and urging a consciousness that could truly change the world. Queen Ifrica is undeniably a force of nature, her intellect and talents combined into an undefiable presence.

Other notable performances of the night include golden girl, Nadine Sutherland who was energetic, sexy and entertaining. She looked wonderfully stylish, clad in tight golden pants, high heel shoes and beautifully styled hair. Her voice remained sweet and alluring while taking full charge of the stage. Chuck Fender and Fantan Mojah performed a stylistic dancehall clash although not allowing for the full talents of each artist to be recognized.

Qshan Dia was one of the special surprise performances of the night, fully appreciated by the crowd noting his remarkable Luciano quality voice. Many of the foreign media commented on a desire to hear more from this extremely talented artist in the future. Romain Virgo, Jack Radics, AJ Prown, Spanner Banner, Little John, Tristan Palma, Stevie Face, Bryhan Art, Sister Carol, and Professor Nuts rounded out the night with musical excellence. Massive respect goes out to all the newer artists such as Brimstone, Binghi Fiya, Jah Cutta, Hopeton James, Junior X, Major Lloyd, as well as Tony’s Rebel’s son and daughter who contributed to the night's ambience.

The adage that it takes a village to raise a child, holds true with “it takes a village of artists to create a magnificent and successful stage show.” Tony Rebel’s professionalism, talent and never failing commitment to continue Rebel Salute in the light of incredibly difficult economic times should be noted by the governing leaders of Jamaica. There is little doubt that reggae music may likely be Jamaica’s most viable natural resource, one that should be promoted world wide and invested in on an ongoing basis as a cultural treasure to be protected and supported. Cultural reggae music in its most conscious form can lead the youth, provide hope and faith to the oppressed and educate the world about the power of the music.. for when it hits, you feel no pain.


Reproduction without permission of United Reggae and Sista Irie is prohibited.

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Read comments (4)

Posted by alberth marmolejo on 02.02.2011
Hey yo I love this music is everything for me, Jah bless you for this information center is what I think about your page, brother I'm from Colombia and I'd like to be part of one of this partys with all those brother .... blessses n' pace nice page.

Posted by Lee Abel on 02.03.2011
Pure niceness, photos, words and vibes! Thanks Sis. Next year...

Posted by sarah bush thomas on 02.04.2011

Posted by Musweu Jimmy on 02.25.2011
Keep the fire burning. I love this people music...... we tell them again...Jah live and rein!!!

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