Miami offers the Best of the Best for Memorial Day Weekend

Kinisha Correia

Dancehall legend Shabba Ranks set to headline this year's Best of the Best concert in Miami.

For the past 12 years fans of reggae and other Caribbean music have been coming to Miami on the Memorial Day weekend to enjoy the best in these music genres at the Best of the Best concert.

This year, with a very enthusiastic weather report, large crowds coming from across the US, the Caribbean and possible other regions are expected to descend on the Bayfront Park Amphitheater in downtown Miami on Sunday, May 26th for top entertainment from a variety of Caribbean entertainers headlined by legendary dancehall artistes Super Cat and Shabba Ranks.

Two-time Grammy award winning Shabba Ranks was big business in the late 1980s through to the early 2000s. Once the most popular dancehall artist in the world, he donned major crossover success, barging into the US market with hip hop collaborations with the likes of Maxi Priest, Johnny Gill, and KRS-One.

Meanwhile, powerhouse dancehall star Super Cat, became a household name in Jamaica and abroad in the 1990s with hits such as Don Dada, Ghetto Red Hot, and the crossover single with Heavy D, Dem No Worry Me.

Best of the Best is considered North America’s largest Caribbean concert, and, now in its 13th year, the event has become a staple in Miami’s diverse culture and tourism industries.

According to Connie Kinnard, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau-Vice President of Multicultural Tourism & Development, “The annual Best of the Best Music Festival continues to positively highlight the Caribbean music influences that are uniquely Found in Miami.”

With Miami and South Florida at large so deeply entrenched in Caribbean culture, each year the event makes a marked impact on the region’s tourism economy, with an influx of visitors from other states, the Caribbean and the rest of the world flying in to attend.

“Best of the Best continues to be a feather in the cultural diversity cap of Miami and the South Florida region. The rich cultural backdrop of the  Caribbean, Latin American, and other ingredients makes Miami the perfect destination for people to kick off their summer,” explains Joey Budafuco, co-promoter of Best of the Best.

While new celebrity artists Alkaline and Jahmiel, are also headlining the event to bridge the gap between the younger and older audience members, this year’s event will primarily pay tribute to 90s dancehall.

Alongside Super Cat and Shabba Ranks, the two top artists from that era, Frisco Kid, General Degree and General B will also be performing, as major acts during that time. Other musicians such as Bushman, Round Head, Skinny Fabulous and Noah Powa, are also on the line-up.   

“We decided to carve out an era, which so many of us love and reminisce on all the time,” says co-promoter, Steve ‘Jabba’ Beckford. “This era was groundbreaking for dancehall and reggae music in many ways. We had some of our biggest artists in dancehall during the 90s era; many of them still reign today.  We decided to pay homage to 90s dancehall, with some of the hitmakers of the time. Not to mention for the first time in America, The Emperor Shabba Ranks and Don DaDa Super Cat will be sharing the same stage in the United States.”

Along with a full day of music, which begins early afternoon and ends by midnight, a variety of traditional Caribbean-inspired food and beverages will be available for patrons

Best of the Best 2019 is expected to be the biggest Caribbean music festival n the US not only over the Memorial Day weekend, but for the year.

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