Sound System Showcase

Patricia Chin, VP Records principal displays her award with Trudy Deans, Jamaica’s consul general.
Christopher Chin, File

VP Records annual Record Store Day Sound System Showcase will be held this Saturday in Jamaica, Queens from 12-6 pm. This year, both VP Records retail stores (Jamaica, NY and Miramar, FL) have received the distinct designation as official Record Store Day Locations.

To commemorate the annual celebration of vinyl culture, the free events are a day for fans and consumers to experience authentic Jamaican Sound Systems while being able to purchase classic, new and exclusive titles such as “Roots From The Yard,” “Nightfall” and “Roots Radics 12 Inches Of Dub.” For the first time, the event will be streamed on the VP Records YouTube channel and archived for future viewing.

New York’s event will include selectors Earth Ruler, Digital English, Blunt Posse, Dub Electronics, Super Force, and Pretty Posse; artists are yet to be announced. Additionally, VP Records will be unveiling The Reggae Trail, a project to identify and document locations of historic importance to the growth of reggae around the world.

The Reggae Trail – New York is the first phase of the initiative to tell the story of the growth of reggae in key cities around the world. The Trail is a map of past and present record stores, recording studios, performance spaces, and the people who helped make the music an integral part of life in important urban centers. The trail also tells the story of the growth of Jamaican and Caribbean immigrant communities.

The Trail starts in New York for Record Store Day 2019 and includes the top record stores that brought the music to the people starting in the early 1960s. This includes VP Records, which moved from Kingston, Jamaica, to Brooklyn and eventually Jamaica, Queens in the late 1970s, becoming a major distributor and label in the global spread of reggae. After 40 years, VP Records’ flagship retail store is one of the oldest continuously operating record stores in the Northeast. -Carter Van Pelt, Director of Catalog Development

This year, VP Records is also celebrating 40 years in the United States. VP’s history as a record store and music distributor is key to the growth of reggae music in New York and around the globe. The company was launched by Vincent and Patricia Chin as Randy’s Record Mart in Kingston, Jamaica in 1958, and grew to become the world’s largest independent reggae label. The 40th Anniversary festivities began with VP’s return to Jamaica in January for Strictly The Best – LIVE Montego Bay on Jan. 30 and continues with a variety of music and cultural events, products, historical exhibits and experiences, in Jamaica, across the U.S., Toronto, Canada and London, England slated throughout the year.

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