Legendary reggae group entertains at Kimpton resort

Toots and the Maytals perform at the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

Close to 1,000 residents and guests of the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa were treated to a free concert on Saturday night. Grammy award-winning Jamaican reggae group Toots and the Maytals took to the stage set up in front of the hotel’s boardwalk, performing for over an hour to an enthusiastic audience.

The concert had not been advertised or promoted through usual means. Rather, it was shared by word-of-mouth and social media. General admission and VIP tickets were given out in the past week to a cross-section of the community.

“We launched a marketing campaign through social media, with teasers during this whole week in terms of who was performing,” said Peter Tischmann, director of operations for the Kimpton Southeast. “Wristbands were given out to locals that we met in different venues [and] people that we previously had partnerships with, [like] local businesses and vendors, as well as the hotel guests staying with us.

“We wanted to reach out to the local community and really make this a local event, and potentially an annual event as well.”

Although members of the band have changed since it was first formed in the 1960s, Frederick “Toots” Hibbert still leads the group with a commanding presence. The singer and musician, labeled by Rolling Stone magazine in 2010 as one of the “100 Greatest Singers,” moved with an energy that belied his 70-plus years. He sang, danced, played the guitar, and encouraged the crowd to sing along to such numbers as the spiritually infused “Amen, Amen, Amen.”

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The reggae group was chosen specifically for this event, as organizers felt they were a good fit for the island.

“[It] being our first year [in Cayman], we really wanted to pick a band that would resonate with the locals and show how excited we are to be a part of the Caribbean here,” said Lauren Bucherie, director of music for the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

“Toots and the Maytals … they originated reggae,” she said. “They are the legends behind reggae music and so for us, it was a dream to have them come here. When we were able to actually get them to do this, it was such an amazing thing to have come together.

“They were our No. 1 pick and it happened.”

As the concert was a surprise to many, some wondered why the Kimpton Seafire had decided to make it a free event for those who were fortunate enough to be given wristbands.

“After one-and-a-half months of the hotel being open, we wanted to give something back to our local guests and our community,” said Himanshu Jethi, director of food and beverage at the Kimpton Seafire Resort. “We also wanted to thank people for their patience while the resort was being built, now that it is finished.”

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