Mighty Diamonds mark milestone

Entertainment

Mighty Diamonds mark milestone

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor ---
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 26, 2020

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VETERAN reggae trio, The Mighty Diamonds is marking their 50th annivesary with a year-long celebration with a series of shows locally and overseas, according to promoter Masani Montague.

"Diamonds are forever... As a group they're celebrating 50 years, which is a milestone, as many groups don't last that long. They are promoting brand Jamaica and reggae music," Montague told the Jamaica Observer.

Montague is principal of Masani Productions, organiser of Canada's Rasta Fest which has been held in that country for the past 27 years.

She said the shows are a way for the group to reconnect with a younger audience.

"The Diamonds have 46 albums in their 50-year career. Most people have not heard those 46 albums so we're hoping to get those songs out, as well as new material," she said.

The first of the gigs is scheduled for next Sunday at Rastafari Indigenous Village in Montego Bay, St James. Another follows at Roots Bamboo in Westmoreland on January 29, while a third is planned for House of Dread on Deanery Road in Vineyard Town, Kingston.

Natty Pablo, Isha Bell, producer-cum-singer Garfield "Sampalue" Phillips, Moeish, and Horace Martin are all billed.

Dates are scheduled for California in February and an eight-show gig Canada in August. The Canada leg comprises Edmonton on August 1, Calgary (August 2), Vancouver (August 8), Niagra Falls (August 14), Toronto (August 15), Delhi (August 16), Ottowa (August 22), and Montreal (August 24).

"The Mighty Diamonds are very popular in Canada and has been on Rasta Fest in 2012 and in 2019. All the cites in Canada have Jamaican there, so I'm expecting a great crowd," said Montague.

She said the trio will be launching their website, mightydiamondsmusic.com, in February where fans can acquire merchandise, music, see videos and get more acquainted with the group.

Lloyd “Judge” Ferguson, Fitzroy “Bunny” Simpson and Donald “Tabby” Shaw started the group in Trench Town in 1969. However, their breakthrough came in 1973 with Shame And Pride. Their legacy was ensured when they moved to Channel One studio mid-decade. In 1976 they became bonafide hitmakers with The Right Time. It contains I Need A Roof, the title song, S hame And Pride, Have Mercy and Africa.

Unlike most of their contemporaries, The Mighty Diamonds maintained their success in the 1980s and 1990s when reggae transitioned from drum-and-bass to digital. They had a massive hit song in 1981 with Pass The Kutchie , which along with Heads of Government and J uvenile Child kept them in tune with an evolving audience.

Bunny is recovering from a stroke he suffered in 2015. He was replaced by Joseph "Capo Diamond" Beniah in 2016.

On March 5, 2019, The Mighty Diamonds were among 50 artistes, musicians and producers recognised by the Jamaican government with a Reggae Gold award.


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