Jamaica 50: Celebrating Independence
On 6 August 2012 Jamaica will celebrate fifty years of independence from British rule. Jamaica famously hums with a deep musical history that encompasses mento, calypso, reggae, dub, dancehall and more. Appropriately for the musical island, the important occassion is being celebrated by a range of fantastic musical events taking place across the world.
Here are some of our recommendations for joining in the fun...
The O₂ are hosting a 12 night concert series titled Resepect: Jamaica 50. The line-up is stellar featuring Jamaican legends such as Freddie McGregor, Horace Andy, Toots & The Maytals, Junior Murvin, Lee Scratch Perry and more.
On 31 July three stars will perform. John Holt is most famous for penning 'The Tide Is High', a classic track also covered by Blondie, and later pop trio Atomic Kitten. Holt's other hits include 'Ali Baba', 'I See Your Face' and 'Tonight'. His style is slow and sweet, a forerunner of the Lovers Rock style.
Donald 'Tabby' Shaw, Fitzroy 'Bunny' Simpson and Lloyd 'Judge' Ferguson make up The Mighty Diamonds. Their sound is notable for their close harmony, and rootsy style. Their famous hits include 'Pass The Koutchie' (later covered by Musical Youth), 'Country Living' and 'Go Seek Your Rights'.
Leroy Sibbles was the lead singer with The Heptones during the 1960s and 1960s. Other strings to his bow include working as a session bassist and singer at Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd's recording and publishing studio in the 1960s. The biggest Heptones hits include 'Get In The Grooe', 'Ting A Ling' and 'Sweet Talking'.
This will be an evening not to be missed, with three reggae giants taking the stage to play their well-known tunes.
Huddersfield will celebrate Jamaica's independence with style on 5 August 2012. Their will be performances from acclaimed reggae bands, dance performances, comedy and more programmed over the jam-packed eight hour event.
Aswell as treats from Global Reggae Band, Nu Popes, Ossie Gad and Selah Sounds, none other than Freddie McGregor will play at the event. McGregor began his career in the 1960s at the tender age of just seven years old, and has held his own in the reggae landscape ever since.
His music covers ska, rocksteady, roots reggae, lovers rock, dancehall, ragga and dub! His set will be electric no doubt.
Brixton Splash is an free annual event held in the historic London location, and this year will feature additional performances celebrating Jamaica's 50 years of indpedence. The colourful event is a great celebration of peaceful relations, vibrant living in Brixton and Brixton’s contribution to the wider London culture.
Artists performing on the mainstage include Iona, AK, Canei Versatile, Zilla, CR & Links, Mecca and more. At 2 and 5 pm their will be special performances on the main stage celebrating Jamaican heritage.
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