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Celebrations being marked in JA

All night long Orthodox celebrations


A week after the Rastafari community ended Kwanzaa, a seven-day celebration of the cultural roots of African ancestry, on Monday they spent the day and night observing Ethiopian Christmas.

So while the elders of the ancient Nyahbinghi Order were at Scott's Pass, Clarendon reasoning, chanting and drumming, a younger generation of Rasses as well as people outside of the faith, converged on the Rainbow Skateland in Half-Way-Tree to mark the occasion.

At Skateland, those for whom time was not of the essence, had everything to gain and nothing to lose as the evening's proceedings went on interminably. The celebration, put on jointly by the Maxfield Avenue branch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Bob Marley Foundation, at the refurbished venue now under the management of Bunny Wailer, was both religious and musical.

However, it would have been considerate, if greater consideration was given to those who could ill afford to stay the course of what was an all night 'til daylight event.

Seeing that it was not a weekend affair, and this was happening on the first Monday after a long holiday period, efforts should have been made to make it possible for paying fans involved with the work-a-day world to enjoy the entire show.

As it was, the fair-sized crowd gradually dwindled away, as, well after midnight, some fans had to reluctantly leave without seeing some of the acts they came to see.

This reporter had to regrettably take his leave at minutes after 3:00 am (Tuesday) while Junior Reid was on stage with Sugar Minott, Andrew Tosh, Damion "Junior Gong" Marley and Bunny Wailer still to come.

The show, which started at approximately 8:30 pm Monday evening, had too many artistes on its lineup and the long breaks did not help.

Nevertheless, it was entertaining in spots. One such entertaining spot brought on the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari with veteran Sparrow Martin on trap drums, Johnny "Dizzy" Moore (trumpet), Nambo Robinson (trombone) complemented by Dean Fraser on sax. They enlivened the place, so much so that the crowd pleaded for them to continue, but obliged with a few extra sconds.

I thoroughly enjoyed Abijah as well as the crowd did. So, too, Edi Fitzroy, up and coming talent I-Mara, Robert Mystic, Rastarenes. Chakula worked hard, but their long absence from the local stage was showing.

The new look Skateland certainly as they say, has an "irie vibs" so the atmosphere was conducive for a glorious cultural experience.

Oh what a time it would have been, if it were a short and spicy production.

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