Marking his first U.S. performance since 1992, the ever-controversial Dancehall deejay Desmond ‘Ninja Man’ Ballentine is back in the Tri-State by overwhelming demand, armed with new conviction and a bag of new lyrics to come full circle with Reggae Carifest on August 25th at Randall’s Island in New York. Under the Banner ‘Give Peace a Chance,’ the undisputed ‘Don Gorgon’ of the dancehall will share the stage with some of Dancehall’s and Reggae’s finest for the return of one of the area’s signature Summer stagings.
Organizers Team Legendary is set to outdo themselves this year, not only bringing back the Gorgon, but promising many big surprises to make up for their non-appearance last summer. With a line-up that also includes revered South African Reggae singer Lucky Dube, Reggae ambassadors Third World, Dancehall veterans Buju Banton and Bounty Killer alongside legendary toaster Yellow Man, Dancehall’s newest singing sensation Mavado and veteran ragga-singer Pinchers, Bermudian Reggae artist Collie Buddz, Trinidadian roots chanter I-Sasha, and the New Kingston Band, this year’s Reggae Carifest offers a wide cross-section of talent that appeals to just about every Caribbean musical taste.
“Reggae Carifest has been the Tri-State’s favored summer event for the past decade, showcasing West Indian culture at it’s best,” says Team Legendary’s D’Niscio Brooks. “We are once again doing our part in trying to give the people what they want by moving mountains to bring together on one stage Dancehall’s finest and Reggae greats for a show that will surely be one to remember.”
Excited about his first U.S. performance in 15 years, the once reputed ‘Front Teet, Gold Teet, Gun Pon Teet Don Gorgon,’ Ninja Man sees this performance at Carifest, as an opportunity to reach a wide and diverse cross-section of people to make a fresh new start, with a brand new image and message.
“Know seh all the war in the business have to come to an end,” states Ninja Man. “If you see Ninja Man, now you see him in all white. That is all I wear for I want to be a beacon, a light for the world to see. We need to bring back love and Reggae Carifest has always been a show that is about the love of the business and I figure if mi and them could work a way to have Ninja Man on stage for Carifest, then my journey would begin to reach the world.”
Although Ninja has put his ‘badman’ days behind him, the noted lyrical terror promises to deliver a show that will no doubt serve the Tri-State area with same theatrics, bravado, quick wit, and intensity that he has been praised for over the past two-decades.
“Ninja Man have a lot say,” he states. “Been through the trenches and now the sky is the limit, so on August 25th wi a go make history.”
Reggae Carifest 2007 will be held on August 25th at Randall’s Island in New York City. Tickets are currently on sale for $47 (general admission) and $92 (VIP admission). Tickets are available on line at www.ticketmaster.com and at all Ticket Master locations. Tickets are also available at Temptations in Brooklyn, Original Records in Queens, Rocatone Restaurant in the Bronx, and Jammyland in Manhattan. For a full listing of local ticket outlets, log on to www.reggaecarifest.com, or call Team Legendary at 718-856-3336.