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The right time - Mighty Diamonds first NYC outdoor festival performance in 20 years

Published:Thursday | June 6, 2019 | 12:12 AMAnthony Turner/Contributor
Mighty Diamonds
Mighty Diamonds

New York:

It has been over 20 years since roots harmony trio Mighty Diamonds last performed at an outdoor festival in New York – home to the largest population of Jamaicans living outside of Jamaica. The group returns to blaze the Big Apple outdoor stage this summer on Sunday, August 11, as headline performers at the 21st annual Merritone Family Funday, slated for Heckscher State Park, Long Island, NY.

“It’s been so, so long the last time the group performed here in New York ... it must be over 20 years,” Merritone Family Funday event founder Conroy Allison shared.

“It’s, however, the right time now for them to deliver their impressive musical repertoire of hit songs for their loyal fans in NYC, who have loved and adored them for over 50 years,” Allison reasoned.

Best known for their 1976 single Right Time, the group, which comprises Donald ‘Tabby’ Shaw, Fitzroy ‘Bunny’ Simpson, and Lloyd ‘Judge’ Ferguson, rose from the inner city in Trench Town, Kingston, in 1969 to become reggae ambassadors of the world. Their smooth harmonies and choreographed performances were inspired by top Motown vocal groups The Temptations, The Stylistics, and The Impressions, who defined the sound around the world and empowered a generation from their Hitsville, location in Detroit.

After making their mark with Girl You Are Too Young and Talk About It, their big break came with their seminal hit Right Time, which topped the charts in Jamaica. Their debut album titled Right Time, was released by Virgin Records. Other popular hits followed, such as Have Mercy, I Need A Roof, Africa, Heads Of Government, and Declaration Of Rights. Pass the Kutchie has been sampled by Lauryn Hill, Musical Youths, and Wyclef Jean.

The group received a national award in 2006 from former prime minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller for its artistic contribution to Jamaican culture.