The board of directors of the Coalition to Preserve Reggae (CPR) is pleased to announce International Women of Reggae – A Night of Hits, taking place on Saturday, April 25th from 8pm to 11pm at the Walt Whitman Auditorium, Brooklyn College, Campus Road and Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. The event which launches the tenth anniversary celebration of CPR is billed as a “celebration of the feminine energy in reggae music.” A first for the New York audience, the red carpet affair has the endorsement of a growing number of celebrities and public officials, and features the leading lady of Reggae, Etana “The Strong One”, headlining a stellar constellation of female artists representing a cross section of the genre from roots reggae to old school dancehall.
Since receiving the CPR 2013 Simba (Lioness) Award, Etana, who is originally from August Town, Jamaica, and who just wrapped up a successful European tour in support of her chart topping fourth album, IRISE, has been on an upward spiral. IRISE, produced by maverick producer and musician, Clive Hunt and released on VP Records, was number one on the Billboard Reggae Chart and radio deejays have kept tracks like Strong Jamaican Woman in heavy rotation, while Richest Girl continues to sit atop the charts. Her anthemic Better Tomorrow from her previous album Queen, was recently chosen by the United Nations to be the theme song for the “Ending Ebola and Building for the Future” campaign.
Confirmed and excited to be a part of the lineup is Nadine Sutherland, the former child prodigy who was propelled to fame at age 11 when she won Jamaica’s Tastee’s Talent Competition “beating out Paul Blake and Yellowman” and was among the first artists presented by the late King of Reggae, Bob Marley on his Tuff Gong label. Nadine graduated from St. Andrew’s High School for Girls in Kingston and found success in duets with Terror Fabulous (Action) and Buju Banton (Wicked Dickie) and scored big with solo hits like Babyface and Big Tingz to make her mark in the spotlight.
Also making her way to Brooklyn is lover’s rock sensation JC Lodge. Her extensive catalog includes chart toppers like Telephone Love, a huge cross over track, and the celebrated hit, Someone Loves You Honey. JC Lodge, is making a very special effort to be a part of this historic occasion flying in from London just for the show. Supporting the star studded line up is newcomer, and 2009 Digicel Rising Stars winner Shuga, from St. James, Jamaica. Having toured extensively with Tanya Stephens as a backup singer, Shuga has been making a name for herself with singles like Ebony and Ride Di Riddim, and is due to release her first album shortly, on Penthouse Records.
Lady Ann, the first female deejay to chart a number one hit with the “big chune” Informer will perform alongside Junie Ranks, bringing the dancehall flavor of the 80’s and 90’s. Junie promises to perform hits like Big and Ready and Bring Back the Love in the Dancehall. Toronto’s Tasha T makes her way to Brooklyn riding high on the crest of her recent 2015 Juno Award nomination for best reggae recording for her 2014 album, Real Talk and Reggae Month performances and appearances in Jamaica. The line up also includes rising starlets, Chyna Nicole, who recently released her album, 20 Years in The Making, and Kristine Alicia who’s remake of the Carole King classic, Will You Still Love Me is soaring up the charts to rave reviews.
The visionary International Women of Reggae – A Night of Hits, which celebrates the feminine energy in reggae, is the brain child of CPR co-founders Sharon Gordon and Carlyle McKetty, both of whom agree that it is high time women get their shine. “Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled to partner with the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music to showcase the incredible breadth and depth of today’s best female international reggae stars,” says Jon Yanofsky, Director of the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, co-presenter of the event. He further adds that, “Brooklyn has long been the American seat of the West Indian and Caribbean community, so it’s a homecoming of sorts to feature such a dynamic line-up of women artists right here in the borough known for its rich Caribbean heritage. We are sure the evening will be a sensational success and are excited to continue the partnership with CPR for years to come.”
Many consider Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music to be the preeminent organization furthering the cause of roots reggae globally and all proceeds from this event will support the forums, internet broadcasts and other CPR efforts to preserve and expand the reggae genre.