Our Halifax summer 2017 escapade continues, this time with a stop at the Halifax Jazz Festival. This year the festival featured two Reggae acts out of Jamaica whose performances were nothing shy of immaculate. Jesse Royal first hit the stage and performed his catalog of hits which had many in the audience singing word for word. For a moment his set reminded me of the live music scene in Kingston and I’m certain that I wasn’t the only one hoping that Chronixx and Protoje would’ve hopped on the stage next. Royal certainly knew what we wanted when he performed a few lines from Chronixx’s “Here comes Trouble”, for which we were elated.
I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t familiar with Jo Mersa Marley’s catalog before the show. That however didn’t stop him from delivering the type of performance synonymous with those fortunate enough to be blessed with the Marley DNA. Grandson of Bob Marley and eldest son of Stephen Marley, he exhibits the versatility of his uncle Damian. That Dancehall/Hip Hop crossover vibe that appeals to a wide cross-section of fans and also has the ability to flip a switch and sing a Bob Marley classic as if it was written for him.
Halifax was hungry for performances of this nature. It was amazing to see the Jamaican diaspora turn out for a piece of home. It was even more amazing to see the number of honorary Jamaicans that came out in their black, green, and gold attire that they probably picked up from the Negril craft market while on vacation.
Check out the video clips of the performances below.