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Sunday night I attended a concert with friends that started in 2009 as a benefit to help a woman named Monique, also called Mahima, with her cancer costs. Sadly she passed in 2010 but the organizers decided to keep the concert going in her name to help fund the hospital where she received treatment, the Hope Institute, which is on its way to becoming Jamaica’s only cancer center with continued support from donations, as it is all privately funded.

I’m so happy that I went. Because the concert is still in its early stages, there was still a sense of family. You could that tell there were a lot of her friends and family in attendance. It gave a more personal touch to the atmosphere, making it not just another benefit.  IT was my kinda vibe… live music, bands open air, good friends. We got chairs only a few feet away from the stage and could see and feel the amazing energy coming from the performers. The music took me to a place where I needed to be and I was happy to be there with one of my best friends at a time when I really needed her support. I was honoured to share my name, Monique, with the woman who this benefit was inspired by and left the concert hoping that I will make the same indelible mark on my own friends and family in my life as she obviously made in hers.

Chino

There was a long line up of performers at the event, so much so that I left before Rootz Underground, Protoje and Jah Cure performed but the performances of Jah 9, Chino, Cherine Anderson and Tarrus Riley gave me everything my soul needed. Yes, there were other performances but those names stood out for me. Chino especially so because he did a teency little bit of his father, Freddy McGregor’s songs at the end of his set. I  do love Chino’s music and appreciated his accoustic renditions of his songs very much. His talent is undeniable.

Jah 9

Jah 9 is outstanding. I wish her much success in her field. Hers words are powerful, her delivery refreshingly different and her voice is strong. I loved it. And I loved her outfit.

Cherine Anderson

Cherine in her little black dress and glittery boots. She’s such a tiny woman with such a powerhouse of a voice. I love watching her perform, she takes you to church. Her song Shine On  is a favourite of mine. It’s a message that Jamaica needs so badly.

Tarrus Riley with Dean Fraser

And of course Tarrus Riley. What’s there to be said? The band change took maybe an hour long and it was so worth the wait. So powerful, so relaxing, so freeing. And to be only feet away that I could hear and feel every base and drum beat. This is what Bob Marley meant when he said when the music hits you, you feel no pain.

Chalice

Chalice came in just before I left and took me back to my childhood a little bit. I’m 28…almost 29 years old and I barely remember their video for Sayonara, so you’d have to be in my generation at least to know who they are but I clearly remembered that suki suki song and their song Trapped and man I was jamming.

I have more pictures on Facebook if you want to view, I went ahead and made the album public. I didn’t stop to take pics at the event so I took a few the day after to share my outfit with you. Threw on this tribal print dress from Forever 21 with a cardigan from Target for this garden concert.

I wanted to do a few video highlights but I totally forgot that I need to upgrade my memory card. Right now I’m using an ancient one with 512mb space…in these times of 16 and 32 gig cards…I know…I’m SMHing at myself too. Anyhow here’s a vid of one of the earlier acts Blu Grass in the Sky. A bunch of cuties with some cool songs, I hope they get into a bit more movement while performing as they grow. You jam, I jam, we jam!

Blu Grass in the Sky

Kudos to the event organizers, it was a tight, engaging, uplifting, it was an excellent show and I’m happy I supported it.

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