Annual Reggae Festival hits streets of downtown Kent

Alec Slovenec

Local bar crawlers enjoyed Reggae Music at 13 different locations on Friday night as a part of the annual Kent Reggae Jam. Steel drums rang throughout the streets.

The performance times varied, but most of the bands began spreading the sounds of the Caribbean at 7:00 p.m.

Wilbur and Erynn Krebs played steel drums at the Franklin Hotel Bar. The couple have been playing Reggae music together for years. They met at a jam session and have been together ever since. During their performance, they beamed with excitement. Both were full of energy.

They label themselves as “a taste of the islands,” according to their website. They also build their own steel drums.

David Hill and his band “Gypsies in the Palace” performed at Buffalo Wild Wings. Their band has been playing music for 20 years, and is well-known for covering Jimmy Buffet. Buffet’s music has inspired and resonated with Hill.

“I really was amazed with Jimmy Buffet — how he came up with the words in his songs, and he was like 23 years old,” Hill said. “His words still hold up many years later.”

Hill said his favorite part about performing live music was “seeing a lot of people come and have fun.”

Ray’s Place hosted “The Cliffstones of Cincinatti” in its upstairs lounge. The band jammed with a complete Reggae ensemble, including a singer, guitarists, a trombonist, a trumpeter and percussionists.

The event lasted until around midnight, while some bands played later. The Reggae fest has been a tradition in downtown Kent since 2012 and has allowed people to spread classic reggae music every year since.

Alec Slovenec is the university diversity reporter, contact him at [email protected]