Reggae sensation Beres Hammond headlines regatta closing party

POSTED: 02/7/12 2:47 PM

St. Maarten – Beres Hammond who is the biggest name in contemporary Reggae will be the headline act for the Sunday night close out party of the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta on Kimsha Beach.

Hammond, (born Hugh Beresford Hammond, 28 August 1955, Annotto Bay, Saint Mary, Jamaica) is a world-renown reggae singer who is best known for his romantic lovers’ rock and soulful voice. While his career began in the 1970s, he reached his greatest success in the 1990s and continues to thrill audiences today.

Don’t be deceived by his cool profile because his playful smile, unassuming demeanor, the beard and the cap and the spectacles as these might lull you into forgetting that you’re in the presence of an awesome musical talent, Jamaica’s greatest practicing singer/songwriter. Beres remains cool, though he knows that he’s one of a handful of people responsible for maintaining a mighty legacy of soulful reggae music—a select group of artists like Toots and Gregory, like Dennis and Bob. “Father bless me with a song,” he pleads on the last cut of his latest album, Music Is Life, “to make the whole world sing along. Regardless of the race, regardless of the taste.” For Beres the blessings just keep coming, and the world is just starting to catch on.

Over the course of a 30-year career, Beres has poured his smoky-sweet voice — an instrument of subtlety and power reminiscent of an Otis Redding or a Teddy Pendergrass — over every kind of riddim track, from the funked-up reggae jams of the fusion band Zap Pow to the lush instrumentation of his album Soul Reggae to the spare digital beat of his 1985 dancehall breakthrough “What One Dance Can Do.”

Hammond left his fame in Jamaica for New York in 1987, after being tied up as thieves ransacked his house during a home invasion. There he recorded the Have a Nice Weekend album and the duet single “How Can We Ease the Pain” with Maxi Priest – the 2010 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta headliner.

Hammond returned to Jamaica briefly to record Putting Up Resistance, which was significantly harder than his typical ballads, produced by Tappa Zukie, which spawned the hits “Putting Up Resistance” and “Strange”. He signed with Penthouse Records in 1990 and returned to Jamaica permanently to record the dancehall smash “Tempted to Touch”, with producer Donovan Germain. This is perhaps his best known song in the United States and United Kingdom.

Beres started building his home studio in the early ’90s, setting the trend among successful reggae artists to take over their own production duties. But his spontaneous method of composing, and his unwillingness to compromise, made a home studio the natural choice. Beres’s home studio attracts a steady stream of Jamaica’s most talented musicians.

The ’90s proved to be Hammond’s decade, during which he blazed a trail of modern classics for a variety of producers, from the strugglers’ anthem “Putting Up Resistance” (Tappa) to lovers’ laments like “Come Back Home” (Star Trail) and “Double Trouble” (Steely & Clevie). Now garnering interest from major studios such as Elektra Records, Hammond recorded five more albums in the 1990s as well as several compilations, establishing himself as one of the top lovers rock artists. His first album of the new millennium was 2001’s Music Is Life, which featured an appearance by Wyclef Jean – the 2011 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta headliner, and contributions from Earl “Chinna” Smith andFlourgon. The album spawned several hits, including “They Gonna Talk”, “Rockaway” and “Ain’t It Good To Know”. The 2004 release Love Has No Boundaries, had guest spots by Buju Banton and Big Youth.

In 2007 he returned to Jamaica to perform at the Opening Ceremony for the Cricket World Cup. He released yet another album in 2008, A Moment in Time, on VP Records, which featured the single “I Feel Good” and the album “Just a Man” in 2010.

One thing is for sure, even if you have never heard of Beres Hammond, you can be confident his live show will ignite the “SERIOUS FUN” vibe that has made the St Maarten Heineken Regatta World-Famous.

Join us in St. Maarten March 1 – 4, 2012 for the 32nd edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and experience Beres Hammond live in concert Sunday March 4. All the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta parties are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available each night. Secure Safe Parking is available March 4 at Kim Sha Beach and Port de Plaisance.

For full information on the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including entry information, the Notice of Race, photos, videos, party and band information, and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com.

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