Rasjohnmon's   Report from the Yard for August 12th

Reggae SumFest


With the final night of Reggae Sumfest 95 getting underway on stage, I am still back at our house on Peterson Street in the iron shores section of MoBay. Each day, everybody is sleeping a little later and it was nearly 6 PM when I rolled out of bed. As it turned out, there was no rush because the vans picking up our scattered crew (and baggage for those leaving right after the show,) were all running late. Three days into the marathon, the nerves of some of our team were a little shot and we needed to get them settled down first.

When I reached Catherine Hall, audio was rolling but video was still doing set-up. Sadly, the cameras missed Cidade Negra who brought their strong Reggae groove from Brazil to Jamaica. Don't worry though, we will be bringing the audio to you right here at Reggae.

About 90 minutes into the show, tape was rolling on video as one of the night’s highlights took the stage. Julian Marley and Damion Junior Gongo Marley brought their Dad's presence to the festivities for International Night II in honor of the Marley legacy. The outstanding talent manifested in all of Bob’s children as a thing of wonder. Original material and covers of several of their Dad’s songs provided a powerful set for the crowd.

While other nights presented nearly all Jamaican talent, this final night had strong international flavor. Sakoya, from Japan, brought her great voice and high energy performance to the stage and easily won over the crowd. The same can easily be said from Brazil’s representatives, Leejahn from Canada, Morgan Heritage from N.Y. and Steel Pulse from the U.K.. None of them outshined the locally based stars of our show including Ini Kamoze, Junior Tucker, Mykal Rose and a show stealing performance by Chaka Demus - Pliers.

The energy tonight was only challenged by dance hall night. The vibes pumped out from the stage kept most of the tired but happy crowd on their feet through most of the show but a lot more people were grabbing naps on the hard ground than any of the other nights. Fewer people made it to the final night and from a peak of about 20,000, the numbers had dwindled to a few hundred when Toot’s and the Maytals closed this year’s festival at about 9 AM Sunday morning.

It has been four days of spectacular music, audiences filled with love and positive energy and a festival run with a level of professionalism that would be respected anywhere in the world.

Reggae Sumfest 95 had clearly been a major success on all levels and thanks to our audio and video crews, a state-of-the-art record of the event would soon be available to the world. Reggae will be bringing the festival to the Internet within a few weeks in probably it’s most complete form so check back for updates and schedules.

A large Jamaican and U.S. crew came together, combining their skills and talent to make everything come together. While we are sure to miss some of the many indispensable people, here’s a partial credit list to thank the dozens of people who fought fatigue and all the normal technical challenges to get the job done.

The biggest thanks goes to the founders and Executive Producers of the show headed up by Godfrey Dyer, Robert Russell, Johnny Gourzong and Walter Elmore, supported by Winston Chen, Walt Crooks and Sydney Reid. Greg Bagarozy and Ralph Newman headed up the U.S. contingent with Neil Olshanksy as our Producer Director. Special thanks goes to Jose Barrios in the Associate Director post who guided the camera crew for much of the show. Tim Mack, Bob Hunter, Mark Sector and Fritz Lang were among the team members who made it happen. Chuck Goslin, on the 28’ boom camera deserves special thanks for his flawless of work.

On the Jamaican side, Summerfest Productions Ltd. put together just as strong a team. Here is a list and thank you for the key members of the Jamaica team:

Sumfest 95 Credit List

Executive Producer

Greg Bagarozy

Production Company

Summerfest Productions Ltd.

Marketing and Promotions

Lucille Loe

Operations Director

Sidney Reid

Technical Director

Ricardo Chin

Production Manager

Trevor Nairne

P.A. System

Pristine Music Productions

Production Engineers

Stephen Stewart
Noel Hearne
Martin Lewis

Lighting Director

Bobby Boscombe

Stage Lighting and Services

John Swausy
Jeff Gaines
Stage Equipment and Lighting Inc
Vanco Stage Lighting, Inc.


Superstar Stages and Tops

Stage Management

Mark Brown
Cauford Shippy
Worrel King
Ricky Alkman

Artist Co-Ordinator

Carole Rose

Artist Liason

Clive Waldron
Nerissa Sott, Teddy

Production Electrician

Kenneth Johnson

Production Assistants

Michelle Webster
Edu Myles
Troy Campbell

Getting to meet many of the legends of Reggae Music backstage has been a highlight for me with a special honor coming from meeting Toots and Jimmy Cliff. Sade came to enjoy the show and it was great meeting her too during a backstage visit. Reggae Sumfest ‘95 has truly been a joyous four days with the energy in the music keeping spirits high and tired bodies on their feet for over 40 hours of great music. One love and great respect to all who were a part of this Reggae celebration.

transmitted 8/15/95 @ 14:30