SOMERTON, St James — Hundreds of reggae lovers received a musical lesson from iconic reggae ambassador Jimmy Cliff in a masterful performance at Somerton All-Age and Infant School on Sunday.
The reggae maestro, who was the honouree at the inaugural Irie FM Lifetime Achievement Award, was not merely satisfied to receive the tributes paid to him in song and speeches, but treated those on hand to a delightful performance at the school where he received his primary education in his native Somerton community.
Among the performers who paid tribute to Jimmy Cliff, whose given name is James Chambers, were Beenie Man, Queen Ifrika, Bushman,Yasus Afari, Dwight Richards, Bongo Herman, Owen “Blacka” Ellis, Shuga, and L’Acadco Dancers.
Most of the performances during the official ceremony, held inside the school building and which were beamed on a large screen affixed to the side of an Irie FM truck, were renditions from Cliff’s vast catalogue.
But, immediately following the tributes, the stage was moved outside the building, where the world-famous reggae singer belted out hits for which he is renowned around the globe.
Armed with his acoustic guitar, Cliff gave what can be aptly described as a memorable performance, starting with Rebel in Me, then launched into his string of hits.
He delighted the strong, appreciative gathering, as he belted out selections such as: You Can get It, Welcome Home, Me Come From Somerton, Harder they Come, Lion Say, I Can See Clearly Now, and Many Rivers to Cross, to deafening applause.
In closing, the highly sought-after reggae star, who is also famous for his on screen talent, shouted “I love you” to his captive audience, who returned the sentiment with wild screams, cheers and applause.