Team Jamaica Trods The Roots Rocking Road To Beijing

New York – Team Jamaica is off to a Roots rocking start on the road to the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia this weekend, thanks to Reggae legend Cocoa Tea and his musical brethren who rocked Brooklyn College’s Walt Whitman Theater this past Sunday for the ‘Team Jamaica on the Road to Beijing’ Reggae Charity Concert. Presented by Team Jamaica Bickle and VP Records, scores of Reggae fans were treated to the drum and bass sounds of the island, while raising much needed capital to fund Jamaica’s track and field athletes at Penn, and on their journey to dominate the XXIX Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China this August.

“This year is tough, especially with the added responsibility of supporting Team Jamaica in Beijing,” states TJB President Irwine Clare. “So TJB challenged the Reggae fraternity to donate their talents to supporting the athletic fraternity, and I must say we are very pleased—kudos to Chris Chin and the VP family, and all of the artists who made this event a wonderful success.”

For the 1st annual staging, Roots Reggae newcomers Jamelody, Duane Stephenson, and ‘The Strong One’ Etana, thrilled supporters with a mix of Reggae and R&B standards and brand new singles off their upcoming albums. Critically acclaimed singer Gyptian, who happened to hear of the concert the day before, made a totally unexpected cameo appearance that had the audience screaming in delight during a brief fashion presentation by Yardman Style Clothing.

“I am really surprised and impressed with this younger generation of performers here tonight,” states Sirius Satellite Radio’s Pat McKay, after taking in the early performances. “Their music is so powerful and uplifting, and I am so proud of them for lending such a powerful voice to such a worthy cause.”

Veteran Lover’s Rock crooner Richie Stephens was in rare form, keeping the audience on edge with his signature baritone, belting out tune after tune from his catalogue of classics, including the crowd-favorite cover of Dennis Brown’s “Should I,” and his Jamaica Tourist Board anthem “Come to Jamaica.”

Headliner Cocoa Tea brought the house down, pulling from his catalogue of hits songs spanning the past two decades. From “Who She Love” to “Riker’s Island,” to “Too Young,” the audience sang every word of every song with him. He earned a deafening forward from the crowd as he closed the show with his internationally applauded hit “Barack Obama,” a musical endorsement to the Democratic presidential contender.

The event will be aired on BET and BETJ in the coming weeks.

The event’s special guests include : Jamaican Ambassador to the United States Anthony Johnson, Consul General of Jamaica, NY Geneive Brown-Metzger, internationally recognized model Camille McDonald, legenday radio personalities and concert MCs Conroy Allison and Pat McKay, Sabrina Hosang of Caribbean Food Delights, and David “Squeeze” Annakie of LinkUp Media.

Part proceeds from the “Team Jamaica on the Road to Beijing” Reggae Charity concert will assist TJB in providing subsidized travel and accommodations, meals, ground transportation, and athletic scholarships to Jamaica’s outstanding high school track and field athletes. Past Team Jamaica Bickle alums include Olympic Gold Medalist Veronica Campbell, often dubbed ‘the world’s fastest woman;’ Olympic Gold Medalist Sherone Simpson; World Championship Silver Medalist Usain “Lightening” Bolt; and Olympian Aileen Bailey, sister of Dancehall legend Capleton.

Part proceeds will also be donated in memory of Olympic Gold Medalist Herb McKenley, to providing financial assistance to Jamaica’s national track and field team competing in the Summer Olympics in China.

‘Team Jamaica on the Road to Beijing’ Reggae Charity Concert sponsors include Digicel, Caribbean Food Delights, Grace Foods, Western Union, VMBS, the Union of Jamaica Alumni Associations, The Door Restaurant, BET, LinkUp Media, Jamaica National, Irie Jam Media, Caribbean World News Network, Caribbean Life, and NY CaribNews.

For more information about Team Jamaica Bickle or to make donations, visit