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Legendary Jamaican singer Alton Ellis arrived in Jamaica today from London for his appearance at the Get Ready to Rocksteady concert and documentary filming at the National Indoor Sports Centre this Wednesday.
Ellis who has been battling illness in recent times looked a picture of health as he told journalists at a press conference held at the Norman Manley International Airport that he was geared up to deliver a big performance.
Widely regarded as the ‘Father of Rocksteady’, Ellis will lead a strong lineup of Jamaican music veterans including Leroy Sibbles, Dawn Penn, Ken Boothe, Judy Mowatt, Lloyd Parkes & We The People, Derrick Morgan, Hopeton Ellis and The Tamlins.
The concert is being staged in association with the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth & Sports.
The concert will form the backdrop of the Get Ready To Rock Steady The Untold Story of the Roots of Reggae 90-minute film which digs deep into Jamaica’s rich musical past.
A documentary project of Muse Entertainment & Hesse Greutert Film, Get Ready To Rock Steady rewinds the hands of time through a series of detailed perspectives to showcase the birth of a genre and the creation of what is regarded today as one of the most timeless forms of music. Shot on locations throughout Montreal, New York and of course Jamaica, Director and Writer of the film Stascha Bader and his team of Producers Valentin Greutert and Betty Palik, Line Producer Robert Boulos, Executive Producers Simon Hesse and Michael Prupas have revived the harmony of love and soul through the voices and experiences of people like Ken Boothe, Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt, Alton Ellis, John Holt, Derrick Morgan, Ernest Ranglin, Hopeton Lewis, Lynn Taitt, Lloyd Parks, Sly Dunbar, Stranger Cole, Dawn Penn, Slim Smith, Bob Andy and U Roy among others.
With a proposed release date of late 2008 fans of the pre Bob Marley era can rest easy as the film captures everything from the recording sessions and rehearsals to the actual conversations that occurred.
Alton Ellis said he was delighted to be a part of project. “We know the full history of this music. We have been at the forefront since I recorded my first song, ‘Muriel’ in 1957. We have seen how it has evolved over the years and as pioneers we have a lot to be proud of.”
Ellis was met at the airport by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Senator Warren Newby.