Embracing the Reggae Story MIRF Declares
“We Are One!” Ten Years of Roots and Dancehall Reggae in Unity
For the past ten years the Montreal International Reggae Festival (MIRF) has been steadfast in generating unity through music and on August 16, 17 and 18, 2013, this reggae rocking tradition continues at the Old Port of Montreal. To mark this milestone, the festival will open up with a series of workshops to include: journalist, writer and director, Hélène Lee, who will present her film “Le premier rasta” that is based on the life of Leonard Percival Howell; and historian/musicologist, Roger Steffans, well known for his fascinating presentations on Bob Marley.
Since its beginnings in 2003 and throughout the ten years, MIRF held fast to its aim to showcase pillars of international and Canadian based reggae music in all its variations; highlighting the unique global appeal of the reggae genre – and this year is no exception
Here are the first headliners for our 10th anniversary program:
Friday night features Morgan Heritage returning to MIRF after five years with their album, Here Comes the King. It is a pleasure to have ‘the royal family of reggae’ return. They also performed at the first production of MIRF.
Dubbed Dancehall Night, Saturday’s line-up includes Mr. Vegas who is no stranger to the MIRF stage. Returning by popular demand Vegas’ lyrical prowess thrust him in the category of international chart topper, as his hits like, Hot Wuk, Tek Wey Yuself and the more recent album Sweet Jamaica with its blend of roots reggae and electrifying dancehall, continue to dominate airwaves and dancehalls.
In honoring the contribution of music and culture from Trinidad and Tobago, MIRF is delighted to present a dynamic trio – Kes (The Band). Leaders of the new soca, electro dancehall sound it has been argued that these three brothers: Kees, Hans and John Dieffenthaller could become successors to the throne of Machel Montano.
Shaggy is undoubtedly the main attraction for this night. The Grammy Award winning electrifying performer was first known for his hit, Oh Carolina. His catchy beats and lyrics, as in hits like It Wasn’t Me, Angel and the Grammy winning album, Boombastic, projected Shaggy to the level of being the only Jamaican artist to have an album go Platinum.
Sunday night is International Night with a roster that includes stalwarts Yellowman, Cocoa T and Freddie McGregor – all of whom have been creating memorable reggae tracks for more than 40 years. Head of the Big Ship label for about 25 years, Freddie McGregor recently released a new album, Freddie McGregor –Di Captain that includes several reggae classics re-visited.
Committed to the overarching theme “United Against Violence”, this year’s program continues to advance the reggae story with performers from all generations. MIRF President, Eric Blagrove said, “We are pleased with our track record of bringing thousands of audiences together under the Reggae music banner and this year promises to be even greater as French and English; beginners and veterans perform styles that even go beyond the norms of fundamental reggae.”
As is customary the ambiance at the Old Port will be festive with: activities for children; Caribbean and other cuisine; artisan displays and vendors of all sorts.
Watch the MIRF 2013 video highlight here: http://youtu.be/aMwa9hZqJjg?a
More info at http://montrealinternationalreggaefestival.com/