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Jamaican Sounds to Rock the Santa Monica Pier Thursday Night
By Lookout News
July 12, 2012 -- "Twilight come they don't wan' go home" could be an apt lyric when music from Jamaica rocks the Santa Monica Pier during the second concert in the Summer Twilight Dance Series Thursday night.
The Mighty Diamonds, a Jamaican harmony trio that came together in Kingston in 1969, and the Los Angeles-based reggae band The Lions will showcase two styles from the Caribbean island that has helped shape popular music.
Composed of Donald “Tabby” Shaw, Fitzroy ”Bunny” Simpson and Lloyd “ Judge” Ferguson, the Mighty Diamonds are the longest running vocal trio in Jamaican musical history, bringing their soulful harmonies and socially conscious lyrics to the international stage.
Inspired by Detroit's Motown sound, the group recorded two hit singles -- “Country Living” and “Hey Girl” -- for the Channel One, a Jamaican record label that influenced the development of reggae.
The trio went on to record four albums for Virgin records. All told, the Mighty Diamonds have produced more than 40 albums and built a strong following in the U.S., Europe and Japan.
"The onstage antics of the Mighty Diamonds are reminiscent of the Four Tops with their animated hand gestures and energetic footwork," according to their promotional statement.
"Even with their mushrooming international popularity, the Mighty Diamonds have not forgotten their roots which come from the unique cultural potpourri of Jamaica with its harsh ghetto realities and its irresistible reggae pulse."
Sharing the stage at Thursday night's concert will be The Lions, which includes members from Orange County ska legends Hepcat and were inspired by old recordings from the island and roots music.
"It was loose at the beginning," co-founder Dan Ubick told the LA Weekly. "We gathered all of our best friends in the scene to jam and record in the roots-dub tradition because nobody is really making music like that right now,"
The 11-member band has gained a reputation for mashing up genres in unique, free-flowing jams.
"The L.A. collective emerges with an outstandingly distilled, urban sound that mines dub reggae in a vintage yet completely fresh way by tastefully blending it with soul and funk," the Orlando Weekly wrote.
Throughout July and August, the Pier will be hosting the Twilight Concerts every Thursday, starting at 7 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m.
The Thursday night concerts will be emceed by DJs from 89.9 FM KCRW, the media partner for the Twilight Concert Series.
Concertgoers are encouraged to take the Big Blue Bus. Parking will be available in the lot north of the pier at 1550 Pacific Coast Highway, however parking on the Santa Monica Pier deck will be closed.
The City of Santa Monica will provide a free bike valet, stationed on the beach next to the bicycle path on the south side of the pier.
More information about the Twilight Concert Series can be found at twilightseries.org
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