RIP Dennie Vidal – Sound Engineer extraordinaire

©2002-2015 Dune Music:  Jazz Jamaica All Stars in 2002

©2002-2015 Dune Music – Line-up of Jazz Jamaica All Stars back in 2002 that Dennie would have done sound for.

‪#‎RIP‬ ‪#‎DennieVidal‬ Absolutely gutted to share the news about Jazz Jamaica‘s former sound engineer, #DennieVidal who passed away this morning after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer. Just cannot believe it. He was just 51 years old. Coming on top of the death of ‪#‎RicoRodriguez‬, this is truly depressing news for all of us in Jazz Jamaica.

Don’t have a photo of him at this time – will try to root one out – but those who worked with him will be deeply upset to hear about his passing. We’re awaiting news of the funeral arrangements.

Rest in deep musical peace, Brother Dennie. You will be greatly missed. Peace and love.

Another sold out show for Jazz Jamaica All Stars

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Photos by Kwame Lestrade except where indicated

Big thanks to all of the 2,000+ fans and supporters who came to our sold out Royal Festival Hall Love Motown! show on 19 July. Once again, our fans turned up in their thousands on one of the hottest days of the year to see us pay tribute to the music from the Motorcity. By the end of the show, we had everyone up on their feet and dancing, if not in the street, then definitely in the seats and the aisles of this iconic venue.

It was set to be a fantastic show but, regrettably, we faced quite a few glitches, which were evident on the day. As a result we fell short of the very high bar we set ourselves. We are very sorry about this. It’s clear, from the feedback we’ve received, that the vast majority of people really enjoyed the show but a few of our fans felt let down, and for this we must apologise.

Those of you who have followed us over the years will know we are committed to high quality and exceptional audience experiences and we work tirelessly to achieve this. As part of this commitment, we conduct post-event reviews and evaluate all feedback so that we can continuously improve and exceed expectations.

We appreciate all comments received that will assist this process. Thank you!

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And thanks also to everyone who contributed to Love Motown!Jazz Jamaica All Stars, members of Urban Soul Orchestra and Tomorrow’s Warriors, the incredible Southbank Centre Voicelab and choir leader, Mark De Lisser, and lead vocalists Beverley Skeete and Noel McKoy. Thanks also to music arranger, Jason Yarde and our musical director, Kevin Robinson for their brilliant contributions, and to Southbank Centre, our co-producers.

When all is said and done, there was great joy and fun on the night and  towards the end of this week we’ll be posting some video footage online so that everyone can relive some of the best moments of Love Motown!

 

 

TimeOut says: DON’T MISS OUT on Jazz Jamaica All Stars’ LOVE MOTOWN!

 

To book tickets, click on the image to go straight to the Southbank Centre online booking page! Don’t Stop In The Name Of Love, just get your skates on and book now for this joyous musical extravaganza!TimeOut Love Motown Preview

Nation’s Favourite Motown Song

ITV Nation's Favourite Motown Song

Did you see the Nation’s Favourite Motown Song on ITV on Sunday night? It was great! I’d forgotten how expansive the catalogue actually is and, in particular, how many great intros they created (with some equally great bass lines!).

Seriously, the Motown Hit Factory had some of the most extraordinary songwriting talent in their midst. That their music endures – cross-generation across generations – is testament to their supreme craftsmanship (no pun intended). I’ve seen adult audiences singing and dancing along to Jazz Jamaica’s version of Mary Wells’ My Guy, whilst my youngest daughter and her friends were Dancing In The Street (or rather in our living room!) and hitting up the Motown catalogue at her birthday party just a few weeks ago.

So I think regardless of age, the Motown catalogue continues to hold a fascination for those who just appreciate great music.

If you missed the ITV programme, you can catch it on the ITV Player until 2 August. And, of course, you can catch Jazz Jamaica All Stars live Motown extravaganza, Love Motown! for one night only at Royal Festival Hall, London on Friday 19 July with our friends from Urban Soul Orchestra, Beverley Skeete, Noel McKoy and the incredible Southbank Centre Voicelab choir.

There’ll be Dancing In The Street…and so much more!

Jazz Jamaica Motorcity RootsRemember the Motorcity Roots album by the 10-piece version of Jazz Jamaica? Well, for our new Love Motown! project  – Saturday 19 July at Royal Festival Hall, London – we’re upscaling the band to more than three times this size with 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, 5 saxophones; plus 4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos from Urban Soul Orchestra; and then our regular 1 upright bass (yours truly!), 1 grand piano and organ, 1 guitar, 1 percussion, 1 drum kit, 3 backing vocalists, 2 lead vocalists, a conductor..and, to top it all off, we’ll then add a 200-voice choir!!!

Here are a few of the original Jazz Jamaica tracks. Have a listen but try to imagine them with the supersized line-up! It’s going to be a seriously big sound that will blow the roof off the Royal Festival Hall.

Of course, this is for Southbank Centre’s Festival Of Love so come ready to sing and dance with your loved one, or your friends – you choose! But there’ll be plenty of love vibes floating around the hall once the band starts playing.

BOOK NOW for the live extravaganza on Saturday 19 July at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall.  

 

Like ‘Catch A Fire’? Then you’re gonna ‘LOVE MOTOWN!’

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Big news! I’m bringing Jazz Jamaica All Stars back to the Royal Festival Hall, London this summer for another great gig: Love Motown! 

We’re revisiting the Motown project I did as an album project with the 10-piece Jazz Jamaica back in 2005 (Motorcity Roots, Dune Records DUNECD012), but super-sizing the band like we did last time we were at the RFH. We’re also coming with some new arrangements by master music arranger, Jason ‘Yardie’ Yarde – who did the music for Catch A Fire.

Southbank - Festival of LoveWhen we did Motorcity Roots originally, the economics of it meant we could only record it with our regular line-up and some guest vocalists (Omar, Juliet Roberts, Mary Pearce, Zara McFarlane, Wesley Lucas, and bringing gravitas to the proceedings, the great Sir [now Lord] Bill Morris). Although it was a good album (and still is), I’d always heard it in my head as Jazz Jamaica All Stars with all the trimmings. So, when Southbank Centre invited me to create something for their Festival Of Love, I jumped at the chance to revive this project and realise that big phat sound I’d heard in my head all those years ago.

So, we’re upscaling the band to 32-piece, augmenting the regular band with big band horns, ‘Dem Three‘ (remember our brilliant backing vocalists from Catch A Fire?), strings section from Urban Soul Orchestra, 200 voices from the incredible Southbank Centre Voicelab Choir, and adding two of the most soulful voices in the UK: the wonderful Beverley Skeete and Noel McKoy.

It’s been a while coming, but I know it’s going to be a great show. BOOK NOW to get best seats (not that you’ll be sitting down for long once the music starts!)

 

 

 

Catch A Fire – Interview with Reggae Steady Ska blog

Catch A Fire flyer July 2013Perfect timing! First rehearsal today for Jazz Jamaica All Stars’ Catch A Fire show next weekend, and I’ve just heard  from blogger Peter Clemm that he’s posted the interview I did with him on our 2012 Catch A Fire  tour.

Thanks for this Peter, and glad you enjoyed the show!

To book tickets for the Catch A Fire show on Saturday 13 July, click here