On Sunday June 25th the weather was a bit overcast, but the sun came shining through for all the revelers who came to groove to the rhythms, and music of legendaries in their own rights. Nuff tings gwaan ah dis event, too much fi mi rite bout, but mi jus ah go touch di surface.
Emceed by Tommy “Yes Indeed” Cowan, Groovin in the Park 2017, was the place to be if you just wanted to hole a vibes, eat some good food, listen to some music, and chill. The list of performers were simply amazing, and the evening started with none other than Mr. Singy Singy himself. Taurus Riley lived up to his name, by singing tunes from his catalogue, harmonizing a duet with the royal queen Estelle, and making even sweeter music with the sax king, Mr. Dean Frazer.
During the band change, the massive was entertained by DJ Inferno, who had the young and elderly swaying, and moving their waistlines to some great selections. The entertainment got even hotter when surprise guest Carlene Davis graced the stage with her humble presence, and gave the audience some Sunday blessings. Aftah di people dem get di holy anointing, then it was time to bring out the top guns.
Backed by Lloyd Parks and We The People Band, legendaries in their own rights, captivated the audience with sweet melodies of the golden era. U Roy, Ken Boothe, Freddie McGregor, and Leroy Sibbles all enthralled the crowd with their oldies but goodies. These men made the audience so proud, when it was announced that they would receive congressional awards presented by the most honorable Una Clarke.
A special award was presented to Freddy, as he received the key to the city of Mt. Vernon. Mi ah tell yu, di man large an in charge, him no need no invite, him can jus show up anytime. Brap, brap fi dat.
Everything was irie, everybody enjoying themselves, as Mr. Sibbles had the crowd singing as he performed his rendition of “Oh Happy Day” with the Harlem Mass Choir. I must say, that everyone has their favorite singer, but when the new age artist Busy, was signaled on stage, the crowd was roaring, whistling, cheering….di place erupt.
With this being his first time performing in N.Y., Busy Signal stormed the stage, rehdi fi mash up di place. Tunes a flow, crowd hype up, smoke coming from di grill, or even from di green grass dat was burnin’ fi mek sum people feel chill…..he gave the crowd an arsenal of lyrics fi kill. Tings did a gwaan nice, but all this noiceniss was too good to be true. All artists got an allotted time in which to perform, but Mr. Signal got the short end of the stick.
After about 20 minutes, the organizers told Busy that his time on stage was concluded. Yep, dats rite….Busy haffi tek weh himself an get outta dere. Ah dat time di bangarang start. The patrons were not pleased at all…. very disappointed that dem cut di man’s time slot, an then have Babylon ah fly roun eena helicopter like seh war ah go bruk out. No worries, One love….”Jamaica love”:, ….New York love, so for “one more night”, this man deserves to get some “sweet love.”
With that being said, everyone conducted themselves in a civilized manner, which resulted in the promoters begging the crowd for forgiveness. Don’t know how they will make it up to these loyal fans, but they should forward with a better solution for the future.
After all of this, there was one last soulful entertainer that was about to storm the stage. The “Pied Piper of R&B,” “The King of R&B”…..none other than Mr. R. Kelly, came to the rescue to simmer down the boo birds. Although he started off with new songs from from his latest album, he eventually won over the crowd when he delved into songs from his older catalog. A patron said “mi no like Kells, but what ah way di mon can perform, that it seems as if mi wi forgive him of his past transgressions.” Kelly had the audience dancing, and singing to the lyrics of all his tunes. The crowd was highly entertained and he tried his utmost best to smooth things over with everyone, by showing love…giving love… concluding by “Stepping In The Name Love.”