New York, NY: The Jamrock Vintage Reggae Fest, formerly known as the Westchester Reggae Fest, will take place on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at the Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street in Manhattan at 9pm. The highly anticipated vintage event, now dubbed “A Class Act”, features reggae legends Toots & the Maytals, Marcia Griffiths, Ken Boothe, Jimmy Riley and Pat Kelly; all backed by Lloyd Parks and the We the People Band.
The eclectic and versatile Toots and the Maytals, or simply “The Maytals”, are considered pioneers in the Jamaican music industry. Their sound is a unique, original combination of gospel, ska, soul, reggae and rock. The band proved that it has still maintained current and universal appeal when it won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album with “True Love”. The album consists of re-recorded versions of their classics alongside popular and legendary musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards. “True Love” ingeniously features popular contemporary artists such as No Doubt, Ben Harper, The Roots and Shaggy.
Marcia Griffiths has performed at the Reggae Fest on several occasions over the past 10 years since the inception of the show. Each year she has unremittingly maintained a massive following. Griffiths released a total of 16 albums and continues to perform globally. She is one of the longest, hardest, and most consistently working artist in the history of the Jamaican Music Industry, wherein she is heralded as the Empress of Reggae music. In a career spanning 40 years to date and still going strong, she hits high points internationally both as a soloist and as half of the ‘Bob and Marcia’ duo with singer Bob Andy. Marcia Griffith’s original propagation to fame came as a result of being a member of the world renowned I-Threes. The I-Threes are notably recognized as the harmony for the legendary Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Ken Boothe’s illustrious musical career began in the early sixties. Since then he has released a total of twenty-one albums. In Jamaica he continues to reign supreme and maintains his popularity as one of the nation’s top entertainers. His musical talent as well as his love for humanity has afforded him the opportunity of touring in North and South America, Europe, Japan, Canada and the Caribbean. With a unique combination of talent, Boothe has emerged as a “one of a kind” singer; an accomplished musician, songwriter, musical arranger and an impressive dancer. His unique style embraces a rare blend of artistic genius.
Lloyd Parks and the We the People Band is currently an international fixture in the reggae arena. Engaging and prolific, the band has been in demand for over three decades both as front liners and as backing band for reggae giants such as the late Dennis Brown and the Abyssinians. Parks himself has created an impressive resume for himself both as a base player and vocalist. He is said to have come in contact with almost all the heavy hitters in the reggae music industry. Lloyd Parks and we the people now boasts second generation Parks as his son Craig plays the drums and his Daughter Tamika plays the keyboards.
Jimmy Riley and Pat Kelly, two reggae legends have also been added to already stellar lineup. Riley’s first success came as a member of The Sensations (with Cornell Campbell, Aaron “Bobby” Davis, and his brother, Buster Riley), then later as a solo singer and writer, Riley worked with a host of Jamaican producers, including Bunny Lee and Lee “Scratch” Perry, before settling in with Sly and Robbie in the early 1980s, whose production on Riley’s version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” helped the song top the reggae charts in 1983. Pat Kelly was one of the island’s leading purveyors of the rocksteady genre. The Curtis Mayfield sound-alike took Slim Smith’s place alongside Bruce Ruffin & Winston Riley in the Techniques around 1966. Some of their hits include “You Don’t Care”, “You’ll Want Me Back”, “My Girl” and “Love Is Not A Gamble.”
Part proceeds from this event will go to David “Squeeze” Annakie’s charity for this year – The Bustmante Children’s Hospital in Jamaica to help the children living with HIV/AIDS. Mr. Annakie is the publisher of Jamrock Magazine and the promoter of the Jamrock Vintage Reggaefest. He has already given over 1 million Jamaican dollars to the hospital and will be doing the same by the end of the year.
The Jamrock Vintage Fest will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at The Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 West 34th Street, Manhattan. Tickets are currently on sale starting at $65. Tickets are available on line at www.ticketmaster.com and at all Ticket Master locations. Tickets are also available at Moodies Records, Peoples Choice Furniture, VP Records, Grace Money Services and select Golden Krust locations. For a full listing of local ticket outlets, log on to www.ReggaeFest.com, or call 877-MY-LINKUP. Doors open 8pm, show time is 9pm. Following the show, there will be an After Party and Ball at 12midnight at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
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