Sampling A Little Island Soul at Harbourfront

Sampling Some Island Soul
Harbourfront, July 31
Continues to August 2

There was so much Caribbean all over Toronto this weekend it was yet again hard to choose, but in the end I decided to catch a few of the performances at Harbourfront's Island Soul Fest.

Local DJ and dancehall diva Empress Divine performed with a UK-based DJ and artist who doesn't seem to be listed anywhere in their programme, (so if you know who it is, pass it along!) While she's known locally primarily as a DJ, she's got a terrific voice and assured stage presence, and her songs have a spiritual leaning in a Rastafarian mode.

They've danced on stage with Chris Brown and appeared in videos with K-OS, Keshia Chante, and Rihanna, among others - Baby Boyz are a Canadian based urban dance collective that puts on an incredible high energy show. The music is a fast moving medley of dance tunes from the past several decades, and their show combines theatrical bits and show biz hijinks along with some really impressive moves both as soloists and as an ensemble.

Capping off the evening, Queen Ifrica, daughter of ska legend Derrick Morgan, has a powerful voice and stage presence, and delivered an impressive set. The crowd was huge and dancey, so I was only able to get a couple of snippets on vid, but you will definitely get a taste of the atmosphere. It's roots reggae for the here and now - socially conscious, but still the life of the party.