PICS: Groovin’ In the Park Concert – Review Inside!

Written by Sandra Edwards-Smith. Posted in Caribbean Entertainment News, Caribbean News, Music News, Photos

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Published on July 10, 2014 with No Comments

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Beres Hammond and Marcia Griffiths Wow the Crowd and each other at 'Groovin in the Park'

Beres Hammond and Marcia Griffiths Wow the Crowd and each other at ‘Groovin in the Park’

The 4th Annual ‘Groovin’ In The Park’ concert was held at the Roy Wilkins Park In Queens, NY on June 29, 2014. This show had a stellar line up and was billed as a day of reggae, rhythm and blues. The lineup included Tasha T, an upcoming reggae performer who recently had an album launch. LUST (singing group comprised of Lukie D. Thrilla U, Singing Melody and Tony Curtis), Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Bob Andy, Chronixx and the Zinc Fence Band, Air Supply and the the reigning Emperor of Reggae Beres Hammond and the Harmony House Singers.

Ken Boothe Steps In for John Holt

Ken Boothe Steps In for John Holt at Groovin’ in the Park

John Holt was also billed to appear but was unable to due to illness, however he was well represented by Ken Boothe.  Boothe said he could not replace Holt but came to give his all on stage, and that he did!

Marcia Griffiths Performs during Groovin' in the Park 2014

Marcia Griffiths Performs during Groovin’ in the Park 2014

This concert had so many great moments, it would take forever to recount all, but I will touch on a few highlights. Marcia Griffiths was billed as ‘Marcia Griffiths and Friends’ and she brought out the creme de la creme of her friends. Up first was Keith “Bob Andy” Anderson who wrote many of Marcia’s hit songs including Truly, Really Together, We Belong, which they sang together on stage. Bob Andy was a founding Member of the Paragons (as was John Holt), and is one of Jamaica’s most influential and prolific songwriters.  His set included songs I’ve heard but did not know he penned such as Too Experienced, My Time, I’ve Got to Go Back Home, Young Gifted and Black.

An historic moment with Judy Mowatt (L) and Marcia Griffiths at Groovin' in the Park

An historic moment with Judy Mowatt (L) and Marcia Griffiths at Groovin’ in the Park

Another Marcia Griffiths friend and sister in the music business was Judy Mowatt.  She graced the stage with her hit Black Woman, Thank Lord.  When Marcia and Judy sang No Woman No Cry, they invoked the spirit of Bob Marley into the Arena.  The energy of Bob was palpable and it was certainly an historic moment to see two of the three ‘I Threes’ performing.  It was truly a wonderful moment.

Groovin' in the Park mascot

Groovin’ in the Park mascot

I think I have recounted the story of being in college in 1980 and Bob Marley and the Wailers and the I Threes were going to be in London but, unfortunately, I was five hours away at university.  I decided not to go but to stay and study. Bob died the following year and I never saw him, but I stayed in school and passed my exams!  Seeing two of the three I Threes on stage transported me back 1980 and made me feel as if I had seen them especially when they sang Could You Be Loved and Buffalo Soldier, Trenchtown Rock and Iron Lion Zion. I have seen many videos of Bob Marley and the Wailers and the I Threes, but this was an historic moment for me as well as the thousands that were in attendance. I do not believe my ears deceived me when I heard Marcia say ” the next time you see us it will be all THREE little birds” Rita Marley is one of the “3 Little Birds”.

Orders of Proclamations for All!

Proclamations for All!

Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt and Tony Gregory received a Proclamation from the U.S. House of Representatives for 50 Years of Service in Reggae Music.   Dean Fraser, the great saxophonist and the above mentioned all received the Order of Distinction from the government of Jamaica.

 

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Next up was Chronixx and the Zinc Fence Band. Chronixx is fast becoming the leading young voice in conscious reggae. I saw him perform in May at Best of the Best in Miami, and this was an improved performance.  He is embracing the stage more and moving more.  With a large crowd, you have to command the stage and move from one end to the other so that everyone can see.  This time, he did just that and it was well received. He sang songs like Smile Jamaica, Behind Curtain, Here Comes Trouble, Nah Follow Nobody, Don’t Take My Love for Granted.

Beres Commands the Stage at Groovin' in the Park 2014

Beres Commands the Stage at Groovin’ in the Park 2014

 

When Beres Hammond, the Emperor of Reggae, touched the stage, as always the audience went wild.  I recently saw him in Miami and could not wait to see him again. Beres is always a favorite and he gives the people what they want. He sang  Beat Myself, Tempted to Touch, Double Trouble, Putting up a Resistance, Pull up the Vibes. He was very lively on stage and the crowd loved when he jumped up and kicked his heels together. Beres and Marcia Griffiths did their duet Live On and Shaggy and Beres did their duet The Way You Make Me Feel. The crowd loved it.  Beres really connected with the audience, stopping the music to speak and share his thoughts quite lovingly throughout the set.

Shaggy and Beres Hammond

Shaggy and Beres Hammond

RCS loves Shaggy, he was gracious to many people back stage asking to take photos including our own Red Carpet Shelley.

Air Supply Closes Out Groovin' in the Park

Air Supply Closes Out Groovin’ in the Park. Photo credit: Air Supply Music Facebook

Air Supply always great at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues and they gave a very good performance. They have well known songs like Every woman in the World to Me, All Out of Love. This correspondent joked that they were singing Just As I Am Singing Melody’s song. and Sanchez’ Here I Am.  But, of course, Air Supply originally recorded these songs.

A long day but a great show!  Looking forward to groovin’ at next year’s show!

RCS Sidebar:  Marcia Griffiths is THE ORIGINAL reggae diva.  Marcia had at least three wardrobe changes and looked amazing in every look but my favorite was the long yellow and green body-hugging gown which she paired with a green head wrap.  It was amazing.  Gwan Marcia!

 

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