by Michael Barnett, Senior Entertainment Reporter

Rebel Salute 2014Patrons who attended Rebel Salute 2014, were treated to a feast of Cultural Roots Reggae music and entertainment. Tony Rebel and family must be commended for turning a great one night concert into a full fledged festival, with two nights of pure Rootz Rock Reggae. Many pundits had speculated that a concert consisting of clean Reggae music just couldn’t survive in JA and boy have they been proven wrong. The Rebel Salute Concert which is now a full fledged festival, on a par with Reggae Sumfest, is truly a Reggae purist’s dream.
Friday, January 17, though was the night that stood out in my mind; probably because of the combination of artists. Both nights were rootical, but it was Friday night that was the more rootical for me. With the initial performances by the likes of Jesse Royal and Kabaka Pyramid, my appetite for Rootz Reggae was distinctly whetted. Things got even better when the likes of Dwayne Stephenson, Iba Mahr and Johnny Osborne took the stage. This was sheer delight for yours truly.
Tony Rebel, the promoter for the festival, distinguished himself with an outstanding performance, showing that his  admirable promotional abilities have not taken anything away from his performative abilities.
It was the perfromances of Andrew Tosh, Damian (Junior- Gong) Marley, and Bunny Wailer (the Living Legend)andrew tosh that really impressed me however. And this just wasn’t  because of the obvious Wailers connection, but that all artists are good performers in their own right. Andrew Tosh’s performance was short, but workman -like. He was able to remind the crowd what a rich catalogue of music that his father Peter Tosh had. What was eerie was that if you closed your eyes you could not tell that it was not Peter Tosh performing.
Damiam Junior GongLater on in the evening, Damian (Junior-Gong) Marley came on stage and absolutely thrilled the crowd. Both young and old were moved by his performance. His was undoubtably the most memorable performance of the night, not just because he sung  over several of his father’s tunes, (dispelling the myth that he can’t sing), but that he brought so much energy to his performance, one could not help but be captivated. I had previously seen Damaina perform at a major Reggae festival in Montego Bay in the summer of last year (2013), and he was awsome then. This demonstrated to me that Damian has now become the most accomplished performaer out of all the Marley brothers. Whereas previously he was arguably existing in the shadow of his brother Stephen Marley, he has now come to the forefront of the pack, (so far as Bob Marley’s off-spring are concerned.)
Damian was undoubtably a tough act to follow, but the Reggae veteran, Bunny Wailer was well up to the task in my opinion. He performed for more than an hour, and only got through a small fraction of his huge catalog of music. The crowd were rocking and skanking on their feet at this time, although we were now well into daylight.
When the festivities of night one of Rebel Salute had ended , it was about 8 in the morning and the crowd churned out of the Richmond Estate clearly contented.
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queen ifricaSATURDAY (January 18) the second day of the Rebel Salute festival was enthralling, but did not resonate with me as much as the night before.. The intermittent bursts of rain had something to do with this, but it was more a case of the artist line up. The artists that performed on that night were Bush-Man, I-Wayne, Queen Ifrica.Jah Bouks and Horace Andy. Admiral Tibet put in a fantastic performance, and reminded the crowd why he is such a notable veteran.This  was then  followed by a remarkable performance from Bob Andy.  Queen Ifrica impressed and took  advantage of a break in the rain showers to  put on one of her most masterful performances since she gave birth recently.She took the artistic licence to bring on stage, the two Japanese stalwart artists, Akee and Salt-fish.
These two performers had the crowd eating out of their hand almost as soon as they started to perform. They were emblematic of the great wealth of talent Japan has in terms of home grown Reggae Music.
Rebel Salute 2014 was by all measurements an outstanding success, and the festival  (that was nothing more than a a concert at one point in time)  proves that Rootz Reggae Music in and of itself (devoid of Dancehall) can draw a crowd.
ARTISTE LINE UP FRIDAY:
Bunny Wailer, Pentateuch Band, Spanner Banner, Bugle, Kabaka Pyramid, Duane Stephenson, Iba MahrIkayaLucianoJohnny Osbourne, Max Romeo, TamlinsDamian Marley, Andrew Tosh, Christopher Martin, Chuck Fender, Tony Rebel, John Holt, Eljai, Fred Locks, Jesse Royal, Omari Edwards, Damarah Danni, Hempress Sativa, Jah CuttaARTISTE LINE UP SATURDAY:
Bushman, Leroy Sibbles, Queen Ifrica, Big Youth,  I Wayne, Capleton, Bounty Killer, Pinchers, Jah Cure, Little Hero, Terry Linen, Louie Culture, Jah Bouks, Horace Andy, Bob Andy, Ginjah, Exco LeviExco LeviDubtonic KruStitchie, Anthony Cruz, Admiral Tibet, Edi Fitzroy, Patrick Buddo