Roberta Flack and Damian “Jr Gong” to Headline St Kitts Music Festival Sweet 16
The first two bookings for the 16th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival have been announced. The Festival Committee has confirmed that Grammy Award winning artists Roberta Flack and Damian “Jr Gong” Marley will perform at this year’s event.
The “Sweet Sixteen” edition of the Music Festival takes place on Thursday June 28th to Saturday June 30th, 2012, at the historic Warner Park Stadium in Basseterre, St. Kitts’ capital city. Minister of Tourism & International Transport, Senator Ricky Skerritt, said he was extremely pleased to learn that these two stellar musicians will perform in St. Kitts. “Hosting such an internationally acclaimed reggae superstar and a legendary soul songstress at the same Festival embodies what this event is all about – the mix of musical genres, age ranges, and the unifying power of music that our Festival has grown to represent,” Minister Skerritt said.
Globally loved Roberta Flack will bring touches of jazz, soul, R&B, and folk music, and is best known for her Hot 100 #1 singles “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face“, “Killing Me Softly with His Song” and “Feel Like Makin’ Love“, as well as “Where Is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You.” “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won the 1973 Grammy Record of the Year and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won the same award in 9174. Flack and U2 are the only artists to win the award in consecutive years. The Grammy Award-winning artist has had her hits covered by the likes of The Fugees, Alicia Keys, the Jackson 5 and the late Luther Vandross. Flack recently made headlines when in February this year she released a new album “Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles,” in which she has taken 12 Beatles songs and infused them with gospel, neo-soul, hip-hop, or smooth jazz rhythm and beats to go along with her distinct alto voice.
Jamaican reggae artist Damian Marley, who is the youngest son of Bob Marley, has won three Grammy Awards. Damian’s nickname Junior Gong is derived from his father’s nickname of Tuff Gong, and his real commercial breakthrough came from the single “Welcome to Jamrock” released in 2004. Set to a mesmerizing rhythm, the track explored the real-life hardship and political strife facing the people of Jamaica. The success of the single led to a bidding war for Damian’s next album, and he decided to sign with Universal. Working with his brother Stephen Marley as a co-producer, Damian put out his biggest album to date: “Welcome to Jamrock” (2005), which incorporated elements of reggae, hip-hop, and R&B, and it reached the top or near the top of all of the charts for those genres. Another testament to its universality was its success on the Billboard Top 200 album, reaching as high as the number 7 spot. The title track earned him a Grammy Award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance. That album also won the Grammy for the Best Reggae Album.
The St. Kitts Music Festival attracts both locals and visitors alike. It features various musical styles on the popular market, including R&B, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Gospel and Contemporary music. Past artists have included such prominent acts as John Legend, T-Pain, Michael Bolton, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Wyclef Jean, Ne-Yo, Air Supply, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Dionne Warwick, Billy Ocean, Sean Paul, Boyz II Men, King Konris, Stephen Marley, Regina Belle, Maxi Priest, Biggie Irie and Lord Nelson.