Buju’s fam­ily happy for his re­turn

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Akeem Masters/Gleaner Writer

PREPA­RA­TIONS WERE in high gear yes­ter­day for the re­turn of dance­hall and reg­gae artiste Buju Ban­ton at his Gargamel Record­ing Stu­dio, which is lo­cated off Red Hills Road in St An­drew.

A woman was seen busily wip­ing down the walls, while tech­ni­cians were in­stalling the In­ter­net and se­cu­rity cam­eras.

“Wi done clean up and ting. A just tru some dust blow over from the hard­ware wi just a see that ev­ery­thing co­pacetic,” Michael ‘Tita’ Dixon, who is the over­seer at the prop­erty, told The Gleaner.

Ban­ton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was sen­tenced to 10 years in prison in June 2011 after he was con­victed of con­spir­acy to pos­sess co­caine with the in­tent to dis­trib­ute.

He was re­leased from Ge­or­gia’s McRae Cor­rec­tional in­sti­tu­tion yes­ter­day. He re­turned to the is­land last night at the Nor­man Man­ley In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Kingston and was se­cretly whisked away, much to the dis­ap­point­ment of his fans, who had gath­ered out­side of the air­port.

“Ev­ery­body want give a hand cause a God-bless yute a come, enuh. All him old man glad fi see him. Mr Myrie long fi see him son. All him pick­ney dem, too – Mar­cus, Jahzeil – di whole a dem feel happy fi know say dem fada a come. All Mama Strawn feel happy fi know say him a come home,” Dixon said.

PREPA­RA­TIONS WERE in high gear for the re­turn of Buju Ban­ton at Gargamel Record­ing Stu­dio, which is lo­cated off Red Hills Road in St An­drew, yes­ter­day. A woman was seen busy wip­ing down the walls, while tech­ni­cians were in­stalling In­ter­net and se­cu­rity cam­eras. “Wi done clean up and thing – a just tru some dust blow over from the hard­ware wi just a see that ev­ery­thing co­pasetic,” Michael ‘Tita’ Dixon, who is the over­seer at the prop­erty, told The Gleaner.

Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was re­leased from Ge­or­gia’s McRae Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity yes­ter­day, and ar­rived in the is­land last night.

“Ev­ery­body want give a hand ‘cause a God­b­less yute a come enuh, all him old man glad fi see him,” Dixon said, adding, “Mr Myrie long fi see him son, all him pick­ney dem too, Mar­cus, Jahzeil, di wul a dem feel happy fi know say dem fa­ther a come – all Mama Stra­chan feel happy fi know say him a come home,” he said.

But Dixon says there will be no grand cel­e­bra­tion for the en­ter­tainer at the stu­dio, that many are hop­ing for.

NO GRAND CEL­E­BRA­TIONS

“Right now him tell wi say him com­ing and him want see di place cool and calm — him nuh want nuh ex­cite­ment, ‘cause him woulda pre­fer deal wid those things when him deh pon di ground,” Dixon said.

“Mi fig­ure sey when him reach a di air­port, him a guh di­vert and go someweh else,” Dixon says. But he says that he ex­pects Buju to record mul­ti­ple al­bums in the stu­dio over the next few months, hav­ing penned numer­ous lyrics while serv­ing his prison sen­tence.

In 2011, Ban­ton was found guilty on drug traf­fick­ing charges, and sen­tenced to 10 years in prison.

“As him cool off, him haffi do cou­ple al­bum well ‘cause him say him nuh want nuh old chune weh him leave yah, bare brand new chune him a guh leggo,” he said.

Dixon said that as early as eight months ago, the prop­erty has been on lock­down for ren­o­va­tions to take place.

“Tile tek out and change and him say fi gi poor peo­ple all fur­ni­ture in deh, and mi gi poor peo­ple ev­ery­thing — stove, fridge, pot, ev­ery­thing mi gi to poor peo­ple, suh a bare brand new thing come and deh deh cause him send a con­tainer full a fur­ni­ture,” he ex­plained.

Ec­static to see the en­ter­tainer as a free man, Dixon said, “Is a joy fi know say him a come, all the flow­ers and the trees feel good.

“The world wait­ing on him and it’s a joy fi know say him com­ing home be­cause is a great man weh help out ev­ery­body — the blind, the dumb,” he said.

“Since him gone away, some a dem feel a way, and some dem dead and gone, ‘cause dem nuh have nuh body fi help dem. Mi have all bredrin name Gar­nett, tek it to heart from Buju gone and all sick out,” he went on.

al­ways need a big band. Some­times we go as a quar­tet or strip down with just a pi­ano. It can work – that’s what’s great about jazz. With jazz you don’t need lots of in­stru­ments, so I can come over here, find a Ja­maican guy, give him the songs to learn and we do it,” she gushed.

“He’s very good. He’s bril­liant,” she said of Shirley. “It was won­der­ful. The au­di­ence was amaz­ing. I had a great time,” Paris added.

But, it was do­ing a per­for­mance for char­ity which would ben­e­fit many of the less for­tu­nate, that the 49-year-old mother of two was most happy about.

“It is al­ways fan­tas­tic be­cause you know it’s not just an­other show. There is a rea­son for it – that’s pow­er­ful in it­self,” she said.

A well-known tele­vi­sion and ra­dio pre­sen­ter, Paris has ap­peared in sev­eral tele­vi­sion shows in­clud­ing Miss Naked Beauty, Cele­bAir and The Sounds of Mu­si­cal. Mica Paris is one of the UK’s most re­spected and finest fe­male singers, with a ca­reer full of hits such as; I Never Felt Like This Be­fore, Baby Come Back Now and My One Temp­ta­tion.

“I have been do­ing Ella show now for the last year, cel­e­brat­ing her life. Be­cause as you know, I have got my old hits and ev­ery­thing, but I de­cided to do a jazz record for Ella Fitzger­ald, and just to cel­e­brate her life be­cause she was such an amaz­ing icon, and ev­ery­one is ask­ing for her all the time,” Paris said in ex­plain­ing the theme of the show. For event host Theresa Roberts, it was her ut­most plea­sure to once again stage the an­nual fundraiser. “I knew we were gonna love it be­cause her voice is so spe­cial, and I know about her Ja­maican her­itage and her grand­par­ents, so I knew it was gonna be good, so I was glad when she said yes.”

Reg­gae and dance­hall artiste Buju Ban­ton ar­rives at the Nor­man Man­ley In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Kingston last night.

ERROL CROSBY/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Gargamel Record­ing Stu­dio off Red Hills Road is be­ing pre­pared for Buju’s re­turn.

Buju Ban­ton

CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

Latonya Style leads a dance work­shop at a dance­hall camp in Por­tu­gal.

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