THE curtains came down on the Reggae Month's celebration yesterday. However, plans are already in place for next year's staging.
Charles Campbell, Jamaica Reggae Industry Association's (JaRIA) executive director and vice-chair, said a venue change is in order.
"We will be moving to Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex for the next five years," Campbell told the Jamaica Observer.
The executive said the move is in keeping with JaRIA's vision to establish a village for month-long celebrations.
He said the venue would not only showcase talent, but would act as the premier marketplace for conducting business.
Campbell said plans were in place to develop new streams of income in order to maintain the organisation's independence.
The JaRIA vice-chair said he was satisfied with this year's staging while acknowleging there is room for growth.
"What makes me feel good is each week attendances grew larger as the events built momentum. Last Wednesday was the biggest Wednesday of the series," he said.
The activities included Reggae Wednesdays free concerts held at Emancipation Park and Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex in St Andrew; the Open University discussion series at Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex; the Dennis Brown Tribute Concert in Kingston; the Trench Town Rock concert; and the JaRIA Honour Awards.
In an effort to woo more up-and-coming artistes and established acts, Campbell said it was a work-in-progress.
"We just have to continue chipping away at the block. The more successful Reggae Month is, the more we incorporate all the elements of our music in the programme and the more we will get active participation from those sector," he said.
Formed in 2008, JaRIA's mandate is to organise Reggae Month events with a view to uniting the entertainment industry.
Reggae Month activities were first held at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in St Andrew.
It outgrew the venue in the first three years then moved to Emancipation Park in St Andrew.
"We are now in the third transition, that in itself speaks on the growth," Campbell added.
Marcia Griffiths, Chronixx, Chalice and The Other Side of Moses Davis will add a tasty mix of sweet reggae to the 2014 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival between tomorrow and Saturday at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium in Greenfield, Trelawny.
The Queen of Reggae, Marcia Griffiths, will celebrate her 50th anniversary in the music industry with a special performance tomorrow. Bob Andy, Judy Mowatt, Freddie McGregor, Tony Gregory and Chris Martin will also make appearances during the Golden Jubilee celebration of Griffiths' career.
Griffiths, known for her smooth delivery and effervescent performances, was a member of the all-female trio the I-Threes, which did their own recordings and performance as well as harmony for Bob Marley & the Wailers.
Advocate of the Reggae Revival, Chronixx, is also slated to deliver onstage at this year's Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival. Chronixx has fast risen to the forefront of reggae music with a string of popular songs, including Smile Jamaica, Behind Curtain, Odd Ras and They Don't Know.
Chronixx has steadily improved his craft and, among his more recent well-known songs, are Here Comes Trouble and Me Alright, the latter recorded with Kabaka Pyramid.
One of Jamaica's finest dancehall performers, Beenie Man, will be showcased through an entirely different lens, as the Grammy Award-winning deejay will be performing under the theme 'The Other Side of Moses Davis'.
The 2014 Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival's star-studded line-up includes Chaka Khan, Chrisette Michele, Mary Wilson and Crystal Gayle. Other acts include Joe, the silky smooth Beres Hammond and Protoje who, all together, will combine for a diverse set of performances.
The festival is sponsored by The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Consumer Brands Ltd. Seaboard Marine, Knutsford Express, Jamaica Observer, Courts and Intelligent Multimedia.
Patrons blew their horns in support of 'host' Tony Rebel, Professor Nuts, Louie Culture, Etana, Marcia Griffiths and Tarrus Riley. However, it was Beres Hammond for whom the plastic horns resonated loudest. There was not a dull moment. In his 45-minute set, as he rocked his audience with songs like She Loves Me Now, Step Aside, I Feel Good, Falling in Love and Can't Stop. "It has been too long Jamaica and I am happy to be here performing for you once more," an energetic Hammond told approving fans. Minutes to midnight, Tony Rebel celebrated his birthday by belting out some of his most popular hits like Fresh Vegetable and If Jah Is Standing By My Side.
Kwabena Nip emerged on the local scene with his smooth vocals over a single called Bloody River in 2011, and has since embarked on promotional tours in England and Africa. The artiste recently collaborated with veteran reggae singer Marcia Griffiths, but laments what he terms a lack of respect to the genre he loves. "In Jamaica, we must always remember these legendary artistes. They are a gift from the Most High to us all, and they still continue to spread the conscious message of true reggae music round the globe," he said.