Jemere Morgan: Carrying on the Legacy of Morgan Heritage

by Howard Campbell

SOUTH FLORIDA – The death of Peter “Peetah” Morgan in February robbed reggae of a unique vocalist. It also cast doubt on the future of Grammy-winning band Morgan Heritage, for which he was lead singer since the late 1980s.

Jemere Morgan, his nephew and son of Gramps Morgan, the band’s keyboardist/vocalist, made his official debut as Morgan Heritage’s new lead singer on April 28 at the Barbados Reggae Festival.

Jemere Morgan, lead singer Morgan Heritage
Jemere Morgan

In an interview with South Florida Caribbean News, Jemere admits, “It’s not easy shoes to fill”, adding that, “I know this is something he would like us to carry on.”

He disclosed that the decision for him to succeed Peetah was taken shortly after his death, but the family kept it close to home as they wanted it to be a surprise. The New York-born Jemere has a promising solo career and is expected to release a new song, Higher We Go, on May 3.

It is the lead single from an album he is currently recording with Damian Marley.

Jemere Morgan: Carrying on the Legacy of Morgan HeritageJemere says longtime Morgan Heritage fans can expect to hear a different flavor to the band’s hit songs now that he is up front.

“I have a more sweeter sound with my melodies but he has a more edgy sound. Uncle Peetah definitely sang with a different conviction, more of an edge,” he explained.

Born Roy Morgan Jr., Jemere followed his family’s path into music. Like his grandfather, father, uncles and aunts, he started his career in his teens and has released a number of songs and one album (Transition) to date.

Peetah sang lead on most of Morgan Heritage’s biggest hit songs including Don’t Haffi Dread, Down by The River and She’s Still Loving Me. While the comparisons with his uncle are inevitable, Jemere prefers to look at the big picture.

“It is a great honor to carry on the legacy. I consider it to be the next mission,” he said.

South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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