Inside Life

“Respect J50” London Concert Bills 50 Reggae Acts Into Olympic 02 Venues

England is poised to be the destination for travel when Caribbean nationals celebrate sports, music and national pride during the summer Olympics. However, Jamaicans will be particularly enthusiastic about their independence jubilee and optimism of gold at the games.

For 12 consecutive days leading to Jamaica’s Aug. 6 Independence Day, “Respect Jamaica 50” will spotlight the island’s music and culture with nightly concerts at the IndigoO2 venue in London.

“Jamaica is excited to be associated with AEG Live to present Jamaica 50,” Robert Ryan, Director of the Jamaica 50 Secretariat said.

Fifty popular artists are confirmed for the series.

They include: Damian Marley, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Jimmy Cliff, Tappa Zukie, Jamaican Legends Band, Mutabaruka, John Holt, Freddie McGregor, Tarrus Riley, Toots & The Maytals, Young Toots, Horace Andy, Morgan Heritage, Raging Fyah, Yellowman, Dennis Alcapone, Benjamin Zephaniah, U-Roy, The Abyssinians, Winston Reedy, Mad Professor, Mighty Diamonds, Leroy ‘Heptones’ Sibbles, Marcia Griffiths, Maxi Priest, Gyptian, Johnny Clarke, Derrick Morgan, Max Romeo, Jah9, Sir Lloyd Coxsone, Michael Prophet, Junior Murvin, Gaylads, Bob Andy, Fatman Hi Fi, Jah Shaka Sound System and Shaggy.

“We were approached to be a part of that. I liked the line-up. I just think throughout that time, Jamaicans will be the favorite in the Olympics and it’s a good gesture to give us a very strong presence during the Olympics, and to be a part of this in any capacity is good. I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’m looking forward to that,” Shaggy said.

Ryan added that the “Jamaica 50 Secretariat recognizes this as an official celebratory event of Jamaica’s Jubilee celebrations and is delighted that such an outstanding line-up can be made available during the London 2012 games, when we expect even more great Jamaican moments.”

He said in addition to the concerts a “Jamaica House, located in the 02 during the Olympic Games, will also be showcasing and providing an authentic Jamaican experience in honor of this special year.”

The two week extravaganza begins July 25 to Aug. 6 and will include Jamaican singers, deejays, writers, comedians, actors and poets who will perform at various venues throughout the 02 facilities.

Rob Hallett, President of International Touring at AEG Live said: “Having held a lifelong affection for Jamaica and its culture I am honored that AEG Live, along with Jamaica 50 will be presenting the entertainment as part of Jamaica’s official celebrations in London of 50 years of independence with the greatest array of Jamaican talent, over 12 nights, that this country (England) has ever seen.”

Jamaican comedy will dominate at Proud2, another venue, from July 27 – August 6.

Other outstanding cultural events include a photographic display, “Messenger: The Bob Marley Exhibition” at the BME July 24 – October 22.

Visitors will be invited to explore a retrospective featuring personal memorabilia, candid photographs, old concert posters, records, music clips and archive video footage.

Guests can also look forward to exclusive merchandise, special offers for multiple ticket purchases and exclusive surprise performances across the schedule of events.

b25 July: Lee “Scratch” Perry / Junior Murvin / Mad Professor

26 July: Damian Marley

28 July: Tappa Zukie / U-Roy / Yellowman / Dennis Alcapone & Winston Reedy / Ras Lawi with Reggae Vibes

29 July: Jamaican Legends Band: Ernest Ranglin, Sly Dunbar, Robert Shakespeare

& Monty Alexander

30 July: Mutabaruka live with the Lloyd Parks Band / The Abyssinians / Jah9 /

Benjamin Zephaniah

31 July: John Holt / Mighty Diamonds / Leroy Heptones Sibbles

1 August: Freddie McGregor / Marcia Griffiths / Maxi Priest / Johnny Osbourne

2 August: Tarrus Riley / Gyptian / Nomadz

3 August: Toots & The Maytals / Junior Toots / Chantelle Ernandez / followed by Sir Lloyd Coxsone & Fatman Hi Fi until late

4 August: Horace Andy / Johnny Clarke / Michael Prophet with the Dub Asante Band followed by Jah Shaka Sound System.

5 August: Morgan Heritage / Shaggy / Raging Fyah

6 August: Jimmy Cliff & Oneness / Derrick Morgan / Max Romeo / Gaylads / Bob Andy / followed by David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan.

RespectJamaica50.co.uk is the portal for information on the lineup.

More from Around NYC