Soca fever is expected to take over Roy Wilkins Park in Quees, NY for a few hours when Trinidad and Tobago’s (T&T) 2011 Soca and Road March Monarch Machel Montano HD romps on stage at the inaugural staging of “Reggae, Rhythm & Blues” concert on Labor Day Sunday, September 4th 2011. The sizzling festival is expected to attract thousands of music lovers from from the tri-state and Canada, who will pour into the city to see performances by dancehall hotshot David Brooks aka Mavado, R&B singer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and lover’s rock crooner Tarrus Riley.
“Labor Day weekend in New York is all about music from the Caribbean. The Brooklyn Parade which happens on Labor Day, typically attracts over two million participants annually. The intention to inject some soca music into the ‘Reggae, Rhythm and Blues Festival’ is to to get the party started before revelers hit the parkway on Labor Day. We are delighted to have Machel as a performer, as he is just the right man to bring the positive vibes and ball of energy to the festival,” said Bobby Clarke, event organiser.
Machel is a master of his craft. The single constant in his ever-changing career has been his trailblazing approach to T&T’s indigenous soca music. Through his various fusions, Machel has worked tirelessly to establish soca, calypso’s energetic offshoot, as a viable entity that can create an impact beyond T&T’s internationally renowned carnival celebrations. The former child prodigy made history in 1986 when he became the youngest finalist in the history of the Calypso Monarch competition, singing “Too Young to Soca”. He has since recorded songs with The Mighty Sparrow, David Rudder, Calypso Rose, Black Stalin, Alison Hinds, Beenie Man, Drupatee, Wyclef Jean, Canibus, Red Rat, Shaggy, Denise Belfon, KMC, Walker Hornung, Vybz Cartel, Buju Banton, Mr. Vegas, Doug E. Fresh and Mr. Vegas.
Over the past decade, Machel has cemented his place as the reigning King of Caribbean entertainment, winning numerous international awards and delivering solid performances at festivals in the Caribbean and here in the US. His biggest accomplishment is however his back to back sold-out shows at the world famous Madison Square Gardens in NYC in March 2008 – a feat never before done by a Caribbean artist. Machel was joined on stage by Calypso King, The Mighty Sparrow; dancehall queen Macka Diamond; David Rudder and Patrice Roberts.
“Performing at Madison Square Garden is a goal that I always had,” the soca star said in an interview. “We didn’t just come and sing; we brought the culture of T&T to one of the most prestigious venues in the world.”
The T&T born Montano will bring more of that mesmerizing culture from T&T on stage at Roy Wilkins Park. He is expected to engage fans with popular hits like ‘Unconditional Love,’ “Rollin,’ ‘Higher Than High,’ ‘One More,’ “Down The Road’ and ‘Make Love.’