‘Red Rose’ show more special for Gregory’s 70th
The fourth staging of the annual Red Rose for Gregory gala stage show takes place at the Liguanea Golf Academy in New Kingston on Saturday, February 15, beginning at 8 p.m. According to June Isaacs, widow of Gregory Isaacs and the chief organiser of the event, “It’s Gregory’s 70th birth anniversary (in July) and we want to make it special this year, so we are having celebrations here in Jamaica in February. In July, we head out to Canada and Brazil for more celebrations and then on to the United Kingdom for the big finale,” Isaacs said, as she beamed with confidence.
The Red Rose for Gregory show, which has attracted a myriad of international stars over the years, including Atlantic Star, Kelly Price, Peabo Bryson and Regina Bell, promises to be no less entertaining this year with the American shrill-voiced dynamo Deniece Williams and Jamaican singing sensation Sanchez heading the pack. Also on display will be the Grammy-nominated Third World band, The Fab Five band, the New Melodians, Richie Mac and Gregory impersonators, Junior Sinclair and Mr Cooper from Canada.
A special tribute section will kick off the JaRIA-endorsed event. It will feature rising stars that Isaacs manages, such as Robert Minott – a United States-based reggae act, Oryan – a Digicel Rising Stars finalist, Jahvante, Knolij Tafari, Jace Hanson, Ray Isaacs, Khausion, along with the duo Junior Sinclair and Georgia Henry.
The July celebrations in Canada and Brazil are timed to coincide with Gregory’s birth anniversary on the 15th. The organisers have wisely steered clear of Jamaica as a venue in that month, in order to avoid any possible clash with artistes who are contracted to Sumfest.
November being Drug Awareness Month and bearing in mind Gregory’s inextricable attachment to a narcotic, June said, “November cannot be left out of the picture. It is Drug Awareness Month and we intend to put a function together in collaboration with The National Council for Drug Abuse, but that’s still in the planning stages.”
She stressed the importance of the connection between Gregory, the show and the month of February. “The show is primarily one for lovers, and keeping it in February (lover’s month) is timely as Gregory is one of the world’s best exponents of lover’s rock. In February, everybody wants to express love, and as Gregory usually says, ‘love conquers everything’, and as head of the estate, I continue the legacy,” she said.
Part proceeds from the various functions will go towards Patricia House Drug Rehabilitation Centre at 6 Upper Musgrave Avenue and St Barnabas Basic School in Fletcher’s Land – Gregory’s first school.
Ticket outlets for the Red Rose for Gregory show are Richie B Wholesale, Fontana Pharmacy locations, Derrick’s One Stop, Genus Pharmacy and Portmore and York pharmacies.