OLD Stars, it seems, never die; they keep shining and thrilling wherever they pop up.

Such was the case on Wednesday night last in the middle of Mandela Park as the Half-Way-Tree Live series revved up.

Queen Ifrica

The early vibe included classic and global dub from DJ Afifa and — for the young ones — storytelling with Paula Ann Porter-Jones. Before showtime, there was also 'juggling' from legendary sound King Sturgrav.

Inside the park's sunken amphitheatre, a host of up-and-comers and (and some long-time soldiers) took turns setting the stage for the vets. Among them Kangaroo, Marcus I and EQ. They would be followed by a pair of giants of the 80s (arguably the golden era of deejays). General Trees and Twitch were scintillating individually and also magical in combination.

Half-an-hour — that's all it took for the great Daddy U-Roy to reaffirm that he still has it. Half-Way-Tree was enraptured by the classic strains of Wear You To The Ball, Wake The Town, and other gems. The euphoria continued for the next performer, himself no stranger to gleeful audiences, Ken Boothe, who earned his encore and more. Not allowing U-Roy to have all the fun, Dennis AlCapone also showed his DJ Credentials, as did Ranking Trevor.

She's connected by bloodline to the greats of Jamaican music, but Queen Ifrica is every inch the contemporary hitmaker. She took the stage and after running through a few of her early chart-toppers, exited, only to be called back by shouts from the audience. She obliged and also brought on Tony Rebel, the two combining perfectly.

Among those enjoying the proceedings from backstage was another veteran crooner, Beres Hammond, who gave his own endorsement of the event.

Half-Way-Tree Live is expected to culminate tonight with Ibo Cooper and the Edna Manley Players, Rising Star finalists and gospel artistes Kerine Wisdom and JCee.

The Jamaica Observer (Dated: Sunday, December 19, 2010)