Morgan Heritage, Bunji Garlin
& Faye-ann Lyons
@ Mindoo Philip Park, St. Lucia Jazz Festival 2007
4 May 2007
Click an image to enlarge
(top & right side)
The official opening of the
16th Annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival attracted serious ravers as
well as conscious lyric loving patrons. Mindoo Philip Park located
in Castries may be off the beat and track for the average tourist,
but this outdoor cricket stadium is an ideal venue for individuals
who wish to taste the reggae, calypso and dancehall vibe of St.
Lucia and the Caribbean as a whole. Word of warning… if you
arrive too early you may be on your own, but blink and this venue
will be jam-packed. When this show is in full flow the atmosphere
is electric and the sight of sexy writhing patrons is hypnotic!
Morgan Heritage biography
Denroy Morgan was 19-years-old in
1966 when he and a few friends in Spanish Town, Jamaica decided
to join a crowd of people waiting to see H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie.
Raised in the Church of God Adventist, the teenager waited for the
arrival of the Ethiopian monarch he had heard was someone of influence
and royal heritage.
Morgan was initially surprised to
see the man they had all been waiting for “was a little man”.
But this little man would have a major impact on Morgan’s
In 1975 Morgan decided to take control
of his lifestyle by adopting principles that the Rastafarian community
hold as righteous. One of his principal goals was to be a messenger
of his beliefs through music. Morgan embarked on a singing career
successfully breaking down barriers in the music industry. He relocated
to the United States after signing to a major record deal. Here
he would raise his family and pass on knowledge encouraging his
family to adopt a positive, healthy sustainable lifestyle on and
In 1992 Denroy Morgan’s progeny
shared their love of reggae music with patrons at Jamaica’s
Reggae Sunsplash concert. Because this group known as ‘Morgan
Heritage’ had already played at other venues in Jamaica they
were not unknown to many local patrons, but the group’s attendance
at this celebrated concert was a significant springboard to a wider
audience. At this point the siblings were just completing high school.
Gramps was offered a scholarship to play football for the Miami
Hurricanes and Una contemplated a career in law. But with a record
contract from the MCA Record label waiting to be signed, it came
as no surprise to many when each group member put pen to paper.
Morgan Heritage have toured extensively
across the globe, as well as playing in every major city in the
United States. “We are Vessels,” Una confessed.
Of their international exposure:” Every place stands out for
us, “Lukes admitted. “New Caledonia was special because
out of a population of 200,000, 40,000 people showed up to see us.
“In South Africa, we spent three hours at Winnie Mandela’s
house,” Una said. “Winnie gave us a history lesson on
South Africa and also explained the devastation of AIDS across the
entire continent. She told us that it was reggae that kept her going
through the hard times.”
Morgan Heritage continue their quest
to share their spirit of love, peace and happiness around the globe.
Their homegrown creativity, conscious lyrics and positive spirit
is certainly a breath of fresh air in an era where bump & grind
and bootylicious sounds seem to have dominated the dancehall and
the airwaves. Even if you are not a Morgan Heritage connoisseur
(and I definitely am not) you will still more than appreciate their
music and their message.
Bunji Garlin biography
Bunji Garlin started composing material
as a teenager for school competitions. By the age of 18 he was performing
at parties in and around his hometown of Arima, Trinidad, where
he developed his unique chanting skill. Though Garlin drew substantial
crowds everywhere he performed, he soon realised that being a dancehall
act in Trinidad’s mainly soca industry was both a novelty
and a liability.
As such, in late 1998 Garlin collaborated
with Daryl Braxton, a young and very talented producer, to create
a soca/dancehall track titled “Send Dem Riddim Crazy”.
Garlin performed the song at every opportunity, and soon everyone
had caught the 'Bunji bug’. Consequently, he was placed third
at the Ragga Soca Monarch with “Send Dem Riddim Crazy”,
his first competition at a professional level. After the carnival
season, he travelled the Caribbean and performed at carnival celebrations
Garlin signed to IP Music International
upon his return and began work on “The Chronicles”,
his debut soca album. His rhythms ranged from pumping soca to sizzling
Latin flavours, and slower dancehall grooves. Tracks “Brass”,
“Breakaway” and “Bad Man” enjoyed heavy
rotation on radio stations, which in turn insured popularity during
the 2000, 2001 carnival seasons and beyond. Other recording successes
would follow; such as the single “Ready to Get On” (with
Bajan soca band Square One) the duet “Party Start” (with
Super Blue) and the unforgettable monster hit “Fete is Fete”.
Faye-Ann Lyons biography
Trinidadian-born Faye-Ann Lyons
first began singing in 2000. The daughter of soca giant Austin Lyons
a/k/a Superblue has made her own mark on the world of soca. She
won the Road March title in 2003 in Trinidad and Tobago for the
song “Display”. Lyons is only the third female in history
to achieve this honour. In November 2004, Lyons received 3 Cott
awards - New songwriter of the year, Female songwriter of the year
and Song of the year (2003).
Faye-Ann Lyons (like fellow performer
Bunji Garlin) seems to have limitless energy reserves. She uses
every inch of the stage, speaker tops and even dances amongst the
crowd urging patrons to form a circle with her. Such impromptu activity
is exciting for all except artist security, who are forced to work
overtime. Lyons is aware of the possible stress and responsibility
she occasionally places on the shoulders of the boys in black, but
consciously attempts to calm the situation by reminding everybody
that “…. these are St. Lucian’s, we don’t
need security here, Lucian’s are my people… easy now!”
Peter Morgan – Lead vocals
Roy Morgan – keyboard
Nakhamyah Morgan – guitar
Otiya Morgan – vocals
Hopeton Hibbert – bass
Mitcum Chin – guitar
Joseph Miller – drums
Gabriela Ostrowska – keyboards
Bunji Garlin – vocals
Faye-ann Lyons - vocals
Report by Robin Francis
© Michael Valentine Studio Ltd.