Words by LargeUp Crew
Photos by Martei Korley
International support for the Caribbean following this year’s devastating hurricane season has begun to subside, but not in the region itself. This past Wednesday, it was Jamaica’s turn to large up its neighbors. Caribbean Love Now, an organization formed to support those affected by storms in the region, hosted its “Jamathon” (Jamaica + telethon = Jamathon) at the National Indoor Sports Center in Kingston, bringing out some of the island’s biggest names, and a handful of international guests, to raise funds for those in need.
The full list of performers is too lengthy to mention, but we caught short sets from each of the following: Toots and the Maytals; Stephen, Chino and Freddie McGregor; Raging Fyah; Jesse Royal; J Boog; Iba Mahr; Protoje; Beres Hammond; Fay-ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin; Sean Paul with Chi Ching Ching; Tarrus Riley and Romain Virgo, and finally Sizzla with a cameo from Bounty Killer. All artists at the event, hosted by Tommy Cowan, Nikki Z, Miss Kitty and Pretty Boy Floyd, were backed by an all-star band led by the “Dean of Jamaican Music,” Dean Fraser. Jamaica’s prime minister Andrew Holness also made an appearance at the event, which aired locally on TVJ and was streamed worldwide.
No word yet about future events under the Caribbean Love Now banner, but you can continue to donate here.
He rules, he rules — God comes first! Big him up! DJ father
You can always find a peanut vendor in the crowd, at any Jamaican music event
The crowd revs up as Toots Hibbert enters the stage
Two of JA’s finest: Keyboard ace Bowie McLaughlin and bass player Mikey Fletcher were part of the stellar band which backed the entire show
Toots gives bandleader Dean Fraser a pound
When push comes to shove…
Freddie McGregor performed, as did his sons Chino and Stephen
Dean Fraser walks towards the stage followed by drummer Kirk Bennett and Christopher Martin
Colin ‘Bulby’ York and Kumar of Raging Fyah chat it up backstage
Freddie Mac hails producer Skatta Burrell after a top-notch performance
Bulby, with Stephen and Chino McGregor
The National Indoor Stadium, full ah vibes
Kumar of Raging Fyah puts it down
Jesse Royal checks in for his performance
Protoje puts one up inna di air
Kingston, be wise…
And another one
Romain Virgo, salute!
Three dudes fresh off the High Seas: J Boog, Iba Mahr and Nesta Garrick
Tarrus Riley repping the original Sky Juice
When the Chairman of the Board appears
What can you do to stop man from trying?
Tommy Cowan, veteran MC and presenter, yes indeed!
When Beres finishes the encore
[From L to R] Tommy Cowan, concert organizer Josef Bogdanovich, Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Minister of Youth and Culture Olivia “Babsy” Grange make pledges to the cause
Fay-Ann Lyons inna vibes
And again, with her other half, Bunji Garlin
Tall man Chi Ching Ching casts a giant shadow
Nuff respect to all officers keeping the peace
Sean Paul showed off his dancing game under pressure from Ching, sending the crowd into a frenzy
MCs Miss Kitty and Pretty Boy Floyd
Tarrus Riley, Sherieta Lewis and Romain Virgo performed “Carry On,” a song specially written for the relief effort by Lewis and Sean Diedrick.
Tarrus + full church choir = notes!
The ever-energetic Geefus poses up with two bredrin. Traffiiiiiccc!
A backstage portrait of Protoje
Can you feel the raw energy here? Kalonji and Bounty Killer, fresh from the Jamrock cruise, ready to take the stage.
Jah Cure shares a laugh with Skatta
Sizzla runs on to the stage, followed by Josef Bogdanovich
Sizzla burns the fire extra hot!
Never lost a step
And airborn half the time…
And when Kalonji tunup: Kickout!
Kalonji x Killer: Sizzla and Bounty meet on stage
Bounty Killer takes it all in
Two big voices, one stage
Sizzla steps forward, as Dean Fraser directs the band