St George’s Bristol celebrates Jamaican music and culture with a new exhibition and concerts.
The Reggae Ticket – until Feb 6th
A new exhibition that tells the story of the iconic British record label Trojan Records is showing at the Café Bar at St George’s Bristol until Thursday 6 February.
‘The Trojan story’ features archived photographs, printed material and artefacts from the recorded history of black culture in the UK and is the first stop on a nationwide tour.
Established in 1968, Trojan Records quickly became known as one of the first labels to distribute the music of Jamaica on a grand scale, becoming for many in the UK the first point of contact with Jamaican music and culture. From the beginning Trojan encouraged people to celebrate and unite through music, breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity.
Curated by Mykaell Riley from the Black Music Research Unit at the University of Westminster the exhibition is travelling the UK as part of Tomorrow’s Warriors ‘The Reggae Ticket’, an innovative music education programme. It follows a sensational performance from the renowned 22-piece ensemble Jazz Jamaica All Stars at St George’s on 17 January, featuring Brinsley Forde and Noel McKoy, presented by Tomorrow’s Warriors’ founder Gary Crosby OBE. Entry to the exhibition is free.
The exhibition is open during café opening hours Monday-Friday 8.30- 6pm and Saturday 10-6. Housed in the ground floor of the stunning pavilion-style extension, the Café serves a delicious locally sourced menu for breakfast and lunches and home-made cakes and Triple Co Coffee.
The Great Jamaican Songbook – Cleveland Watkiss 13th February
Continuing the focus on Jamaican music and culture, one of the greatest male jazz singers Cleveland Watkiss will be celebrating Jamaica’s long history of pioneering musical sounds on Thursday 13 February at St George’s. Cleveland and his band will bring to life some of the greatest songs written by Jamaican legends from mento, ska and reggae to dub and roots. Born in Hackney, Cleveland’s parents were from Jamaica and it was Jamaican music that inspired him during his teens.
“I grew up listening to great Jamaican music at home. Artists like Dennis Brown, Jacob Miller, The Wailers, Burning Spear, Delroy Wilson and Gregory Isaacs were a big influence on me as a vocalist. For this tour I wanted to go back to the music I grew up with, have some fun and pay homage to the rich musical heritage of Jamaica and the long line of artists to come out of Jamaican music.”
Cleveland has worked with a wide range of artists over the decades from Stevie Wonder and The Who to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He received the MBE in 2018 was nominated for Best Jazz Act, MOBO Awards 2017, was Vocalist of the Year, Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017 and has been awarded Guardian Jazz Awards Best Vocalist, Best Vocalist, London Jazz Awards 2010.
Tickets for The Great Jamaican Songbook are available from £15 from stgeorgesbristol.co.uk. 0845 4024001 (During box office opening hours)