Monday 3 August, 2020

VIDEO: Sunday fun day at the Naniki Music Festival

The crowd in the hills at Naniki

The crowd in the hills at Naniki

The 2020 edition of the Naniki Musical Festival concluded last Sunday with a diverse line-up of local and international acts. With the picturesque St Joseph landscape as a backdrop, patrons trickled into the venue early to secure their vantage points throughout the lush grounds of the Naniki Amphitheatre.

Whether they walked with their picnic baskets or took advantage of the culinary offerings on hand, brought their blankets or used the seating provided, the St Joseph location, with its rolling hills and soothingly cool breezes, provided the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the annual music festival.


Headliners, The Shuffle Demons, delivered an eclectic set, in keeping with their reputation as a genre-blending virtuosic group. They performed a number of songs from their album ‘Cluster Funk’ including “One Good Turn”, “Earth Song”, “He’s the Drummer” and “Sell Me This”. The Canadian Jazz Pop Band showed they did their homework during their introduction of “Cheese on Bread”, acknowledging the popular local expression, which was well received.  

While performing their funky 1986 hit “Spadina Bus” all 5 band members left the stage and weaved their way through the audience. The resident drummer of the band added some entertainment value with his animated movements as he brought up the tail-end of the impromptu musical congaline.

Naniki Music Festival

Local ensemble Kalead and Kayaweh followed the overseas act and brought the conscious vibes to the Surinam amphitheater.

They opened their set with a cover of Sizzla’s 'No Pain' and also delivered a melodious version of Bob Marley’s “Soul Rebel”. The passion for their craft was evident and their set was punctuated with messages which preached love, giving and positive energy.

Onika took the lead on a spirited 'Merciful Kind' while Najuma’s smooth vocals on the original 'Déjà Vu' floated above the open-air theatre, adding an almost hypnotic element to the piece.  The seven-member band even gave a taste of a catchy soca-infused number which lead singer Kalead said would be their contribution to Crop Over this year. Patrons were also treated to an impromptu selection from the talented Vanessa Bongo at the conclusion of their set.

Earlier in the afternoon, Award winning British saxophonist Soweto Kinch serenaded the crowd with a number of selections from his album ‘Black Peril’. He added some local flavour with the inclusion of The Opels 'Kay Lay Lay Pom Pom'.  MC for the evening, Wesu Wallace, donned his entertainer’s hat and thrilled the audience with his musicality on piano during the transitions between acts.

This year the producers of the Naniki Music Festival promised “soothing sounds in a scenic setting” and on Sunday afternoon they delivered just that. (KMT)

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