STAR COMPANY: Hollywood actresses, from right, Garcelle Beauvais, Essence Atkins and Malinda Williams with Jamaican reggae icon Beres Hammond in his dressing room prior to his performance at “Redemption—The Concert”, which was held at the training ground of Hasely Crawford Stadium on Saturday night. —Photo: NIGEL TELESFORD

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Hollywood stars take in reggae show

By Nigel Telesford

Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and US actresses Garcelle Beauvais, Malinda Williams and Essence Atkins enjoyed the sweet sounds of reggae music on Saturday night, as Tropix Entertainment and Ricky Ragoonanan Group of Companies staged “Redemption–The Concert”, at the training ground of Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
Beauvais (The Jamie Foxx Show), Williams (Soul Food) and Atkins (Smart Guy) are in Trinidad—along with Terri Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show)–working on a new film, Grown Girls Getaway.
The Hollywood stars assembled along with thousands to experience a night of classic reggae with a star-studded cast of local and Jamaican entertainers.
Michael “Jamelody” Williams opened up the live performances promptly at 7 p.m. and began what would end as a wonderful night of singing and dancing for reggae fans.
Jamaican singer Duane Stephenson delivered his repertoire next and was followed by VP Records sensation Windel “Gyptian” Edwards.
“It’s a pleasure to perform alongside two greats,” said Edwards. “The great Sanchez and the great Beres Hammond have paved the way for me to be here today, so I must say it’s an honour and a pleasure to share the stage with them… Of course, it’s always love when I come to Trinidad–reggae music definitely lives here...”
The “Hold Yuh” singer delivered a scintillating set packed with past and present hits, collaborations and even a comedic skit at the end.
Xixgon Sound filled the gap before “the golden voice” of Jamaican singers Kevin “Sanchez” Jackson, filled the arena and inspired an almost hour-long chorus from the assembly.
Delivering hits such as “Loneliness”, “I’m Missing You”, “Brown-Eyed Girl” and closing with “Amazing Grace”, Jackson filled the night air with songs of love, praise and upliftment–much to the delight of the audience, who sang along word for word.
By midnight, the crowd was anxious as they awaited the arrival of headline act Beres Hammond and after an extended period of silence, his Harmony House band struck up and began to play chords from his many hit selections.
Testing the crowd to see which song they would react to the most, Hammond began with the obvious favourite, “One Dance”, after the crowd erupted upon hearing the opening notes.
Over the next hour, the reggae veteran delivered a potent dose of love in song with his trademarked and incomparable style and vocal quality.
“Trinidad needs more love,” he said, “and I came to share love, but you must remember that it dwells in the hearts of each and every one of you as well. Forget the crime, forget the politics and focus on loving each other and you will be fine…”
The event ended as scheduled before 2 a.m. While some fans expressed disappointment at having missed the early acts and many wanted more on the night, most expressed satisfaction with the excellent performances delivered by the acts they heard.
Of the Hollywood actresses who attended the event, quizzed by the Express afterward, their reviews were all positive.
“The energy of the crowd was electric and it was quite an experience!” said Williams.
“The music was great, we had fun,” beamed Beauvais, while Vaughn, who did not attend, lamented her loss: “I wish there is another one before we leave so that I can get to go!”
A release from local production company, Imagine Media International Limited, states that the Grown Girls Getaway movie is set in Trinidad and Tobago and will be directed by president of Bobbcat Films, Roger Bobb, and produced by executive VP of Bobbcat Films, Angi Bones.
Together, Bobb and Bones have produced 11 box office hits and a number of hit TV shows such as House of Payne and Meet The Browns.
The film is written by Cas Sigers and is a co-production between Bobb’s BobbCat Films and Siger and Vaughn’s Nina Holiday Entertainment.
Lisa Wickham’s Imagine Media International Ltd is the Trinidad and Tobago production company, with Wickham also serving as a producer on the film, along with co-producers Valencia Hawkins and Sherrese Moise.
The film is about four long-time friends who take a Caribbean bonding vacation and experience fun and danger.
Grown Girls Getaway is being facilitated by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, under the TTFC’s rebate programme.
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