A Marley Family Celebration at Miami’s Kaya Fest on 4/20

Kaya Fest was a day of conscious, uplifting roots reggae music, with an effective message that transcends all barriers of race, age, gender and creed promoting peace, love & unity. On what can be considered the most appropriate day of the year to hold a reggae festival in South Florida, those who attended Kaya Fest on 4/20 experienced something that was far greater than themselves.

Stephen, Ziggy and Kymani Marley – Photo: Rick Munroe / MFN

With bright blue skies and summer-like sunshine, Bob Marley must have been looking down smiling as fans of the legendary singer-songwriter gathered in Miami’s Bayfront Park to celebrate his legacy in life and music through the blessings of his musically gifted children. The music at Kaya Fest served as the bridge that brought people of varying socioeconomic backgrounds in unison to create a vibe that only those that were there could relate.

Pitbull & Stephen Marley – Photo: Rick Munroe / MFN

Not surprising, as is the case at many reggae festivals, there was plenty of “ganja,” “Mary Jane” or whatever you want to call it. The air permeated with a sweet smell of freshly burnt herb that was not intrusive and somewhat pleasant even for those non-tokers. The message was clear that ganja is medicine and is making strides to become legal and as an accepted method of treatment for those suffering chronic pain that has previously only been treatable through traditional medicine along, much of which has side effects far more dangerous than earth’s natural medicine.

If you love Jamaican food, Kaya Fest had plenty of culinary options including the traditional jerk chicken and pork, spicy curry dishes and other traditional Caribbean foods. For those who wanted to get their drink on, there were plenty of beverage choices including beer and mixed drinks, sodas and water. Overall, there was no shortage of foods, as booths were well stocked and positioned throughout the festival that made it easy to get a bite.

Sean Paul – Photo: Rick Munroe / MFN

Those who attended this year’s Kaya Fest were treated to a stellar lineup of some of reggae’s best: Sean Paul, Busta Rhymes, Davido, DJ Khaled, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Jullian Marley, Ky-Mani Marley and Miami’s own Mr. 305 Pitbull closing out the night.

Since Miami is home to the most members of the Marley family, the gathering in Bayfront Park had the vibe of a family reunion more than anything else. Ziggy, Stephen, Julian, Damian, and Ky-Mani Marley are all sons of Bob Marley whose influence has garnered careers in music that keeps alive their father’s iconic sound in reggae music. The Marley brothers have recently announced that they are collaborating to create new music with their own style along with the recognizable sounds of their father’s musical legacy.

DJ Khaled

Skip Marley – Photo: Rick Munroe / MFN

The City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Ken Russell presented Skip Marley, grandson of Bob Marley with a proclamation that April 20 will serve as Marley Family Legacy day in Miami, Florida.

The five sons of Bob — Kymani, Stephen, Julian, Damian and Ziggy Marley — sang, danced and played instruments to his legendary reggae hits. The sold-out crowd sang and danced along to “Get Up, Stand Up,” “There’s a Natural Mystic,” “One Love,” “Is This Love,” and more.

Kaya Fest was a music festival with a message far greater than the music. It was a place to gather with friends, share the experiences, music, and good vibes. This judge-free festival allows you to be yourself, relax to the smooth sounds, and connect with the positive ebb and flow of the day.  There are many who already are anxiously awaiting next year’s lineup and what surprises are planned for Kaya Fest 2020.

Kaya Fest – Photo Rick Munroe / MFN
Pitbull & Stephen Marley – Photo Rick Munroe / MFN
Sean Paul – Photo Rick Munroe / MFN
The Marleys – Photo Rick Munroe / MFN

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