International acclaimed Grammy-nominated singer Freddie McGregor and Jamaican dancehall superstar Sean Paul are among the top dancehall and reggae acts confirmed to perform for the second annual Oracabessa Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Queens, NY on Monday, May 25. This year’s festival theme, “Remembering Fallen USA War Heroes,” “will be a day for family and friends to honor and commemorate those who put their lives in harm’s way while serving the U.S. armed forces,” said Bobby Clarke, CEO of Irie Jam Radio.
Irie Jam Radio has put together an incredible lineup that will serve as an exciting dose of some of the greatest dancehall and reggae artists around. Headlining this year’s event is soulful singer Freddie McGregor and master of the crossover, dancehall rapper Sean Paul. Sean, known for his ability to attract the traditional Jamaica, Caribbean reggae, dancehall patrons and mainstream fans who have long embraced his music. He effortlessly moves from bashment chat to melodic hooks, and has demonstrated his ability to score international hit songs such as “Deport Them,” “Hot Gal Today,” “Gimmie the Light,” “Get Busy,” “Like Glue,” “Temperature,” and “We Be Burning.”
Veteran reggae crooner Freddie McGregor is one of reggae’s most soulful singers, with a career that started back in the ’60s when he was just seven years old. He has spanned nearly every stylistic shift in Jamaican music from ska, rocksteady and lovers’ rock (his specialty). His popularity soared in the early ’80s with the release of “Bobby Bobylon” and popular hits “Big Ship,” “Push Comes to Shove,” and “Just Don’t Want to be Lonely” (a top ten hit in the UK). During his 50-plus year career, McGregor has received numerous accolades including an International Award of Merit from the Canadian Reggae Music Awards; and Best International Artist from the BBC Radio London Reggae Awards.
Jamaican-American songstress Alaine Laughton, who is one of the confirmed performers, expressed her enthusiasm about this year’s concert. “I really love performing and it will be evident from the moment I start singing. “I plan on bringing a very musical, fun and upbeat live show” said Alaine. Also performing is one of the most promising second generation of Jamaican roots reggae singers, Tarrus Riley (son of Jimmy Riley), who has had a long career as a solo artist. Like his father, Tarrus has a sweet, nuanced tenor vocal style that he will certainly be showcasing at the festival. His new song “Rise Up” features artists Ho-Long, Shaggy, and Sly & Robbie, and focuses on inner city youth hunger in Jamaica. Fans can catch Riley and guests on a US and European tour beginning this summer.
Others scheduled to perform at Oracabessa are Christopher Martin, DJ Josey Wales, Dext Daps, and Suga & the Grace Thrillers featuring Shirley Willis.
This one-day park extravaganza presented by Irie Jam and Bobby Clark Entertainment promises to be a wonderful event for everyone to enjoy great Caribbean culture, food and amazing performances; in addition to honoring our nation’s countless fallen heroes.
For more information on where to purchase your tickets, please visit www.iriej