The year was 1962 and it would be a year of immense change for two small but important English speaking Caribbean islands it was a time when social and political change was taking place in the region. For one small island on midnight August 6, 1962 the Union Jack (The British flag) was lowered and the black green and gold flag representing an independent island for the first time was raised. This island was Jamaica the third largest island in the Caribbean.
Similarly exactly twenty five (25) days later another island raised their flag too on August 31, 1962 joining Jamaica in becoming an independent nation after being under British rule for centuries. This island was Trinidad and Tobago.
Over the past nearly fifty (50) years since both islands gained independence they have grown as nations with a wide diversity of culture, their people have excelled in various fields both locally and internationally.
This year marks the Golden anniversary of their independence from British rule. As a result JAMROCK Magazine a premier glossy lifestyle publication with a distinctly Caribbean-American flair; based in New York has decided to join in celebrating the 50th year of independence of these two islands by having a show titled “JAMROCK TRINIDAD 50”, on Friday August 3, 2012 at the Hammerstein Manhattan Center in New York. This show will feature as its headline acts Maxi Priest and Billy Ocean.
Maxi Priest who is British born is of Jamaican parents. His musical career began with him singing on the South London reggae sound system Saxon Studio International. Priest’s first major album was the self-titled Maxi Priest (1988) which, along with his cover of Cat Stevens' "Wild World", established him as one of the top British reggae singers.
He is one of only two British reggae acts (along with UB40) to have an American Billboard number one: "Close to You" in 1990. A duet with Roberta Flack, "Set the Night to Music", also reached the American Top Ten in 1991. His duet with Shaggy in 1996, "That Girl", was also a hit in the United States, peaking at number twenty.
In the latter half of his recording career, Priest has favoured working alongside other artists, both established and up-and-coming. He has worked with Sly & Robbie, Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Jazzie B, Apache Indian, Roberta Flack, Shurwayne Winchester, Shabba Ranks and Lee Ritenour.
With a career that spans well over two decades, Maxi Priest is gracious in being referred to as a veteran. Having recently released the best of album, Maximum Collection, the much-loved British reggae star hopes the offering acts as a “point of reference” for the younger generation, who may not be familiar with his multitude of hits.
Billy Ocean born Leslie Sebastian Charles in Trinidad and Tobago to Grenadian parents moved to Romford, Essex, England with his family at the age of eight. Ocean's musical influence came at an early stage, as his father was a musician, and realized he was in line to follow those ambitions as he was growing up.
During Ocean’s teenage years, he sang regularly in London clubs. He released his first single in 1972 on Spark Records as Les Charles.
Billy took his stage name from the Ocean Estate, Stepney, where he was living at the time. In 1976, he recorded his first album, Billy Ocean, with its first single release, "Love Really Hurts Without You," charting at number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and number 22 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. He enjoyed club success from the songs "Are You Ready" and "Stay the Night" from the album City Limit. More successes followed including "L.O.D. (Love on Delivery)". He also wrote and composed songs for other artists. In 1981, he scored the U.S. R&B chart with "Nights (Feel like Getting Down)".
Ocean's greatest success began with releases, during 1984, of the album Suddenly and its main single, "Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)." The song won Ocean the Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 1985 Grammy Awards. The album's title track also became a success, peaking at #4 in both the US and the UK and the song "Loverboy", while also being a #2 US success in 1985 was also featured in the very first scene of the popular UKBBC One TV series, Casualty, in 1986. In 2002, the University of Westminster in London awarded Ocean an honorary doctorate of music.
In 2004, "Caribbean Queen" was re-released as a digital single for its 20th anniversary, shooting up to #25 on the Billboard digital singles chart and garnering radio play across the US and UK. A remix of the single by Will.I.Am was released in 2005, and it later appeared on Pitchfork's "Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s" countdown, at #87.
In October 2007, Ocean commenced his first UK tour in over 15 years. In 2010 he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the MOBO Awards and became a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2011.
Both Maxi and Billy have excelled in the music industry doing numerous tours worldwide and spreading their message of love and positivity through music. Other acts on the “JAMROCK 50” concert include the legendary Tinga Stewart and Ritchie Stephens.
Neville “Tinga” Stewart’s musical career began in 1969 with his first recording “She Is Gone”, a duet with Ernest Wilson of the Clarendonians. Tinga was also the lead vocalist for a group called the “Wildcats” and performed at some of the leading nights spots in Kingston. He has teamed with the likes of the “Fab Five” band and “Byron Lee & Dragonaires”.
Tinga’s success continued in 1974 when he won the Festival Song competition with the song “Play the Music”. He also wrote the following year’s winning Festival Song “Hooray Festival”, sung by his brother.
In 1981, he was voted the most popular artiste in Jamaica and sang “Nuh Weh Nuh Betta Dan Yard”, which catapulted him into the international spotlight. He has performed all over the world and has received numerous awards including a “Lifetime Achievement Award”. His current album titled “Ready to Grove” was released in 2004 and tracks from that album are still on the worldwide charts. Tinga’s longevity, talent and professionalism continue to take his brand of reggae music to higher international heights.
Richard “Ritchie” Stephens another act on the “JAMROCK 50” show hails from Westmoreland, Jamaica often described as the man with the soulful voice his musical career began nearly three decades ago. Since then he has released 17 studio albums, his latest compilation “God is on my side” was released in May this year.
Ritchie has won numerous awards over his many years of being involved in music and has already copped five (5) awards since the beginning of this year for his contribution to music. In the early 1990s, Stephens was a part of the twice Grammy Award winning act Soul II Soul, has recorded at Motown. He has also produced records on the VP label and has his own label, Pot of Gold Records.
Apart from his involvement in music Stephens was rewarded the Jamaican Governor-General's Achievement Award for contributing to civic, social and recreational projects in and around his native parish of Westmoreland in 2006.
Ritchie like Tinga, Maxi and Billy brings to the “JAMROCK 50 “show his immense experience as an artiste over the years who has and continues to influence the populace with positive and conscious music that can be appreciated by all.
David “Squeeze” Annakie the editor in chief of JAMROCK Magazine and CEO of the Linkup Media group of companies under which JAMROCK Magazine falls said “he decided to invite both Maxi and Billy to be the headlines acts on the show mainly because of the music they have done over the years along with the wealth of experience they have had in catering to audiences the world over.”
The show which kicks off at exactly 7PM on Friday August 3rd 2012 promises to be one not to be missed. It is already over eighty one percent (81%) sold out. The MC for the night will be WVIP 93.5 FM Link up Radio’s very own Kingsley “Ragashanti” Stewart.
“Ragashanti” in his own right is an entertainer, broadcaster and educator who have successfully been able to use his own brand of humor to creatively stimulate cultural awareness among his fellow Jamaicans and Caribbean people in general through his radio show. Apart from his MC duties he is also slated to give a ‘cameo performance’ during the event. David “Squeeze” Annakie also stated that part proceeds from this event will go towards the Maia Chung Autism And Disabilities Foundation in Jamaica.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at various ticket outlets in NY, via www.ticketmaster.com or by calling ticket master at 1-877-476-5746. The event is powered by Biolife Energy Systems Solution, www.biolifenow.com
Posted By :JAMROCK Magazine
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