As a result of some disparaging remarks made by Jamaican artist, Eek A Mouse at the Carifest C.A.R.E.S. press conference on June 4th, organizers have pulled him from the event lineup. The organizers for Carifest C.A.R.E.S. made this decision based on Eek A Mouse’s inability to realize the seriousness of the issue the festival is trying to raise awareness for as well as his refusal to apologize. Carifest C.A.R.E.S. has teamed up this year with Keep A Child Alive, an organization dedicated to help fight the AIDS epidemic in Africa which crosses all racial barriers. The organizers feel that Eek A Mouse’s racial outburst towards the other artists on the panel who have all come together from a wide array of racial and cultural backgrounds to help the cause was unacceptable. In a rebuttal to Eek A Mouse’s comments, Matisyahu and Midnite simply came together in an impromptu duet that illustrated the point the best way possible: music can make a difference no matter where you come from. As the late brother Bob Marley would say:” one good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain”.
Carifest C.A.R.E.S. will take place Sunday, July 6th at the USTA National Tennis Center: Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, NY. This year’s festival, as in the past, promises a momentous event, which as always, includes a stellar line-up of performances. Sets by legendary Grammy award winner Lee “Scratch” Perry, who has been an innovator and at the forefront of the reggae music scene for 50 years; Matisyahu, who brings his uncanny, electrifying fusion of orthodox Judaism and classic reggae, and the most recent addition to the line-up: Slightly Stoopid who describe their music as “ A fusion of acoustic rock and blues with reggae, hip hop, and punk.” In addition is: cutting edge St. Croix roots reggae band, Midnite; Brooklyn bred and Jamaican raised Kayla Bliss; the up and coming conscious reggae crooner Uriel Hamilton; Afro-fusion reggae fronted by a soaring, soulful voice in Meta and the Cornerstones; Antigua & Barbuda’s Causion who has been dubbed a ‘musical archer’ due to his straightforward and provocative lyrics; a young American hailing from Arkansas with his voice rooted deep in Jamaica, Joseph Israel; and Groundation who bring to the table, a unique infusion of reggae, jazz and dub.
Launched in 1998 Reggae Carifest was initiated principally for uniting the West Indian/Caribbean Culture for one full day of cultural awareness, consciousness and celebration of the culture here in the United States. This festival caters to all genuine cultural expressions and aesthetics and is received by an eclectic group of people hailing from all walks of life. Reggae Carifest is also an exhibition of vision for the arts and the community in the presence of its festival. It is more than an event, it is a cultural celebration and explosion, steadfastly keeping the West Indian/Caribbean Culture and its foundation ever present in today’s rapid changing market. Reggae Carifest is a true festive occasion for all to enjoy.
Reggae Carifest 2008 tickets are on sale to the public April 16th. Tickets are available on line at www.ticketmaster.com and at all Ticket Master locations. For a full listing of local ticket outlets, log on to www.reggaecarifest.com, or call Team Legendary at 718-856-3336.