On Wednesday June 21, 2017, VP Records and the famous B.B. Kings Blues Club in Times Square, New York held an epic night of international roots reggae and dub to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of historic U.K. reggae label, Greensleeves Records. Italian born reggae star Alborosie delivered his first New York concert performance, while roots reggae sensation Queen Ifrica headlined with her full band before continuing her U.S. tour to promote her recent #1 album “Climb.” Musician/producer Addis Pablo opened the evenings performances with a selection of songs including a tribute to his late father, dub reggae legend Augustus Pablo, whose work was closely associated with the Greensleeves label internationally. A special sound system presentation from New York favorites, Deadly Dragon Sound kicked off the evening’s activity with music from the extensive Greensleeves catalog in between performances.
The energetic and diverse crowd moved towards the stage when Addis Pablo began a melodica performance of songs ‘Road to Addis’ and ‘Call of the Righteous.’ He also performed a set of his father Augustus Pablo’s hits including the popular ‘Java’, backed by the Positive Vibration band. Shortly after, Alborosie invigorated the venue more with crowd favorites such as ‘Poser’. Before wrapping up his 45-minute set he brought Lady Ann on stage to join him to perform her 1980’s hit song ‘Informer’. Closing the show, Queen Ifrica blew everyone away with ‘Trueversation’ from her latest album “Climb”, in addition to songs ‘Lioness on the Rise’ and ‘Below the Waist’ from previous albums.
Greensleeves Records, founded in 1977, created a legacy of respected reggae artists such as Yellowman, Barrington Levy, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, Mr. Vegas, Shaggy, Vybz Kartel, Elephant Man and more. Their work with domestic and international artists helped develop the reggae genre in the U.K. and Europe and set a standard for presenting the music and culture with quality and respect. Greensleeves nurtured the music in Europe from dub plate to download. The label was purchased by VP Records in 2008.
Multiple album projects are scheduled to commemorate the Greensleeves anniversary including; Alborosie “Freedom In Dub,” King Jammy “Waterhouse Dub,” “African Dub Chapter Two” by Joe Gibbs plus classic re-issues from Hugh Mundell, Augustus Pablo, Keith Hudson, Sylford Walker, Linval Thompson and more. Already released titles include Suns of Dub “Riddimentary – Suns of Dub Select Greensleeves”, 40th anniversary editions of Culture “Two Sevens Clash,” The Congos “Heart of The Congos” and the forty-track “Total Reggae – Greensleeves.”
“The recent concert at BB King is an excellent example of the quality of music that has been put out on Greensleeves over the past 40 years,” said Richard Lue, Director of Business Development at VP Records. “Addis Pablo represented his father’s legacy on Greensleeves, Alborosie represented the labels current roster and Queen Ifrica represented VP Records. Together they put on an amazing show.”