On Sunday July 1st, reggae’s timeless idol Beres Hammond will ignite New York City with musical flames when he headlines the annual “Grooving In The Park…A day of Reggae Rhythm and Blues” at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens. Hammond will share the stage with veteran reggae icon, the Hon. Jimmy Cliff OM, Boyz To Men and reigning R&B king R Kelly.
“I am very excited about the lineup. The acts we have booked so far – Jimmy, R Kelly, Boyz II Men and Beres – represents the best of reggae and R&B and I am confident they will deliver a spectacular concert for fans. We are still looking to add more acts to complete the lineup, ” said event CEO Christopher Roberts, of Groovin Inc.
Six years ago – the last time the ‘Boss’ Beres Hammond was in town to perform at an outdoor music festival – fans welcomed him with open arms and thunderous applause continued throughout the duration of his set. Supported by the Harmony House Band, the reggae balladeer ran through hits like “Rockaway,” “In Love With You,” “What On Dance Can Do,” “She Loves Me Not,” “Step Aside” “Double Trouble” and “Putting Up Resistance.” Hammond’s stellar career was launched in the 70’s with the release of his monster hit “One Step Ahead,” which stayed at number one on the charts over for 14 weeks. In the 80’s he scored with “What One Dance Can Do,” “Tempted to Touch” and subsequent albums “Love Affair,” “Full Attention” (1993), “In Control” (1994), “Love From a Distance” (1996) and “A Day In The Life” (1998). His 2001 disc “Music is Life” was warmly embraced by fans globally and included the number one hit “Rock Away.” The success of the album led to a series of high profile sold out appearances at the world famous Madison Square Gardens. Hammond is ripe for another stellar set in NY so fans can fasten their seat belts and be prepared to be ‘Rocked Away’ with some sweet, soulful, reggae music at Hammond’s first and only New York performance this year.
Rhythm and Blues legend R. Kelly is a master producer, composer and performer and he is known for delivering music that is spiritual, inspirational and extremely sexual. He made his mark with smash hits like “I Believe I Can Fly,” “World’s Greatest” for the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta; and a duet with French-Canadian pop diva Celine Dion, which catapulted him to international stardom. He has also enjoyed great commercial success, recording collaboration tracks with Jay-Z’s “Not Guilty” and Kelly’s “Fiesta Remix.” Fans are hyped and ready for an extraordinary performance from the R&B crooner who will be returning to NY for his first performance since his “Best of Both Worlds” concert with Jay Z in 2004.
Music legend Jimmy Cliff created history in 2010 when he became the first Jamaican performer since Bob Marley to be inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The talented actor, musician, singer, songwriter, music producer and businessman is arguably the most celebrated reggae act alive on the international stage. He regularly plays stadiums and arenas in Africa, Brazil and parts of Europe and has an equally impressive following in the USA where he is best known for songs like “Sitting in Limbo,” “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Wild World,” “I Can See Clearly Now” and “Many Rivers to Cross.”
Boyz II Men
Grammy award winning R&B vocal group Boyz II Men are regarded as one of the most successful of all time. The group, best known for emotional ballads and a cappella harmonies, gained international notoriety with their 1992 hit single “End of The Road” which remained at the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 13 weeks. The group reaped further success with hits “I’ll Make Love To You,” “One Sweet Day (with Mariah Carey) and On Bended Knee.” Their most recent studio album, “Twenty” was released in 2011.
With the event taking place on Sunday, July 1st during the American Independence celebrations and with Jamaica and Trinidad both celebrating 50th anniversaries this year, concert organisers say the festival will serve as a tribute to these three great nations. Detailed plans of the tribute will be announced soon.
- Gramps Morgan Releases NEW album REGGAE MUSIC LIVES (highlanda.net)
- Inner Circle at Jamaica 50th Anniv. Celebration in NYC w/ Israel Vibration & The Mighty Diamonds (highlanda.net)
- Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman discusses son with autism (thegrio.com)
- Jimmy Cliff playing opening night @ Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park, Coachella & SXSW (brooklynvegan.com)
The inaugural Reggae Vault Classics event, which took place on Thursday, April 21st at The Sound Table in downtown Atlanta‘s historic fourth ward district was truly a refreshingly joyous occasion. I would definitely look out for the next installment in this promising party series.
Here is a glimpse into what took place:
U.K. production company Xingu Films, Canada’s Conquering Lion and Jamaican producer Justine Henzell are uniting to remake 1972 Jamaican classic, “The Harder They Come,” which starred reggae legend Jimmy Cliff as an aspiring musician lured into crime.
The original was written and directed by Henzell’s father Perry Henzell, who died in 2006.
D’Oliveira described the new version as a re-imagining that will move to contemporary reggae and reggae-influenced grooves.
Set in Jamaica and London, it’s being penned by former New Musical Express scribe Chris Salewicz, co-writer of “Third World Cop” (the most financially successful Caribbean pic) and books including “Bob Marley: The Untold Story.”
The producers expect to have a draft script ready for Cannes and principal photography is targeted for 2012.
“Next year is the 50th anniversary of Jamaica and the 40th anniversary of the original film, so the timing is perfect,” said D’Oliveira. ” ‘The Harder They Come’ was the first film to bring the real Jamaica to the world, and that spirit informs this new version.”
Henzell, director of Jamaica’s Calabash Literary Festival, said as the rights holder to the original she has been approached many times by companies with remake ideas, adding, “For the first time, I am confident we have a team that will simultaneously honor the original while creating a new narrative worthy of the legacy.”
- The Harder They Come, the Remake (repeatingislands.com)
- Reggae Legend Toots To Collaborate With Rapper Eve? (highlanda.wordpress.com)
- Jamaica’s Top Artists Set To Perform – Live On The Waterfront 2011 (highlanda.wordpress.com)
- Bob Marley (amairgin.wordpress.com)
- Jamaican Government is Looking to DeCriminalize Marijuana as Locals Ponder Paradox (hailmaryjane.com)
- Jamaica Featured In Reception At The Capitol (highlanda.wordpress.com)
International reggae/ska singer Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals, whose 1968 hit single “Do the Reggay”, is credited with coining the word reggae, said in a recent interview that he would love to collaborate with US rapper Eve.
‘EVE is a great artiste and I would love to collaborate with her on a song – old or new. I think it would be an interesting mix of our creativity and vocal style. She is one of the most versatile talents coming out of the hip hop movement…she can rap, write, act and has a lot of fashion style…great talent” he said.
Toots will have the opportunity to let his feelings known to Eve on March 12, 2011 in Kingston, Jamaica when she performs at the 7th Annual Excellence in Music and Entertainment (EME) Awards. The two met almost 10 years ago, when they performed at the ‘Bob Marley, One Love Tribute Concert’ at James Bond Beach in St. Mary.
“She was then and still is, a very beautiful artiste” Toots affirmed. “It was a pleasure meeting her and I look forward to seeing her in Jamaica again.”
Toots and the Maytals, originally called The Maytals, are considered legends of ska and reggae music. Their sound is a unique, original combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock. Following the release of “Monkey Man” – the group’s first international hit in 1970 – they have recorded hits like “Pressure Drop”, “54-46 was my number,” “Monkey Man” and was featured in The Harder They Come, the 1972 film and soundtrack starring Jimmy Cliff, named as one of Vanity Fair’s Top 10 Best Soundtracks of all time. The group’s current release, titled Flip & Twist which was released last year, has so far spent 3 weeks atop the Jamaica Music Countdown (JMC) Albums Chart and features Toots singing, R&B, funk, gospel, blues and country in his own inimitable Jamaican style. The next release will be a DVD of the documentary Reggae Got Soul: The Story of Toots & the Maytals which premiered on BBC last month.
“I am always working on new material and have a few singles in the pipeline for release by the summer and another studio album in production. I will continue to work on completing that album in between upcoming tours of Australia, North America and Europe” he said.
Last year Toots was honored at the EME Awards with a “Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution to the reggae genre.
“It is always nice to be appreciated for your work and last year’s EME honour was particularly nice because it was a Jamaican award” he said.
This year to show his appreciation for what the EME is doing to move the industry forward, his label will be a sponsor of the glitzy awards show.
“D&F Music is pleased to support the growth of the EME Awards and the promotion of excellence in the music. Jamaica’s music industry needs this type of award show to recognize and promote the standard of excellence necessary for us to continue to make music the world wants to hear” he said.
- Take Me to Jamaica — infectiously fun mento compilation revels in ska/reggae’s roots (boingboing.net)
- Tonight’s TV highlights (guardian.co.uk)
- What The Clash Mean to Me (leadingusabsurd.wordpress.com)