Promoters are making a combined effort to lend their support to incarcerated Reggae and dancehall icon Mark ‘Buju Banton’ Myrie.
According to an article posted on examiner.com, dated November 24, 2011, the support comes in the form of a benefit concert, which is aimed at providing financial support ahead of an appeal on Buju’s three convictions stemming from a December 2009 incident.
The concert is to take place on December 3, as fans and well-wishers of the reggae icon are expected to gather at a designated location in Florida to hear lyrics promoting messages of peace, love and harmony from some of Reggae’s finest performers.
The event is also geared at showing the positive aspects of the artiste’s music, and it is said that the performers will collectively honour the embattled singjay who recently received a Grammy Award and has contributed to the development of reggae and dancehall music worldwide.
The Buju Banton benefit concert will take place at the Supa D Tropical Bar & Grill in Tampa, Florida on December 3, 2011 starting at 1 p.m.
Artistes billed to perform include Delly Ranx, Gramps Morgan, Nadine Sutherland, Glen Washington and Norris Man, among others.
Patrons will be asked to make a donation of US$20. Organisers are hoping to make as much as US$50,000 from the concert to assist in financing Buju’s legal defense. The event organiser, Taranee Jiles, who is said to be a longtime friend of Buju Banton, disclosed that she hopes Buju walks free sooner rather than later, hence her decision to host the benefit concert. “Mark is my friend and nobody was doing anything to help him, everybody was just talking, but nobody was acting,” she was quoted as saying. “With Buju’s blessings, I decided to do a benefit concert for him. Ran the idea also by his fellow artistes and some other supporters, who all thought this was a good idea,” she added. The incarcerated artiste, confirmed the legitimacy of the concert, through his legal team and is said to have issued a statement urging his fans to turn out for the event.
“I, Mark Myrie – aka Buju Banton, support and deem the concert being organised by Taranee Jiles to be a legitimate undertaking in order to raise funds for my legal defense and pending appeal. Your kind support will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance,” the statement read.
According to Jiles via examiner.com, the concert not only raises awareness that Buju needs supports in his toughest hour, but also raises his already iconic stature to new heights given what his music provided for fans worldwide. She also said that the event is a chance to show solidarity. “His fellow artistes should come together in unity to aid this cause. It is time for the people to give back and uplift him now. It will give him the opportunity to defend himself. The concert will help uplift him and assure him – you are not alone, we got your back. It proves to the world solidarity, “she said.
Co-organiser of the event Dwight Blake expressed that Reggae music was widely recognised, and that all fans should support the concert because it is for a good cause. “Reggae is a genre that every walk of life recognises and love, it doesn’t matter where you come from. Many people of different ethnicity, race and culture enjoy reggae, and it’s something that can continue to be introduced to those who never heard it or took the time to listen to. Encouragement is the key and promoting the event encourages others to come out and support the cause,” Blake said.
The artiste is currently serving a 10-year sentence on drug-related charges. Buju Banton won a Grammy in 2011 for Best Reggae Album for his 2010 effort on the LP, Before the Dawn.