Monday, May 26, 2014

Reggae Sumfest To Honour Freddie McGregor



International Night Two of the 22nd staging of Reggae Sumfest will see organizers paying homage to Reggae icon Freddie McGregor for his contribution to Jamaican music.

The singer, musician and producer is set to grace the stage with hits from his innumerable catalogue on the closing night, of the festival, Saturday, July 19 in Montego Bay before being presented an award commemorating his outstanding five decade service to Jamaica’s  music industry. McGregor launched his career in music at the age of seven in the 1960s when he first recorded for Studio One Label.

According to McGregor, to know that he will be formally recognized for his music is a wonderful feeling. "I am excited about it. It is a beautiful feeling to know that I will be honoured for my 51 years of service by my own country. This award will be special to me," McGregor said with elation in a recent interview.

McGregor says he hopes, from receiving this award numerous young and upcoming artistes will be inspired to create a foundation as he has that will flourish into over five decades of service and relevance.

"I hope the younger artistes will take a page out of my book and think about longevity and not just getting a buss, because a buss does not mean that they have made it," he said.

McGregor, in speaking about his performance said for 'The Greatest Reggae Show on Earth,' patrons can expect his old hits complimented with surprise performances.

"My performance will be a uniquely special one at the closing of the event. The members of Big Ship, Chino, Stephen and Yeshemabeth, the band itself, my backing vocals and I are coming with full force. There'll also be a special guest performance for the night," McGregor said.

According to Johnny Gourzong, Executive Director of Summerfest Productions, promoters of Reggae Sumfest, McGregor has been chosen for formal recognition at the next staging of the show because of his musical contribution. “We consider Freddie McGregor to be an iconic Jamaican artiste who has made a significant if not immeasurable contribution to the growth and development of our music over the last 51 years,” Gourzong stated.

“Reggae Sumfest is committed to showcasing the best talent that Jamaica has to offer.  Freddie McGregor is undoubtedly one of the greatest artistes to have come out of Jamaica.  We are excited to be presenting him to close the 22nd staging of Reggae Sumfest and know that our fans will be treated to a mind-blowing performance. Gourzong said when asked about adding Freddie McGreggor to the Reggae Sumfest line up.

Since he began in 1963, McGregor has released more than 30 albums with the latest being 'Di Captain'. This album was released in January 2013.

His popularity first soared in the early 1980s with the release of 'Bobby Bobylon'. He launched his own record label called 'Big Ship' in 1989 which has paved successful career paths in Jamaica’s music industry for his children: Steven 'The Genius' McGregor, Daniel ‘Chino’ McGregor and Yeshemabeth McGregor. Big Ship is one of the most recognized Reggae labels in Japan to date.

Reggae Sumfest will be staged from July 13 – 19 with a Beach Party on Sunday at Aquasol Beach, the All White Party on Tuesday at Pier 1 and stage shows from Thursday to Saturday at Catherine Hall. The festival will feature some of the greatest local and international performers. With the announcement of Wiz Khalifa, Tessanne Chin, Busy Signal, Chronixx, Jah Cure, Beenie Man, Sanchez, Bounty Killer, I-Octane, Assassin, Mr. Vegas, Aidonia, Bugle, Nature, Spice Alkaline and Zvuloon Dub System, anticipation is already frenetic for the 22nd staging of the show. Festival sponsors include, Digicel, Iberostar, Secrets Resorts and Spa, Pepsi and Jamaica Tourist Board.

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