This year the NEW FIRE Festival (NFF) took place from April 12th to 14th at Ortinola Estate, St. Joseph, Trinidad and Tobago. One of the major highlights of the festival continues to be the Saturday night concert. In 2019 a new tradition was started by the organizers in celebrating ‘MASTERS OF FIRE’ which they described as “artists who have transcended the ordinary, making an indelible mark upon our world, inspiring us toward the sublime.” David Michael Rudder was named as the inaugural Master of Fire for 2019. His much anticipated performance was preceded by a cast of talented musicians most of whom were accompanied by the band Vizion Musiq Entertainment.
Many in the audience watched the concert from the comfort of their blankets, creating a relaxed and intimate setting as they swayed to the soulful songs of Jivanna and Chinaka. Concertgoers were also entertained by Dayo Bejide Organic Music Movement, Solman, Caleb Hart, Nex Chapta and Nickolai Salcedo with Gyazette.
Freetown Collective then drew the crowd to the front of the stage and performed a selection of songs while many sang along. Reggae artist Isasha followed with an equally energetic performance and lauded the organizers for their initiative and the seamless execution of the event.
Those in the audience did not appear deterred by the time and eagerly welcomed the headliner, David Rudder, when he took the stage close to 4 a.m. His powerful voice resonated even in the large Ortinola fields. The performance of his timeless hit ‘Trini to De Bone’ was reminiscent of all things Trinbagonian and was enjoyed by all, even more so with the addition of two moko jumbies during the performance.
The concert was powered by Rawkus alongside a talented production team who brought a personalized and unique touch to each performance via stage lighting and animated backdrops. Undoubtedly the concert successfully showcased various local artistes and offered an outlet for greater appreciation of our local music and culture. It also served as yet another testament to New Fire’s mission to encourage everyone to ‘Dream, Explore, Transform’.