By RUSTY PRAY
Shantel Norman’s voice was raspy.
The lead vocalist for Jah Movement had just spent the weekend singing reggae songs for sizable crowds enjoy, and now it was time to recharge.
“It’s time to rest,” she said one recent Monday afternoon.
Jah Movement, named in 2018 Creative Loafing’s best reggae band, best original band and best cover band in the Tampa Bay area, is scheduled to return to TT’s Tiki Bar at 4 p.m. July 28. Admission is free.
Jah Movement played at the Four Points Sheraton’s slice of tiki paradise about a year ago, and Norman said the band members were eager to return to Punta Gorda.
“It will be good to be back,” Norman said. “We have a lot of fans down there, and it’s always a pleasure playing on the water.”
Jah Movement was founded it May 2015 by Damie Caines, former lead vocalist for Democracy. He brought Norman on board along with Jermaine “Jermz” Johnson on keyboards and backup vocals; Fred Adams on bass and backup vocals; Jermaine “Biggy” Francis on keyboards; and Aldane “Spice” Hutton on drums and backup vocals.
They quickly built a reputation as a band of highly skilled musicians who remained accessible to their fans. They were runners-up in some of those “best-of” categories in 2016 and 2017 before reaching the top rung in 2018.
Jah Movement plays top 40 funk, soul, R&B, hip-hop, soca and calypso music as well as reggae. Their shows have become known as a guaranteed good time.
“It has been quite a ride,” Norman said. “Our fan base has grown to include places outside of the Tampa Bay area, and we’re booked Thursday to Sunday almost all the time now.
“We’re very blessed.”
Jah Movement also is known for performing live for different audiences of different ages, adding its own touch of rhythm and blues, soul and funk to its reggae foundation. Norman said the band loves to play for kids. One of its favorite songs, “Rasta Shark,” is a favorite among youths, Norman said.
The band likes to start with some laid-back island music before ratcheting up the energy to get people up and dancing.
“We start laid back and then we kick it up,” Norman said. “We don’t want people sitting around We want everybody up, everybody moving.
“We want everyone to just have a good time.”