Exclusive VIP Concert Features Stellar Lineup Including Toots and the Maytals and Freddie McGregor
NEW YORK – On June 2, 2005, Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater will come alive for “Jamaica Night at the Apollo,” a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
The concert, hosted by the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honourable P.J. Patterson, will feature some of Jamaica’s hottest performers, including reggae legend and 2004 Grammy Award Winner Toots and the Maytals, international recording reggae artist Freddie McGregor and cultural performance group Ashe.
The audience will consist of international VIPs, including Caribbean and American government officials, travel agents, tour operators and special partners of the JTB, who will be in New York celebrating the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s “Caribbean Week in New York”.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to showcase the culture of Jamaica and thank the tourist industry for 50 years of partnership with the JTB,” stated Paul Pennicook, Director of Tourism. “In this our anniversary year, there is no better place for Jamaica to shine than on the famed stage of the Apollo Theater.”
For more than 70 years, the Apollo has been the epicenter of cultural expression for the African Diaspora. Jamaica has been represented in many of the Apollo’s events, specifically, when in the mid 1960’s, a young Bob Marley appeared on the Apollo stage with the “Wailing Wailers.” Additionally, the first time that calypso were featured in the same concert happened when Mighty Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Third World, Dennis Brown, and others performed at the Apollo in the 1960’s.
The following artists will take the stage:
Ashe Caribbean Performing Arts Foundation specializes in Jamaican/Caribbean traditional dances, songs, drumming and culture. Created in 1993 by Caribbean artistic directors Joseph E. Robinson and Paulette R. Bellamy, this internationally acclaimed company has received numerous awards for excellence in the performing arts and for its unique and innovative approach to education throughout Jamaica, the Caribbean and the world.
An internationally acclaimed reggae singer, songwriter and producer, Freddie McGregor has enjoyed a 40-year tenure in the music business and is considered to be Jamaica’s most consistent recording artist. In 1989, McGregor launched his own label “Big Ship,” and has released more than 30 albums throughout his career. Live At The Apollo in New York recently saluted McGregor with a ‘Living Legend’ tribute.
Toots and the Maytals
Known for being pioneers of reggae, Toots and the Maytals have been covered by numerous mainstream recording artists. Their 1968 hit song Do the Reggay is often credited with giving the genre its name. The group was featured in the 1972 film The Harder They Come, an international sensation considered to be reggae’s greatest breakthrough event. Toots was most recently honored with a 2004 Grammy Award for his V2 records debut True Love, which won the Best Reggae Album category.