On April 19, 2001, Beres Hammond played an epic two-hour concert at New York’s venerable Hammerstein Ballroom at the Manhattan Center on West 34th Street.

The occasion was the release of his 15th studio album Music Is Life. In the decades since its release, many regard the album as his definitive full-length work.

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While showering the crowd with a 25-year deep catalog of classics, Beres also brought a pair of new hits from Music Is Life, “Rock Away” and “They Gonna Talk.” Both songs have been performed at nearly every show he has done since that day.

Ginja and the Harmony House Singers opened the show, and later, singers including Maxi Priest, Red Fox, and Wyclef Jean joined him onstage.

It was a New York moment, a reggae moment, and a Beres Hammond moment for the ages, not to be outdone until his stunning February 2021 performance from Jamaica, which captured a global audience. 

The 2001 concert was released on DVD the following year as Music Is Life – Live From New York, including additional content with interviews by journalism Elena Oumano. 

Listen to the remastered audio from that magical night here:

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