Star-Studded Event Captures Music in A Time Capsule
The founders of Greensleeves Records, Chris Sedgewick and Chris Cracknell launched the record label in 1977 and sky rocketed the careers of many foundation artists and cross over artists, including: Barrington Levy, Shabba Ranks , Beeenie Man, Mr. Vegas, Shaggy, Elephant Man, Vybz Kartel and more. Partnering with VP records in 2008, only strengthened the label’s international ties. On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, the two powerhouses came together at B.B. King Blues and Grill, to celebrate Greensleeves’ 40th year in the music business. On the summer soltice at New York City’s hottest musical venue, the label showcased it’s shinning stars: Alborosie, Queen I-frica, and Addis Pablo.More After The Jump…
The first headliner for the night was Italian roots reggae artist, Alborosie, gracing a New York City stage for the first time. The “Zion Youth” delivered insightful lyrics with his songs “Play Fool (to Catch Wise),” “Herbalist,””Poser,” “Can’t Cool,” to name a few with his live band which included producer, engineer, Jallanzo on the guitar. A highlight of his performance is when he wheeled and pulled back the hands of time, bringing out his surprise guest, Lady Ann. ” I say di bwoy pon di corner, informer;” it was a murderation on the microphone by this veteran female deejay. ( Selector JD from Deadly Dragon Sound, captured the pivotal moments during this performance below).
Currently on his “Majestic Mixtape Tour,” Addis Pablo was excited to perform at the Greensleeves 40th Anniversary on his dad, Augustus Pablo’s birthday:
“I always have tributes in Jamaica, for the last 8 years since my dad’s passing, but the events are always either before his birthday or after. This is the first time that the tribute will be performed on his actual birthday and in New York City. It is a joyful night for me, because my dad taught me all the basic chords and melodies. But over the years, I have done musical engineering, music production and traveling around the world by myself with a live band and also with Suns of Dubs with Ras Jammy (deejaying) and Jah Bami (on vocals); we make our own original riddims. I have really pushed myself to carry on my dad’s legacy but also to be my own creative force.” – Addis Pablo
Addis started his set with the classic Stalag Riddim and took the audience on the “Road to Addis.” Following this he delivered “Call of the Righteous,” which was the instrumental in Jah9’s New Name, produced by Rory Stonelove. Andy Bassford, legendary guitarist strummed up the vibrations before Addis performed the original Rockers riddims with the melodica, including Java Riddim, Cassava Piece and Africa 1983, in a crowd stirring tribute to his father, Augustus Pablo.
“My dad’s music inspired people in serious times during the 70-80’s. Rocker’s offered the people relief from all the struggles. Instrumental music allows you to hear your own thoughts and process them to heal self. There are no lyrics or prewritten script, your mind writes the script as you listen and this allows you to analyze your own thoughts. It’s truly a musician’s music and pleasing to the ear and thats why a lot of people gravitate to this type of music. We can take one song and each musician will play a different way and make so many versions of it, because each musician expresses themself in a unique way. In this time, this is the kind of creativity the people need. My hope is that dub continues to reach many.” – Addis Pablo
(Addis performs “Mystic Melodica” – photograpgh by Ajamu Myrie).
Next up was Queen Ifrica, and this was the second stop on her US Tour for the album that soared to the top of the Billboard Reggae Chart, “Climb.” Starting off with some of her early hardcore hits like “Nah Rub,” Queen Ifrica moved through her catalogue of hits to “Lioness On The Rise” and then sang her rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,”
which was well received by the audience. ” The Queen then focused on songs from her chart topping album including “Pleasure to See,” “Black Woman,” and “Good Man.” Reggae artist, Tony Rebel watched proudly as Queen I-frica introduced the audience to:
“This is my first born, Imeru Tafari, he is an artist and will sing a tune with me tonight. No Damian Marley is not gonna walk out on stage, sorry ladies, I’m gonna have a Truevasation with my son.”
This lead to a conversation with the audience about an important social issue affecting women in Jamaica and globally:
“Ladies, to stop the violence begins with us. I know you are surprised that I’m not going after the guys this time. But we need to show men more love and that they are loved. Love is the solution! With love we can heal the world and change the world.” – Queen I-frica
She gave a stellar performance, had a great rapport with the audience and genuinely sent out peaceful vibrations of love.
Overall this was a spectacular and memorable night of performances in the heart of New York City to celebrate the 40th birthday of Greensleeves Records, commemorate the music of Augustus Pablo, re-experience classic riddims, and illuminate the musical works of three of the label’ s decorated artists.
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