December 11, 2018

Photos by Martei Korley

Words by LargeUp Crew

The floating music festival which is the Welcome To Jamrock Reggae Cruise just wrapped its 5th edition. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and his team knocked it out the ballpark yet again, with amazing artists and musicians performing aboard the Independence of the Seas. Embarkingย  on a roundtrip journey from Ft. Lauderdale docking in Ocho Rios and Falmouth, Jamaica; this cruise was a cornucopia of activities and comeraderie. Some predicted that this cruise would be epic, and LargeUp would tend to agree. Here is some of what we saw.

The sail away party gets all revelers on deck before the ship has left port. DJ Gringo and Diva Nikki Z warmed up the crowds, while the last rays of the day hit the top deck

Though still in Ft. Lauderdale, dry land already seems like a distant memory.

JAH9 brought an energetic performance as the ship pushed south in the Caribbean Sea. As the cool Florida breeze still blew, the queen performed wearing a coat over her African print ensemble. Jah David deftly laid down the bass lines in his signature style.

It took a while to get the sound ready for Jr. Gong, but the crowd didn’t mind: Mixmaster J, The English general, danced through a powerful set of crowd favorites as the night progressed.

BIG Gongzilla delivered BIG time, while affirming his legacy.

And he did so in the up-close and personal way which is the tradition of this cruise.

Day 2 is all about the white night. Literally in the middle of the ocean, the crowd dressed in all-white became an explosion of beautiful colors as the stage lights reflected onto them.

Queen Ifrica, the original Fyah Mumma, burned down the stage to ashes. She was joined by Damian Marley for their hit tune “Truversation”, the mutual respect is priceless.

Do it fi di love!


It’s something like a pit-bull mixed with a rottie – Sasco teaches Reggaetivity- HOT!

Konshens threw his shirt to the ladies in the crowd, but underestimated the sea breeze, lol…

Ah wha?

Mc Supernatural killed it, freestyling about anything people would hand him.


Supernatural is a Jamrock veteran and knows how to completely transfix his audiences with his limitless lyrics.

Lion Paw! When T.R. touches the stage he always delivers. A veteran of the white night, Tarrus Riley joked that he messed up and wore black pants…

Tarrus pulled his bredrin Konshens back up on stage for the performance of the hit “Good Girl Gone Bad”. Konshens brought a cup of tea with him, stating he was now on vacation having performed his own set already…

Ziggy, Steven, Julian, Kymani, Damian: The Marley Brothers united and performing on one stage. When you say “Jamrock cruise”, you say “Epic”!

DJ Westafa in a contemplative vibe.

Bulpus, Abishai and Dean work behind the scenes to make Jamrock cruise everything it is.

Backstage you will always find a good vibe. Here are some great veterans in the business who helped to make everything possible: Selector/Producer Rory Stonelove, Dancehall Godfather Johnny Osbourne, Dub Poet/Media Personality Mutabaruka and legendary producer Jack Scorpio.

Jesse Royal and Jah Cure posed for a quick shot before Cure’s performance.

Big Up London Town! Ray Paul from the Playmaker Group, the man responsible for the cruise radio, flanked by a couple of lovely sisters…

Jah Cure crooned his way through a strong set.


The crowd couldn’t get enough.

Man from Riverton! Bounty Killer steps onto the stage with Angles Doolas.

Artists Zumjay, Cham and Agent Sasco ready to listen to the 5 Star general.

Yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s Warlord!!!

When talking about live Dancehall, Ruff Kutt is at the top of the foodchain. Keyboardist Nigel Staff has been at the core of bringing the sound for a host of artists.

Studio B on the 3rd floor was the setting for a powerful Jammy’s showcase featuring several classic acts, pictured here are Johnny Osbourne and Pad Anthony.

Daddy Pinchers and Shinehead inna combination pon di big bad sound – what’s not to like?

Shenseea entertaining the crowd and taking the time to teach these girls how to “Jiggle jiggle”.


Naturally, the instructions came with a personal demonstration…

Dexta Daps, ready for action!

Yeah, yeah, yeah! Aidonia with Far East Rulers, Mighty Crown Sound.

Jamrock cruisers are from all over the world. Guess Sweden too…

When ‘Donia jumped into the crowd, iphones flocked him like piranhas to a suckling calf.

The surprise of the night was Mr. Vegas, as Elephant Man couldn’t make it for personal reasons. He didn’t disappoint…

Our friends Likkle V and Tree Step, partied it up yet again – on and off stage, on the radio, on land. So flairy…

When Vegas hits the stage

…or the crowd, it’s a serious thing.

And then he sat a girl down and serenaded her to tears. LargeUp, Vegas!

Sound clash is serious business and the anticipation is palpable.

Clash Titan, Tony “Mentally Ill” Matterhorn.

Mr. Vegas looks like he is ready to hear some dubplates…

After the clash, Matterhorn continues his reign on the Royal Promenade alongside Seani B.

General Degree brought the Granny-voice and everything, but was still annoyed that the girl paid too much attention to the pianist.

90’s danchall is a powerful thing: Red Rat powers through “Tight Up Skirt” and “Shelley-Ann,” leaving the crowd staggering.

Longtime Marley bredrin and collaborator, Spragga Benz, getting props before lighting up the stage. Looks like DJ Delano has high hopes for his performance.

Spragga Benz plays with a full deck in the afternoon!

One of the tone-setting MCs, Diva Nikki Z gets caught up with the outside world.

The meet and greet is a popular cruise activity, even if the lines are long. Here Michael “Grammy” Rose poses for a quick one with two fans.

The onboard football tournament is a tradition by now, don’t forget to sign up next year!

Iba Mahr looks like he wants part of that ball badly!

For a less strenuous sports activity, there is always the water slide…

Jo Mersa Marley backstage parring with Cham, mic in hand!

Jo Mersa definitely did his thing, paying homage to his foundation in a great set.

‘Sounds to keep you rocking and swing’

Jr. Gong joined his nephew for the performance of their tune ‘Point of View’

Kabaka Pyramid & Bebble Rockers : Accurate!

While the breeze got stronger, Black Scorpio sounds kept the crowd warm before Chronixx’ set.

Chronixx looks like skanking sweet him…

For the finale Damian Marley planned something special: Mykal Rose with Sly and Robbie. Shown here: The King of Bass, Robbie Shakespeare.

What is Life? Mykal Rose is undeniably original, no wonder that he is the voice behind the first reggae grammy in history.

Renaissance’s Jazzy T had to capture the moment on his phone. As can be seen in background, anybody who couldhe breeze got stronger and colder. put on hoodies or jackets in the now cold and windy weather. Still the crowd kept growing again, the top deck having been completely emptied for soundcheck after Chronixx’ performance.

Damian joined Mykal Rose onstage to perform their smash hit ‘Shoot Out’

Party done! All fruits ripe, final show completed in fine style – smiles all around! Seen L-R: Damian “Jr.Gong” Marley, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, Bobby Clarke and DJ Roy.