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Performers celebrate songwriter at JC

Published:Friday | October 28, 2011 | 12:00 AM
Pam Hall.
Protoje speaking at last month's launch of 'Bob Andy Unlplugged' at Redbones Blues Cafe, New Kingston. He is one of the performers slated for the concert tonight at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, Jamaica College. - File

Since his iconic debut album Bob Andy's Songbook was released in 1970, Bob Andy has written and recorded nine albums and has continued to pen original songs for other artistes including, most recently, Luciano and Marcia Griffiths. Prior to his album debut, Andy had already catapulted his way to stardom courtesy of his exceptional songwriting and singing abilities. It is, therefore, not surprising that, over the years, in excess of 60 Jamaican and international artistes have covered Andy's work.

"I have never stopped writing," said Bob. "Vintage is a category I reject. Music is the soundtrack of life and that's where I live. I am always writing."

Over 30 in tribute

The many Bob Andy originals written over nearly half a century will be celebrated and explored by over 30 artistes in jazz, acoustic and reggae-orchestra presentations in a first-time event, Bob Andy Unplugged: Tribute to the Songwriter, tonight at the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium, Jamaica College, Hope Road.

Even tracks which received a warm reception abroad - such as the UK hit single, Honey, and the new, classic, Zion, will be heard by many in the audience for the very first time.

The performers include Myrna Hague, Kathy Brown, Cezar, Mutabaruka, Della Manley, Georgia Henry, Soul 4 Soul, Freddie McGregor, Ken Boothe, Big Youth, Duane Stephenson, John Holt, Luciano, Marcia Griffiths, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Nadine Sutherland, Pam Hall, Protoje, Sean Michael Harris, Sharon Tucker, Suzanne Couch and Tony Rebel. The musical arrangers are Ibo Cooper, Desi Jones, Peter Ashbourne and Sean Michael Harris.

The concert, which is slated to begin at 9 p.m., will also be streamed live online at Andy's official Facebook fanpage, www.facebook.com/BobAndyMusic.

Merritone party

In addition, following the concert, a Merritone party, which is included in the concert admission price, will be held on site.

Tickets for Bob Andy Unplugged can be purchased at Suzie's Bakery (Southdale Plaza), Music Mart (Twin Gates Plaza), Copy Cat (Loshusan Plaza, Barbican) and the JC Old Boys' Association office (Jamaica College, Old Hope Road).

The tribute concert is the collaborative effort of the Friends of Bob Andy - artistes, companies and fans. The Bob Andy Song Foundation has been established to handle Bob's current and future medical expenses, as well as charitable endeavours. All proceeds from the Bob Andy Unplugged concert benefit Bob Andy's medical care and recovery and the foundation's work to nurture and inspire young songwriters.