Last year, Tony Rebel showcased Marion Hall and Agent Sasco – not Lady Saw and Assassin – as headliners for his annual festival, Rebel Salute.
This year, it is David Brooks and not deejay Mavado who will be taking to the stage at the Port Kaiser Sports Complex in St Elizabeth on January 15 for the 18th staging of the event.
Speaking at the launch of the festival in Kingston last Thursday, Tony Rebel noted that many have questioned the inclusion of the popular deejay, known for his ‘gangster for life’ persona, on the festival known for its positive messages.
“Over the years we have been fearless explorers of the music business and this is just one way we are exploring the music of this artiste who does have good material. David Brooks does have a good side, and that’s the side we want to encourage,” he explained.
Tony Rebel added that there are other artistes including deejays Buju and Capleton who made a change for the better musically and have been embraced, therefore it is possible that the same could be said of David Brooks in the future.
This year’s festival will also see two other top reggae artistes appearing on the Rebel Salute Stage for the first time. Tony Rebel announced that Reggae veteran and Grammy Award winner Toots Hibbert is billed for the festival, as well as singer and songwriter Tanya Stephens. The line-up has further been diversified by the inclusion of the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars.
The eclectic line-up includes a mix of established, current and up-and-coming acts. The roster includes Beres Hammond, who returns after a seven-year absence, Tarrus Riley, Queen Ifrica, I-Octane, Ken Boothe, Khago, Chuck Fenda, Fantan Mojah, Nadine Sutherland, Dennis Alcapone, Jack Radics, AJ Brown and Tristan Palmer.