Among the many can’t-afford-to-miss features at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, the sizzling entertainment on the Main Stage is undoubtedly high on the list. Each year, Festival Director Abdul Mushin scouts the best talents to ensure patrons leave satisfied, but still wanting more. The 14th annual event on November 8 at Markham Park in Sunrise will have an awesome lineup that is bound to deliver “A Taste of Fun” and so much more to Jerk Festival lovers.
For Mushin, the challenge each year is keeping it fresh and entertaining for new patrons as well as diehard Jerk Festival fans. He says, “We search for the very best talent and we look for appeal, uniqueness and a level of demand from our audience. We look for that name so when it’s promoted, the audience will say, ‘Wow! Me have fi deh deh’.”
With an eclectic mix of performers on the Main Stage, festival goers are sure to close the night out with a bang! Mushin explains why these performers will wow audience members: “We have the virtuosity of Third World, the “Reggae Ambassadors”-classically trained musicians performing reggae hits; the youthful song styles of Christopher Martin, the raw sweetness of Barrington Levy, and as a special guest, Gentleman from Germany. We neva do dat before. We gone all over the world for the very best talent.”
The Festival Director elaborates, “Third World’s Cat Coore is one of a kind, especially when he features the cello. AJ Brown, the new front man, is a natural tenor with an extensive repertoire-not of just of Third World tunes, but some of his own renditions of popular songs. And who doesn’t love Barrington Levy’s music? It’s a cross between what we can sing with Mommy and what we can sing to our sweetheart. With lyrics like, I’m too experienced to be taken for a stroll. Too experienced for someone to rock and roll. I’m too experienced to be taken for a ride. And I know it’s not my foolish pride, him just tell her off in a sweet way. He has a boat load of songs like that.”
Also gracing the stage is the band Spred the Dub, which Mushin says “gives us that diversity in Reggae music with that raw honesty in interpretation of our music from their perspective. So you get that country/soft rock influence in the sound that accentuates our appeal to different audiences.” For the more youthful audience members, Zeke Don brings a funky dancehall feel that keeps you dancing. As for Christopher Martin, he is on the bill because … “well, the ladies love him! Lyrics like ‘Don’t let me cheat on my girlfriend’ from his hit ‘Cheater’s Prayer’ resonate with the ladies and they go crazy when they hear that song because they all can relate to that sentiment.”
But the Main Stage is not just for musicians and music, comedian Chris “Johnny” Daley and radio personality Jody Ann Gray, will bring their engaging personalities to the stage. “They are both consummate performers and command a presence on stage like no other. They will certainly keep the vibe flowing between sets,” an excited Mushin says.
So, after checking out the fiery cook-offs, cooking demonstrations, high octane domino and netball competitions, the cultural stages and the fun-filled Kidz Zone, Mushin urges patrons to stay for the Main Stage. “You can’t afford to miss the Main Stage! For the nominal cost of admission, it’s complete madness to miss the Main Stage. We are the best ticket in town for this type of entertainment. Come ‘Get a Taste of Fun,’ and see if you want want some more.”