Event Info At A Glance
Price Overview: Free
Venue Overview: Concert Stage
The Arsenals take to the Concert Stage with their big ska sound, headed by Dizzy Minott, followed by JUNO nominated reggae icon Jay Douglas & The All Stars accompanied by JUNO winner Nana McLean and DJ Lord Sassafrass.
About The Arsenals
Based in Toronto, Ontario, the band performs often in the greater Toronto area. They are booked annually for numerous festivals, corporate and private events and head out on the road for appearances across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.
They’ve performed with many of the “first names” in reggae music, including Toots and the Maytals, Ziggy Marley, Derrick Morgan, Ernie Smith, Ken Boothe, Skatellites, Lord Tanamo, The Slackers, The Toasters, War, Bounty Killer and many more.
About Jay Douglas & The All Stars
Jay Douglas first appeared on stage in Montego Bay, Jamaica, when he was a youth. In over 45 years of entertainment, he has developed a wide-ranging repertoire of American blues, West Indian rhythms and jazz standards combined with fancy footwork and incredible on-stage charisma. In the early ’60s, Douglas fronted the R&B group The Cougars, who, with their skill and stamina, lit up the city of Montreal and Toronto’s Yonge Street nightclubs in the late ’70s with soul-funk and reggae. Over the past ten years, he has performed worldwide and at annual Toronto events such as the Beaches Jazz Festival, Jerk Fest, Canadian National Exhibition, Yonge and Dundas Square and a Taste of Lawrence.
Douglas was proclaimed winner of NOW Magazine’s Toronto’s Best R&B Act in 2006, and Male Reggae Vocalist of the Year at the Annual Toronto Reggae Awards in 2007. During this time, the promotions company, Light in the Attic, made Douglas their band leader for the From Jamaica to Toronto concert launch at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto in July 2006. This show was successfully led by Douglas in both Vancouver and Montreal. He was nominated for Reggae Recording of the Year at the 2012 JUNO Awards and was the recipient of the G98.7 FM Entertainment Award at the Harry Jarome awards that same year.
About Nana McLean
Nana McLean began singing in her childhood and won various local carnival contests. A notable success came at the Donkey Carnival in Linstead Market, where her performance led to her singing for the Soul Defenders, and she made her debut recording sessions at Studio One in 1977. Coxsone Dodd released her interpretation of “Til I Kissed You,” which announced McLean’s arrival and highlighted her characteristic style. She maintained a high profile within the industry when she was commissioned to record Dream of Life, released through A&M Records. As with many major label signings, the relationship was brief, and she returned to an independent recording career. In 1987, she recorded with King Jammy (‘Single Girl’) and for the Youth & Youth co-operative (‘Take Me Higher’). By the early ’90s, she had gained prominence for her work with Donovan Germain and Dave’ Rude Boy’ Kelly. Take Me I’m Yours was followed by the retrospective Nana’s Medley, which featured ’50s doo-wop over the popular “A Love I Can Feel” rhythm. A popular medley including versions of “Daddy’s Home,” “Eddie My Love” and “Sincerely” led to a series of hits, such as “Let Me Cover You” and ‘” Will Follow You,” which cemented her association with the duo. Although McLean relocated to Canada, she remained loyal to the Germain’s Penthouse organization, and in 1997 she earned a JUNO win for her release Collectors Series.
About Lord Sassafrass
Jamaican recording artist Lord Sassafrass (Michael Johnson) was born in Maverley, Kingston, Jamaica. Sassafrass is best known as a dancehall reggae DJ or rapper with the Black Scorpio Sound System. On Black Scorpio Sound System, Sassafrass introduced the world to the extraordinary talent of fellow DJ – General Trees. He went on to record the top-selling album Pocomania Jump and controlled the number one slot on the charts with his song “Poco Jump.” He recorded other great songs like “Jamaica Way,” “Murder She Wrote” (with General Trees) and the enormous hit “Step Up in Life” (with Barrington Levy). As Sassafrass enters his fourth decade in reggae, he has earned the respect of his fans and peers. He has released new music, “Don’t Wait Too Long,” “Sassafrass.com,” and “Swine Flu.” He has also produced classic and contemporary artists, including Glen Ricks, Tenor Saw, Axe Perry and Mel C. The 2017 documentary release Juggling Cross the Border follows Sassafrass as he searches New York for some of his original master recordings. His 2019 album Skatalogical is an all-ska album with Sassafrass’s lyrics and features the lead singer from The Skatalites, Fergus Hambleton, Axe Perry and Trish Campbell. Sassafrass has left a distinguished trail of recorded music and live dancehall sessions. Today’s work carries out the tradition he started almost forty years ago – a unique sound all his own.
Dates & Times
8pm – The Arsenals
9:30pm – Jay Douglas
235 Queens Quay W.
Toronto, ON, M5J 2G8