Hundreds of people came to the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Auditorium on Saturday to listen to Gramps Morgan serenade them with reggae music. But for the musician, the show was about sharing a message of hope and consciousness, he explained.
The member of the family band Morgan Heritage performed here as part of the college’s Performing Arts Series.
After performances by four contestants in the LIME Talent Search Competition, Mr. Morgan made his appearance on stage wearing a pair of jeans, white-and-black sneakers and sport jacket, and a red-and-black tie.
Morgan Heritage’s hit “I’m Coming Home” played as he walked on stage, and most of the audience sang along.
“Tortola ladies, are you here tonight?” he asked. “Well, I want you to sing with me tonight. … If you know how to make rice and peas; if you know how to make sweet love to your man, say, ‘Oh, yea, yea, yea.’”
Mr. Morgan also performed dance moves, drawing cheers from many women in the crowd.
The United States-born performer, who is of Jamaican descent, also addressed men in the audience.
“It is very important that the men take care of the ladies and babies,” Mr. Morgan said as he concluded his first song. “When men make mistakes, the ladies and the babies suffer.”
Soon he was singing songs from his album “Two Sides of My Heart: Volume 1.”
“It’s time for the black man to unite,” he sang in the song “Time.”
Later, Mr. Morgan introduced a series of love songs, saying, “The main reason I came here to tonight is to reassure the women that there are still good men out there. We believe in making love and not war.”
He later sang “For One Night,” Hush,” “Come Back To Bed” and others. Some of the tunes were dedicated to couples in the audience.
“Brothers, when you get busted, don’t make any excuses. Just say ‘I’m sorry,’” Mr. Morgan advised men. After dishing out that piece of advice, he sang “One and Only,” another song from his album.
Before the end of his performance, he sang some older hits by other artists, including a rendition of Buju Banton’s “Psalm 23.”
He later dedicated his song “The Almighty” to the entire audience. The dancehall song was being performed for the first time in the Caribbean, he said.
Mr. Morgan also told the audience that despite rumours the band Morgan Heritage is still together and will tour again next year.
The concert was well attended, according to Linette Baa, coordinator of the HLSCC Performing Arts Series.
“I was pleased with not just the way he performed, but was pleased that the audience was pleased,” Ms. Baa said.
Mr. Morgan was happy to perform here, she said, adding that Tortola is the first Caribbean island where he has performed as a solo artist.
“From his vibes on stage, he was having a good time, and he was appreciative that we invited him,” the coordinator said.
So far, the season has been going well, Ms. Baa added. Four more concerts are left to go in the season.
After the concert, Devon Jennings was announced as winner of the LIME Talent Search Competition. Mr. Jennings won a recording deal with Mr. Morgan.
As the winner collected his award, he thanked everyone who voted for him through text message. Then he sang “The Remedy,” by Jason Mraz.