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Time constraints put Riley concert on hold

Published:Sunday | December 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMMelville Cooke/Gleaner Writer
Tarrus Riley

Instead of serving up musical cheer at Emancipation Park, this year, singer Tarrus Riley served up dinner to residents of the St Thomas Infirmary in Morant Bay yesterday. The 2018 Tarrus Riley and Friends Christmas concert that was slated for last Thursday, December 20, was cancelled. But Riley, who was in Suriname at the time, promised "next year it will be better."

Riley said that travelling and planning for the release of his next album, scheduled for early 2019, put the concert on hold. Riley's representative, Donovan Watkis, added, "The show is his, so he would have to be here to execute it. He wanted to bring in some artistes, but he did not have the time."

Instead, Riley brought cheer to the residents of the infirmary, and said that it will go beyond the Christmas season. Watkis said that Riley intends to do the same in all three counties. "He wants to literally bring Sunday dinner to persons." In Guess Who, the lead single for Riley's next album, he combines with singer Mykal Rose, who sings the hook "guess who's coming to dinner." The song Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was originally done by Black Uhuru, with Rose doing the lead vocals.

Each year, Riley is the only artiste confirmed publicly, but expectations of a stellar line-up are consistently met. Ahead of the planned 2018 staging, Riley had told The Gleaner, "The public show means a lot to me because it is a musical gift to the people annually, to show the people we love you, we thank you for your support. The artistes come out every year ... me love music and me love people, so me just sing and make people feel me."