TORONTO International Jamaica Day Festival (TIJD) announced recently that veteran reggae hit maker and label head Freddie McGregor and Jamaica’s global tour manager, artiste manager and reggae historian Copeland Forbes will both be honoured for their outstanding contribution to the reggae music industry at a private reception to be held in New Kingston, Jamaica on Monday, June 20, 2011.
Known worldwide for his riveting reggae ballads, veteran reggae crooner Freddy McGregor began his musical journey in the 60s, under the musical direction of the legendary Coxone Dodd. He did his apprenticeship as lead vocalist of the Clarendonians and after the group split, he recorded his first big hit song Why Did You Do It with friend Ernest Wilson.
In 1983 he mined gold with Big Ship which broke into the top ten of the reggae charts in England and Jamaica. The success of Big Ship was the turning point of his career and catapulted him into the international spotlight. Since then he has amassed a catalogue of popular hits including Push Come To Shove, Africa Here I Come, I Was Born A Winner, Let Them Try, Stop Loving You, Prophecy and So I Will Wait For You.
In over four decades in the industry, McGregor has received numerous accolades including an ‘International Award of Merit’ from the Canadian Reggae Music Award, a JAMI for the single Push Come To Shove, an award for ‘Best International Artiste’ from the BBC Radio London Reggae Awards and numerous other international awards.
Freddie will receive “The Toronto International Jamaica Day Lifetime Achievement Award – 2011” for his outstanding achievement as an international hit maker, producer and captain of the Big Ship Label.
“We acknowledge and applaud Freddie’s phenomenal creative contribution and influence in the reggae arena,” TIJD co-founder Cornel “Funkie” Davis noted.
Forbes, whose journey through the music industry started as a member of the group Harmonicats has served not just as an experienced and esteemed tour manager, but he has also served as an unofficial ambassador of Jamaica, taking goodwill from the island to scores of countries around the globe. He has represented many of the top reggae acts in the genre including The Wailers, The Mighty Diamonds, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Black Uhuru, Sly and Robbie, Third World, Dennis Brown, U-Roy, Marcia Griffiths, Frankie Paul, Morgan Heritage, I-Threes, Luciano, Sizzla, Ziggy Marley, Andrew Tosh, Freddie McGregor, Beres Hammond, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Junior Reid, Sugar Minott, Mutabaruka, Half Pint and Maxi Priest.
He is presumably the most travelled person in the industry, regularly touring countries like England, Germany, France, USA, Guam, Greece, Australia, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Japan, South Africa, Israel and Cuba.
Forbes will be presented with “The Toronto International Jamaica Day Legend Award”, in appreciation of his distinguished service and outstanding contribution to Jamaica’s musical legacy.
“We applaud Copeland’s leadership and selfless determination in promoting and showcasing Jamaica’s powerful music, both locally and internationally” Davis said.
The TIJD Celebration is Toronto’s most colourful, vibrant and lavish celebration of the island’s culture. This year’s festival date is Saturday, July 23 and will take place at the family-oriented, Wild Water Kingdom at the Outdoor Festival Ground.
Source: jamican Observer