Leroy Sibbles to be honoured in August

July 1, 2024

article reposted by Chelsea

via jamaicaobserver.com

As he marks 60 years in music, legendary reggae/rocksteady artiste Leroy Sibbles will be honoured in August during a concert that will feature Marcia Griffiths, Etana, Duane Stephenson, and Singing Melody.

Dubbed ‘Leroy Sibbles: The Crowning — Celebrating The King of the Reggae Bassline’ the show will take place on the 31st at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in St Andrew.

“The decision was taken to honour him because his impact on the progression of Jamaican music genres is without question — from ska through rocksteady and right into dancehall. Take a listen of Morgan Heritage’s 2003 Down By The River, it uses Leroy’s 1968 What Kinda World arrangement done for the Cables.

“Take the distinctive bassline from the Mighty Diamond’s Pass the Kutchie /Musical Youth’s Pass the Dutchie and then we would be on rocky ground as to whether both songs would remain hits. What we are hearing is Sibbles’ Full Up bassline on both hits,” Vonni Koromanti, creative director of the event, told the Jamaica Observer.

She added: “We can’t forget his work with the Heptones, where his basslines featured for decades. The basslines in Book of Rules and Sweet Talking are readily identifiable.”

At the same time, Koromanti noted that each guest performer has been pulling out all the stops to ensure that the show will be memorable.

“Preparations are proceeding well. Dean Fraser, the musical director for The Crowning, has his band and team in place. Etana is preparing to deliver a showstopping performance from her catalogue of steady hits. All the featured artistes are delighted to share stage with Leroy as he is part of that foundation era of Jamaican music.

“Leroy flew to Florida to support Marcia in her 60th celebration and now she is set to celebrate in this his fitting coronation as King of Reggae Basslines,” she said.

Sibbles was one of the driving forces at the legendary Studio One, singing harmony and playing bass on some of the biggest rocksteady and reggae hits. He is best known as lead vocalist for the Heptones which also included Earl Morgan and Barry Llewellyn. They are arguably the most successful harmony group from the rocksteady era of the late 1960s.

In the meantime, Koromanti says she is anticipating a great outcome from August’s production.

“My hope for the event is that it beams a light forward into Jamaica’s future history, however oxymoronic that may seem. Etana and Duane Stephenson represent the first-rate, world-class calibre of our musical output, whilst we celebrate a set of standard-bearers who have poured into Jamaica and through their works have cemented their own legacy,” she told the Observer.

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