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It’s kind of like an all-star concert for pan-African genres.

The ECIPS Music Festival will bring R&B, Hip Hop, Jamaican Dancehall, Calypso, Latin, Soca, Reggae, and Reggaton superstars to Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica on Sunday, Aug. 20. General tickets are $70 each, and the concert will start around 1 p.m. and last for many, many hours.

Organizers from ECIPS — which is “spice” backwards and pronounced “eee-sips” – hope to create a feeling of unity by mixing a Melting Pot of cultures, cuisines, and merchandise. Akon, an American/Senegalese, multi-genre, multi-Platinum singer with five Grammy nominations, headlines the show. In addition to performing with his shimmering, soulful voice, he will be honored for his Konfidence Foundation, which promotes health and education among underprivileged children in Senegal.

Other popular performers include Dancehall’s newest sensation, Alkaline, a Jamaica native who popularized a look featuring bleached skin, blond dreadlocks, and apparently tattooed eyeballs; Bronx-born Remy Ma, who calls herself “The Queens of Rap;” and De La Ghetto, a Puerto Rico-raised, Spanish-rapping Reggaton star.

Miss Kitty, a Jamaican performer also known as “The Sexy Diva,” will be the master of ceremonies, while Fatta Diamond of the Stinga Movement will be the disc jockey.

Representing Reggae will be Queen Ifrica, Half Pint, and Teflon, while Jamaican Gangster-themed deejays Elephant Man (aka “The Energy God”) and Kip Rich will also be in the mix. Freddie Jackson will croon romantic R&B tunes, while Papa Michigan, Lady G, Nardo Ranks, Mega Banton, Tinga Stewart, and Roy Ryan will perform a nostalgic set celebrating Caribbean and American music from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Genjah, who specializes in Turkish Dub, and soul singer Donyale Renne are also on the bill.

The gates will open at 11 a.m., and Roy Wilkins Park, which is located in the vicinity of Merrick and Baisley boulevards, will fill with colorful tents and vendors peddling Caribbean cuisine, clothes, jewelry, arts, crafts, and even flags. Organizers encourage families to bring their blankets and beach chairs. They also described the event as a “legacy festival,” meaning that they will make this an annual concert, if the response is positive.

Top photo: Akon; gallery photos: EPICS Music Festival


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