Cleveland Watkiss, arguably the UK's finest jazz singer, explores his Jamaican heritage celebrating the songs of great artists such as Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and Delroy Wilson.
In his Great Jamaican Songbook, Watkiss brings songs to audiences that tell poignant stories about the times and the culture, with that deep, infectious, laid-back drum and bass rhythm. He'll be performing with a top British band:
Cleveland Watkiss - Vocals
Orphy Robinson - Keys
Byron Wallen - Trumpet
Ray Carless – Tenor Sax
Delroy Murray - Bass
Phil Ramacon - Keys
Alan Weekes - Guitars
Carly Robinson - Drums
Included in the set are:
If I don’t have you - Gregory Isaacs
Smiling Face - Dennis Brown Curly Locks/Junior Byles
Declaration of Rights - Johnny Clarke
Humanity - Prince Lincoln
Red Green & Gold - Burning Spear
Support act: Romarna Campbell Trio
Originally from Birmingham, Romarna is a drummer who came up through The Notebenders (the big band established by Andy Hamilton) and also the Jazzlines Ensemble. She started on the jazz course at Birmingham Conservatoire, but transferred to the prestigious jazz course at Berklee in the USA. She has completed the course and is back in UK. Her trio includes Mutale Chashi on electric bass and Ed Riches on guitar.
It's well known that Jamaica has a long history of pioneering musical sounds, from Mento, Ska, Reggae, Dub, Roots, Hiphop, Jungle/DnB and way beyond - with many of its internationally celebrated musicians spawning from that great musical institution The Alpha Boys School under the tutelage of Sister Mary Ignatius Davis.
Record labels and producers like Studio One, Coxsone Dodd, TuffGong, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, and King Tubby were all highly Influential in the development of Jamaican Music along with musicians, singers and performers like Don Drummond, Ernest Ranglin, Barratt Brothers, Jackie Mittoo, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, Alton Elis, Ken Booth, The Wailers, Millie Small, Marcia Griffith, Dawn Penn, Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Burnin Spear, Jonny Osbourne and many many others.
‘A hard-hitting performance that tapped deep into roots Reggae’
'From the bone-shaking power of Fatman Sound System to the sweet-toned vocals of 1970s reggae greats such as Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and Delroy Wilson, reggae is an integral part of Watkiss’ musical DNA, and the Songbook pays fulsome homage both to the music’s golden period and to his own Jamaican roots.’
‘An icon of UK jazz’
Bottom image: Tatiana Gorilovsky