by Brian Bonitto, Jamaica Observer
FOR a second consecutive year, a Jamaican band headlines the annual Caribe Arts Fest, scheduled for the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami, Florida, tomorrow.
Reggae-dub group, No-Maddz, has top billing for the three-year-old festival. Last year, that honour went to Rootz Underground.
Michelle McCoy, Caribe Arts Fest co-founder, said No-Maddz was an ideal choice as they represent the Caribbean's uniqueness.
"People are looking for something different... music with reason and feeling. No-Maddz, with their distinct presentation and delivery, reflects the uniqueness found in the Caribbean and Americas," she told Splash.
Other performers include American reggae artiste Kristine Alicia, American bands Alex Star and Golden People, and Spanish reggae-fusion band Uma Galera.
McCoy is no stranger to diversity. Born in England to Jamaican parents, she attend the St Jago High School in St Catherine before migrating to the United States.
The co-founder said the festival has a multi-genre focus.
"We embrace multiple creative expressions... so in addition to the live-music concert, there'll also be Indie films, visual art, live painting, and culinary demonstrations," she said.
"We're about unique talent in the region that doesn't get that mainstream platform. If we don't celebrate this, who will?"
Formed in 2000, No-Maddz cut its teeth as a dub poetry group out of Kingston College before morphing into a reggae band. Since 2011, they have appeared on major European festivals including Belgium's Geel and Superjam in Germany.
The Caribe Arts Fest, according to organisers, is positioned to attract visitors to Miami who have an interest in ethnic and heritage tourism.