Thu | Feb 21, 2019

Buju promises energetic set

Published:Friday | January 18, 2019 | 12:00 AMSade Gardner/Gleaner Writer
Etana performing ‘Free’ at the launch.
The L’Acadco dancers in performance.
Professor Carolyn Cooper admires a large poster of Buju Banton at the launch of his Long Walk to Freedom Concert.
Marcia Griffiths and Lloyd Parks.
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Grammy-winning superstar Buju Banton has promised to deliver an energetic 90-minute set at the Kingston leg of the Long Walk to Freedom tour on March 16.

The artiste, who has not performed in Jamaica for nearly a decade, promised fans in a recorded video message that "we're going to reconnect and pick up where we left off".

Buju will be backed by his 10-piece Shiloh band, but organisers of the concert have not revealed the names of the other entertainers who will perform at the four-hour show.

Entertainer Protoje, who was at Wednesday night's press launch of the event, is among those looking forward to the show.

"The last time I saw him perform, I was a child, and I grew up on his music, so it'll be a good experience to see him perform," Protoje said.

Cultural expert Professor Carolyn Cooper is anxious to hear the songs Buju wrote during his time in captivity.

 

NEW MUSIC

 

"I'm just looking forward to the new music. It is going to tell us things that have never been told. He has gone into the wilderness and has strengthened, and I know we're going to get more powerful music from him," Cooper said.

Radio disc jock Arif Cooper said that based on the feedback he has received from Buju's fans, "I think there's an interest to see what he has evolved into."

"What I gather is not expectations, but that's what they are looking forward to seeing - what is the change? What is the new medz? Who is he now as a person?"

With the exception of bleachers', all early bird tickets for the concert were sold out in two and a half hours after they went on sale via the deejay's website.

The concert, scheduled for the National Stadium in Kingston, will have four categories of tickets. The early bird tickets advertised yesterday were. Bleachers: US$32 (J$4,200); Grand Stand: US$64 (J$8,400); General (field access): US$80 (J$10,500); and VIP (field access): US$140 (J$18,400).

The website said that "more tickets will be available tomorrow (today)".

Part proceeds from the concert will go to Banton's eponymous foundation, which helps at-risk youth. The after-party will be held at the neighbouring Mas Camp. The tour, which will also make stops in Trinidad and Tobago and The Bahamas, will also support one charity in each country visited.

Banton's website and the Carib Tix site crashed minutes after tickets went on sale. The organisers have stressed that tickets would be made available at specific outlets to be announced in the coming weeks, but tickets would not be on sale at the gate.