6th Annual Irie Festival
Date: Wednesday, July 25 @ 08:44:33 MST
Topic: Black Habits Articles


The 6th annual IRIE Festival launches with the giants of Jamaican reggae on Friday August 3. The latest addition to the gold-standard international lineup is Lincoln "Sugar" Minott, one of the fathers of dancehall reggae music, a veteran of Jamaica's most famous studio, Studio One, and a mentor to countless reggae artists. Great reggae icon Freddie McGregor will make a rare Toronto appearance before going on to perform in both Africa and Israel this August.

McGregor is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, producer and owner of Jamaica’s Big Ship studio, whose many hits include Push Come to Shove, Africa Here I Come, Just Don't Want to Be Lonely, I Was Born A Winner, his signature Big Ship, and Lock Dem’ Down and Bangarang, both chart-topping #1 hits from his 2005 album Comin' in Tough. Recently back in Jamaica from a UK tour with his son Chino, over the phone last week Freddie McGregor said, “Toronto is in for a musical feast. I don’t come to Canada very often and it is such a pleasure. I truly look forward to playing at IRIE festival.” Also on the bill is Jamaica’s Richie Stephens, who has returned to performing reggae, dancehall, ska, and contemporary gospel after working under Motown Records and spending time as a singer for Soul II Soul in the '90s. The show opens with Toronto’s own Comfort, best known as the lead singer for Toronto's ska sensation band, Arsenals, and Canadian Reggae award winner High Energy. The IRIE Festival Singers Night concert will take place on Friday, August 3rd, 2007 at 7pm at Ontario Place in the Special Events Tent. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the gates. Advance tickets are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.ca or 416-870-8000.

At IRIE Festival, Toronto reggae artist Jah Beng will be releasing the single Cry For the Children from his Juno-nominated CD of the same name, to raise funds for Noah’s Orphans. Noah’s Orphans, (Nurturing Orphans of AIDS for Humanity), is a South African organization dedicated to a community based model of orphan care which aims to help the children orphaned by Aids to grow up into emotionally and psychologically stable adults. Jah Beng wrote Cry For the Children was inspired by a 60 Minutes episode about the clearing of the street children of Brazil. After reading Stephen Lewis’ book The Race Against Time, Jah Beng decided to take action to contribute using the most powerful resources he has – his music. Noahs Orphans will be at the IRIE fest. The Cry For the Children single will be available at IRIE Fest and online at www.jahbeng.com and IndiePool. Jah Beng performs as part of the IRIE Fest Canadian Reggae Allstars also featuring Errol Blackwood, and Humble on Saturday August 4, 6pm, at Nathan Phillips Square. Admission is free.

The complete IRIE Festival music lineup is as follows:

FRIDAY AUGUST 3:

IRIE Festival Singers Night. Featuring: Freddie McGregor, Richie Stephens, and Lincoln "Sugar" Minott (new lineup addition!), Opening: Comfort 7pm, Ontario Place in the Special Events Tent. Tickets: $40 in advance and $50 at the gates. Advance tickets are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.ca or 416-870-8000.

SATURDAY AUGUST 4:

IRIE Fest Canadian Reggae Allstars. Featuring: Jah Beng, Errol Blackwood, and Humble 6pm, Nathan Phillips Square. FREE admission.

SUNDAY AUGUST 5:

IRIE Queens. Featuring: Divine Brown, Lizzy Mahashe, and Donna Makeda. 5pm, Queens Park. FREE admission.

IRIE Fest Gospel Celebration. Featuring: Toronto Mass Choir (new lineup addition!), Jimmy Lee Howard, Freedom to Worship, Rohan "Cowboy" Grant, and Reech. 6pm-10pm, Nathan Phillips Square. FREE admission.

MONDAY AUGUST 6:

Hilario Duran. Opening: Cache, Samba Squad and more. 5pm, Queens Park. FREE admission.

With a backbone of music, the body of the IRIE Festival includes tropical food, Caribbean dance, visual art, and literature from the African and Caribbean Diaspora. It is a multi-disciplinary city-wide event that takes place at Nathan Philips Square, Queens Park, and Ontario Place. Complete IRIE Festival details can be found online at www.iriemusicfestival.com





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