Ottawa Reggae Festival announced recently that Jamaica’s most prolific global tour manager, artist manager and reggae historian Copeland Forbes will be honored for his outstanding contribution to the reggae music industry at a private reception to be held The Courtleigh Hotel New Kingston, Jamaica on Monday, June 20,2011. The Festival’s producer Benjamin Williams had this to say:”No single person has contributed as much to his country and reggae like Forbes has. And as such, no one is more deserving of this our most prestigious award than Mr. Forbes.” The Toronto International Jamaica Day Festival will also honour Forbes at the June 20th Award Ceremony for his exceptional contribution to the Reggae industry and his country, Jamaica. TIJDC chair had this to say: “considering Copeland was the first individual to introduce reggae to Canada, these honours are well overdue.”
Forbes, whose journey through the music industry started in 1962, has evolved to become the most experienced and esteemed tour manager; additionally acted as an unofficial ambassador of Jamaica, globalizing reggae in six of the seven continents over the past fifty years. He has represented many of the top reggae acts in the genre including The Wailers, The Mighty Diamonds, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru, Sly and Robbie, Third World, Dennis Brown, U-Roy, Marcia Griffiths, Frankie Paul, Morgan Heritage, I-Threes, Luciano, Sizzla, Ziggy Marley, Andrew Tosh, Freddie McGregor, Beres Hammond, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Junior Reid, Sugar Minott, Mutabaruka, Half Pint and Maxi Priest. He is presumably the most travel person in the industry, regularly touring countries like England, Germany, France, USA, Guam, Greece, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Japan, South Africa, Israel and Cuba.
Since coordinating his first international tour, Copeland has managed tours for The Wailers Band, Toots & the Maytals, Bunny Wailer, Black Uhuru, Dennis Brown, Lt. Stitchie, Ernie Ranglin, Gregory Isaacs, I-Three, Freddie Mc Gregor, Beres Hammond, Mutabaruka, U-Roy, Chakademus & Pliers and Canadian reggae soul princess Bonnie Casey, who recently returned from a successful tour of Australia. Forbes plans to release his autobiography titled “Reggae My Life Is” next year, on his 50th in 2012.
Forbes will be presented with “The Ottawa Reggae Festival Lifetime Achievement Award,” in appreciation of his distinguished service and outstanding contribution to Jamaica’s musical legacy.
“We admire Copeland’s relentless effort in promoting and showcasing Jamaica’s music, both locally and internationally” said Williams.