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The Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan was graced with the presence of two of Reggae’s finest, Buju Banton and Wayne Wonder. Both are celebrating the launch of their new albums, "Friends for Life" and "No Holding Back" respectively. From the rafters to the floor, the ballroom was throbbing with the bass filled sounds of the backing band as they saluted Wayne Wonder on stage. He had the crowd singing along when he paraded his string of dancehall hits. One woman next to me asked her partner, "A him sing that?" as he touch one of his songs. His voice was in fine style, sometimes sounding better than the recording. When he touched the summer, into winter anthem, "No Letting Go," the place was clapping. Wayne’s performance was well received and it gave him a chance to showcase his talent and his many songs to a wider audience. Please Wayne put together a compilation Cd of all of those dancehall hits. I am ready for my copy now.


The Gargamel, Buju Banton, was next on stage. On tour for his latest, Friends for Life, Cd, Buju is showing a level of maturity in his selections and his performance, with a variety of cuts from his new album. He still has his dancehall feel but his other more thoughtful pieces were well received. Accompanied by the Harlem school of the Arts, he did two songs with them. They really complemented his sing jay style. And if Jamaicans forgot that Ska is theirs, "Noooo" will rekindle and reconnect them to the past. Buju was energetic on stage, even touching a piece of "Boom Bye Bye" to the delight of the packed house.

Mi deh yah now!




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