Oftentimes, when we think of weddings, we traditionally make the bride the focus of the occasion, giving the role of co-star to the groom, who is technically one of the main characters of the union. Well gentlemen, I am here to tell you that it is ok to take the lead and enjoy your wedding.
We had the honor of attending the wedding of legendary R & B singer, executive, and entrepreneur, Jeff Redd. Yes, the Jeff Redd that was responsible for discovering the queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J. Blige, and presenting her to her record label—and as they say, “the rest was history.” You don’t have to take my word for it, Mary J. Blige (yes, that is the beautifully talented Mary singing backup for Jeff) said it herself, on the Jimmy Fallon Show. His hit song continues to call everyone to the dance floor to sing You Called & Told Me,” which featured the beautiful Halle Berry in his music video promoting the cult classic movie, Strictly Business.
As a music executive, he has been praised for creating and building countless artists. During his long (and still active) career, he has produced for artists such as SWV, Bobby Brown, Allure, and Field Mob.
Redd has received Grammy, American Music, Soul Train, and Billboard awards for distinguished albums for collaborations with successful artists such as K-Ci and JoJo, Regina Belle, Salt-N-Pepa, and countless others. He has also contributed to motion picture soundtracks such as How Stella Got Her Groove Back, The Hurricane, and Eve's Bayou.
A Warm Welcome From Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Board
But, why would anyone from the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region decide to travel to Antigua and Barbuda? For one, the rich history. Antigua and Barbuda is home to many Middle Easterners that found their way to the island at the turn of the twentieth century. While Antiguans labeled all Middle Easterners “Syrians,” studies show the Middle Easterners being identified came from various parts of the region. So, the island continues to extend a warm invitation to their distant family members from the MENA region. The second reason is the countless activities that would be of interest to travelers, such as the annual boating show, music festivals, the annual carnival festival celebrating the island’s rich culture, and the natural beaches, just to name a few.
The Redds Support Local Businesses
But back to the story of taking a leading role in your wedding, gentlemen. Jeff Redd has always been a very stylish man. His sense of style, talented vocal ability, and amazing live performances,only add to his presence off stage. Knowing this, it was without doubt, he would be “getting turnt up” at his wedding!
The Redds had two weddings—one on the beautiful island of Antigua and Barbuda, and the other in their hometown of New York City. Both were epic! Jeff, with his southern gentleman’s aesthetic, chose to wear an off-white tuxedo jacket, giving us a very upscale, proper, James Bond, dapper look.
His attention to detail started with the gorgeous engagement ring and wedding band he acquired from Abbott’s Jewelery & Perfumery in Antigua and Barbuda.
While they may have chosen Antigua and Barbuda to say their “I dos,” the backdrop of cascading mountains, blue waters, and fine cuisine were not the only reasons why they selected this oasis. They wanted the wedding location to be some place their family and friends would enjoy after two years of confinement and travel restrictions. The couple was confident in the island’s ability to keep their guests safe since they were one of the first countries to open its borders to guests traveling from abroad. Antigua and Barbuda went to great measures to ensure guests and locals would be safe.
As foodies, they appreciate the experience of fine dining and fresh food, and the island provided such an experience. They chose to get married at Carlisle Bay Antigua. Talk about oasis! The property left me speechless. Carlisle Bay Antigua hosts four restaurants, on site, that will satisfy a variety of palates.
Carlisle Bay Antigua can satisfy the most demanding of foodies with their first-class staff, lead by Executive Chef, Prabhakar Kumar—his Indian heritage, mixed with the Caribbean flavors, are the very reason why everything we ate during our stay was divine. If it is healthy living you are seeking, then Antigua and Barbuda are a perfect location for you to enjoy great cuisine. The food is fresh and the living is good.
Earlier this year, the Antigua and Barbuda office made their presence seen at the Expo 2020 Dubai. The Minister of Tourism and Investment, The Honourable Charles Fernandez received a warm welcome. This solidified their desire to welcome many tourists from that region of the world to visit the island and enjoy the countless activities that are available.
Antigua and Barbuda is great for a variety of occasions, such as family get-togethers, destination weddings, and the celebration of family and community during Ramadan in a peaceful, safe, and welcoming environment.
Jeff has admitted his interest in visiting the Middle East and told of the countless offers he has received to perform in the region. Dubai, for instance, is definitely one of his dream destinations to perform in and experience the culture.
His global fanbase extends far beyond the waters of the Americas, and he is looking forward to performing in the MENA region in the immediate future, as the opportunities present themselves.
Although Redd’s career is deeply rooted in R&B, he has already begun to widen his appeal in the world of jazz as well. He recently performed his well-received set at Minton’s in Harlem, New York. His foray into jazz was also highlighted in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. He exudes effortless ability in singing jazz favorites, old and new.
As an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Redd has diversified his portfolio. He is the owner of an independent recording label, Sol Real Records, and author of a soon-to-be released romance novel. His philanthropic work extends to being a Mount Vernon School Board trustee.
“I am on the school board of Mount Vernon, and my job is to implement policy, and to assure that the students of Mount Vernon have a safe environment, and get an exceptional education, so that they can maneuver in life. I am putting together a music program, but it’s still in the early stages.”
Jeff’s love for music continues to be his inspiration, and he continues to share his gifts with young people and other artists around the globe as a way to unite and celebrate the blending of cultures. So, don’t be surprised if we start seeing the Redds in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle Eastern destinations, supporting the growing art community across the region, in locales like Dubai, Sharjah, Oman and Doha.
Special thank you to Rowena Husbands who made this interview possible.
*Wedding images was graciously provided by Watkins Multimedia Group based in Antigua & Barbuda.
*New York Wedding photos provided by Emmy Award winning photographer Eshama John.
*Expo 2020 Dubai images were graciously provided by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) & Mohammid Walbrook Photography.