The 5th annual "One Love, One Heart Reggae Festival" was pouring out the music and the love on Labor Day weekend this year. Artist after artist took to stage beginning Saturday morning, Aug. 31, 2013 with The Servants, Isheeba, Irie Fuse and Suppa Saa for a morning of Reggae dance and meditation on the river. High energy, dynamic vocals, powerful words, and talented musicians filled the Rio Ramaza Marina stage and drew in the crowds as they danced, chilled in lawn chairs, cruised the vendors, took photos, celebrated birthdays, and got their Reggae groove on.
In the afternoon, the stage welcomed beauties Grace B. Taholo and Luisa Lavulo followed by veteran Tuff Lion who is known in the Reggae world for his guitar mastership as well as his radiating love and wisdom developed through years of hard work in his craft and embracing life's many challenges. The "One Love" philosophy of the event is well represented by performers like Tuff Lion. As Saturday progressed, the fifth year was proving to be one of the best to date in attendance as well as the caliber of talent that seduced attendees with Reggae magic in a variety of styles including local favorite Arden Park Roots and headliner Prezident Brown.
On Sunday, the nonstop sound and joy of Reggae continued to weave its way across the lawns, into vendor tents, and deep into the heart of festival attendees. Traditional and international performers like Misael with Latin Reggae from Puerto Rico and Junior X from Jamaica were complimented by modern Reggae artists including the high powered Irae Divine in her brilliant yellow dress and crocheted hat special made by Mystic Creationz.
Irae Divine is known for her vocal harmonies accompanying established Reggae artists such as Messenjah, Selah, Chezidek, and Junior Toots in his recent East Coast tour. However, Divine holds her own and is steadily becoming recognized as a key performer with her hip hop infused contemporary Reggae sweetened with hints of R & B and jazz. She won a Laney College songwriting contest for her song “Young Queens" which demonstrates her own songwriting prowess as well as her integrated approach to the genre.
The weekend festival was completed with Reggae Roots messages and vibes by Danny I (Luis Daniel Gomez) and Army (Fitzmaurice Williams) both originally from St. Croix. The dedicated artists brought their focus and drive to the stage and the night was finalized with an appearance by headliner Glen Washington. The river's edge finally grew quiet as the stars twinkled in the sky and the Reggae stars said goodnight. For many, a long drive would follow as they returned home or prepared to head out to yet another concert and stage hungry for their talents.