On Monday, August 22, the 29th annuAl Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series at Wingate Field, hosted by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, will welcome Beres Hammond, Shaggy and The Mighty Sparrow for the Annual Caribbean Night show. Along with the Seaside Summer Concert Series on Coney Island, the MLK Series has been the largest free summer concert series in the New York Metropolitan area for the past three decades, entertaining tens of thousands of music lovers every year.
"The shows went on at Coney Island this summer," said BP Markowitz, "and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert Series is still going strong after three decades of music. I am proud to host the two largest free outdoor concert series in the New York area, and of course, this year's performers-which also include Aretha Franklin, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Queen Latifah, Cheap Trick, the Monkees, Jeffrey Osborne, Peabo Bryson, FrEddie Jackson, Mary Wilson and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly-have toured around the world but are really hitting the big time-and the big stage-in Brooklyn, USA!"
Beres Hammond is considered Jamaica's greatest practicing singer/songwriter, and anyone who has listened to his CDs or experienced the fervor elicited by his live performances would undoubtedly agree with that top-ranking assessment. His 2008 performance at Jamaica's premier music festival, Reggae Sumfest, was unanimously hailed as the finest of the three-night event as he tore through hit after hit, some dating back to the mid 70s, consistently captivating an audience of nearly 20,000 who sang along so loudly to his beloved songs, they sometimes threatened to drown him out. The passionate singing, superb songwriting and consummate showmanship displayed by Beres Hammond at Sumfest, which has distinguished his music over the past 35 years, brilliantly shines throughout his latest release, the aptly titled A Moment in Time.
A son of the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, Shaggy exploded on the music scene in 1993 with his debut album Pure Pleasure. His remix of the ska classic "Oh Carolina" from that album was an instant hit in many countries. Shaggy followed up with the platinum album Boombastic, which won a 1996 Grammy Award in for Best Reggae Album and topped multiple charts. Shaggy recorded Midnight Lover in 1997. In 2000, his fourth album Hotshot on the MCA Records label went Diamond worldwide and Platinum six times in the United States. Notable singles from that album included the Grammy-nominated "It Wasn't Me" and "Angel." In 2002 and 2005, Shaggy released Lucky Day (certified Gold) and the Grammy-nominated Clothes Drop respectively. Shaggy's next album, 2007's Intoxication, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart and was also nominated for a Grammy Award. Shaggy, along with his manager Robert Livingston and legendary producer Sting International, formed Big Yard Music Group in 1996. Shaggy is also a philanthropist, raising millions of dollars for Jamaica's Bustamante Hospital for Children and Florida's Tatiana McIntosh Scholarship Fund. Shaggy is the only certified Diamond-selling Dancehall Reggae artist.
The Mighty Sparrow (a.k.a. Dr. Slinger Francisco) is affectionately known as the Calypso King of the World. He possesses the unique ability not only to put into words and tempo the exploits of society, but to crown it all with showmanship and appeal. With more than 70 albums to his credit, Sparrow's astute social and political observations find full expression on songs like "This is Madness," "Both of Them," "Crown Heights Justice" and "Salvation." He has brought honor, glory and dignity to an indigenous art form once scorned by the elite of Caribbean society.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Concert Series is celebrating its spectacular 29th season with a star-studded lineup of gospel, classic soul, contemporary, Caribbean and R&B artists. The free concerts are Monday nights at Wingate Field, entrances on Brooklyn Avenue between Rutland Road and Winthrop Street. The public is encouraged to bring their own chairs. A limited amount of general seating is available on a first come, first served basis. The program begins at 7:30pm.