Anyone who attended the energetic Spring Splash concert on Festival Green featuring Ky-Mani Marley and Diana King will no doubt be eager to hear about this year’s event and headliner. Spring Splash is back on March 23 at the Lions Centre with Luciano Messenjah topping the bill.
Jean-Eric Smith, better known as Mr. Notch, of YoungBlood Productions decided it was high time the island welcomed back the Grammy award-nominated reggae performer who last visited here over 10 years ago.
“We felt it was the right time for a roots culture show,” says Notch. “The man is a reggae legend.”
Local bands will be supporting the artist at a concert that promises a great night out with some first-class Caribbean live music. There will be drinks and food on sale at the venue along with enough space to accommodate the thousands of Luciano’s fans who will no doubt be lining up for tickets.
With the release of his landmark CD in 1995, Luciano emerged as one of the most important reggae singers in decades and the greatest hope for roots reggae’s survival in the digital dancehall era. Since that much acclaimed release, Luciano’s music has been consistently praised for imparting sentiments of “spiritual salvation, ediﬁcation and humanitarian upliftment.”
One of his most recent albums, “Rub-A-Dub Market,” released in 2011 just proves that Luciano is like a good vintage wine, which just keeps getting better and better the more it matures.
“Over the years I have listened to other international icons like Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Jim Reeves,” says Luciano. “By listening to all these great brothers, I have learned to appreciate other works and see that there are no barriers in music.
“Although I am well known as a cultural reggae singer, I have an international message and so I cannot deliver it just to reggae fans. I have to extend it to people from all walks of life.”
YoungBlood Productions was first established by Smith in 1993 with the first ever Carib-fest at the former Old Bay Castle, now Rackam’s Bar. He recognized the need for locally produced events featuring live international entertainment and showcased some of the most acclaimed international reggae artists in the Caribbean from that decade.
Over the years, the production company has featured acts such as Richie Stephens, Maxi Priest, Freddie McGregor, Dean Fraser, Arturo Tappin, Beres Hammond, Damian Jr. Gong Marley and, most recently, Diana King and Ky-Mani Marley.
YoungBlood Productions is also the creator of The Cayman Craft Market and Harbour Nights, a ministry-endorsed free event to the public on Harbour Drive to help revitalize George Town.