Jamaican reggae artiste Tony Rebel jets into the country this afternoon for a performance at Shoko Festival in Harare on Friday.
Rebel is expected to perform at the Chiwoniso Maraire Main Stage together with local artistes Ammara Brown, Lady Thanda, JFarai and Hotter fire.
By Silence Charumbira
Festival organisers on Monday noted in a statement: “Renowned reggae artiste and cultural ambassador for the reggae movement, Tony Rebel, will be arriving in Harare on Wednesday 18th September (today) at 1:55pm.
“We would like to invite you to be a part of this special moment at Harare International Airport. Key members of the Rasta community as well as reggae and dancehall artistes will also be there to welcome the legendary artiste.”
Rebel is known for his roots-oriented dancehall style that carries social commentary.
He is ranked in the same category with musicians such as Luciano, Beres Hammond and Garnett Silk.
Tomorrow, Red Fox Hotel — which has become the premium reggae venue — will host a welcome party for the artiste where music would be provided by Mic Inity together with Nadine Brown.
He will attend a few other Shoko Festival activities before going on stage on Friday evening.
Shoko Festival spokesperson Tafadzwa Sharaunga said the Jamaican would be the main act of the festival that hosts more than 200 artistes. He described Rebel as a legend.
“His style of reggae dancehall has inspired the current crop of new wave reggae artistes. With a career spanning over a decade, he has over 10 albums to his discography and is a reggae legend,” Sharaunga said.
“Shoko is Zimbabwe’s fastest growing international festival and has established itself as a major event on Zimbabwe’s annual arts calendar. The festival would this year involve over 250 artistes and bring together acts from three continents.”
WHO IS TONY REBEL?
ACCORDING to Wikipedia, Rebel was born Patrick George Anthony Barrett on January 15 in 1962 in Manchester Parish, Jamaica.
Initially a singer, Rebel appeared as Papa Tony or Tony Ranking in Jamaican talent contests and on sound systems including Sugar Minott’s Youth Promotion.
His first release was the single Casino that appeared in 1988 on the MGB record label, although his career took off when he worked with Donovan Germain’s Penthouse set up in the early 1990s.
He had a big hit in 1990 with Fresh Vegetable, and established a singjay style of delivery.
In 1992 he signed a deal with Columbia Records who released Vibes of the Times, a predominantly reggae fusion album the following year.
The releaser spawned some of his more well-known international singles such as the title track Vibes of the Times and Nazerite Vow, both of which had accompanying music videos.
In 1994, he founded a reggae festival named Rebel Salute in Mandeville, Jamaica, which has developed into an annual event through his production company Flames Productions and is held every year on his birthday.