By M. Peggy Quattro
The City of Miami Beach at North Beach was set on fire this 4th of July! The sun was scorching, the sand was burning, and the live music had everyone in North Shore Park feeling hot hot hot! The annual event, presented by Coca-Cola, is a family friendly, fun-filled day of food trucks, games, socializing, and live music that culminated in a fantastic fireworks display.
The best of South Florida talent was exhibited all afternoon, featuring a line-up of world-class musicians and singers. Miami’s popular Spam Allstars endured the relentless afternoon sun to deliver their unique version of “electronic descarga” – a self-titled genre of Latin, funk, hip hop, and reggae loved around the world. Their beats and party vibe encourage all styles of dancing, from salsa to break dancing…and the sun-loving gathering did not disappoint.
Miami-based and internationally renowned Inner Circle brought their high-energy get-up-and-dance reggae as the sun was starting to lower…but still blazing. Famed brothers Roger and Ian Lewis, keysman Touter Harvey, singer Trevor “Skatta” Bonnick, and powerhouse drummer Lancelot Hall are true veterans and musical icons, and the band was soon blazing through their well-known roster of reggae and crossover hits, including “Make-U-Sweat,” “Summer Jammin’,” and “Bad Boys,” the timeless hit from their 1993 Grammy-winning album of the same name. The heat on the Independence Day party was turned up!
Fire on the Fourth was set to boil as The Wailers readied to take the stage. The sun provided perfect lighting as the sweet ocean breeze began to sweep in. The growing throng erupted as the legendary Wailers band lead guitarist Julian Junior Marvin stepped up to greet the diverse Miami Beach revelers. The Wailers band founder and respected bassist Aston “Familyman” Barrett waved to the huge gathering before sitting to play his legendary “baritone bass.” Lead singer Joshua David Barrett, the tall dreadlocked Rasta messenger, delivered the “one love” vibe with his seamless song and dance, as drummer Aston Barrett Jr. drove the performance with his spotless “one drop” styling.
Rock/blues icon and original Wailers band lead guitarist Donald Kinsey had the sand shaking with his well-honed flawless licks. Veteran guitarist and Familyman-bass graduate Dreadie Reid kept the rhythm tight while keysman Javaughn Bond bubbled and bounced into the audience’s hearts.
Double-barreled singers Shema McGregor, daughter of I-Three Judy Mowatt, and Hassanah, a multi-cultural songstress and dancer, provided superb powerful vocal harmonies while entertaining and educating through their awesome dance moves and choreography. The show ended just as the sound of the first firework was launched over the ocean into the dark cloudless sky.
Congrats to the City of Miami Beach for a day of fun, family, and music. Sponsors include T-Mobile, Hubert’s Lemonade, ZICO Coconut Water, Atlantic Broadband, Dishes for Dogs, Greenmonkey, and MB Sun Care.