Written By: Anil Batra
The Irie Jam Media Family pulled out all the stops this year at the 2016 staging of the Oracabessa Festival held this past Sunday in Roy Wilkins Park. Everyone was left talking about Super Cat’s forced encore performance of Don Dada – even the closing act Vershon was left in awe.
There were many amazing sights to take in at this year’s Oracabessa Festival. To most the festival kicked off with the Oliver Samuel’s production of a wonderful stage play entitled Border Patrol starring and directed by Andrea “Delcita” Wright, which left the crowd in stitches.
The idea of a Jamaican stage play being performed on a concert stage lacks the authenticity and for many the concept went way over the concert-goers heads. It seemed there was also audio glitches that accompanied the mere lack luster performance. The play should have been performed in an indoor venue, enough said.
After the play we witnessed a few gospel acts from local churches in the community. They most memorable one I recall is Pastor Son. He had ventured off of the stage and managed to get back on, but it took him a while to go through the whole crowd at the front of the stage. Imagine gospel meets dancehall to sum things up about his performance. It’s kind of a fun sense without even having to go to church. After all this is on Sunday. It seemed to work out well.
Calypso King, Mighty Sparrow which we were glad to see, had quite a memorable performance and it was truly a delight to watch him perform. He has been suffering from many ailments as of recent and he gave his entire performance from a seated position. He did take us back with his classic Saltfish.
Thereafter, the Irie Jam Media family took a moment to recognize Jimmy Riley son of the ever popular, Tarrus Riley. He had passed away from cancer on March 23 of this year. His wife was bestowed an award on his behalf for his work in the genre of reggae music. Jimmy will indeed be missed by all of us.
From there the dancehall grand finale segment ensued, surprise artists Kiprich and Gullybop gave impromptu performances. David “Mavado” Brooks took the stage sporting a white dress shirt. He performed crowd pleaser Money Changer and Big League, even doing an encore So Special. Next we witnessed Ken Boothe perform his classic hits Everything I Own and The Train is Coming.
Mr Don Dada, Supercat gave an extended performance decked out in a burgundy fedora and checkered suit with an oversize rose on his lapel. Imagine a leprechaun gone wrong to sum up his apparel. He completely left the stage and came back for an encore for which he performed his popular hit Don Dada.
I was moved by Nesbeth’s performance, to say the least. I Dream, which is currently in the reggae charts is taking the world by storm. He has a rather remarkable story. The single father of two has had to overcome the loss of not only his sister but also his wife. Vershon closed out the night with Inna Real Life.
The Irie Jam Media family delivered another amazing show. Special thanks to Syntyche Clarke, Executive Vice President for her tremendous support and for granting me access.