Following a personal invitation from Sade, Jamaica’s legendary and iconic The Jolly Boys have announced that they will join Sade on their European tour this spring.
The Jolly Boys, once the toast of Jamaica with their traditional ‘mento’ music, have after five decades been enjoying a remarkable revival.
It was the legendary film star Errol Flynn who, having purchased a small swathe of Northeast Jamaica, would stage wild parties at his home, and provide his favourite entertainment in the form of a local mento band, whom he nicknamed The Jolly Boys.
Mento originated as country folk music, with origins in African sounds, but with influences from European and especially Celtic music. It pre-dated and influenced everything from ska to reggae to dancehall. However, the electrification of Jamaica and its independence in the 1960s led to the decline of mento music and a new musical voice, reggae.
It was in 2009 when music producer Jon Baker suggested The Jolly Boys record a new album featuring some surprising contemporary cover versions, that mento music and The Jolly Boys were re-introduced to both Jamaica and the world. The album ‘Great Expectation’ released last year went on to receive rave reviews.
In their 60-year existence a changing cast of at least 18 members has come and gone but now, as noted by The Observer’s Sarfraz Manzoor, ‘The Jolly Boys are finally getting the respect they deserve. With a combined age of 382, they make the Rolling Stones look like the Jonas Brothers’.
Since the release of their album, the band has performed on the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland, as well as mesmerising audiences at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Secret Garden Party and The Big Chill. Now Sade’s audiences will experience The Jolly Boys’ special brand of Jamaican magic.
Sade Live plus special guests The Jolly Boys – full ticket information:
Friday 27 May M.E.N. Arena, Manchester 0844 847 8000
Sunday 29 May LG Arena, Birmingham 0844 338 8000
Tuesday 31 May The O2 Arena, London 0844 856 0202
For information on The Jolly Boys visit www.jollyboysmusic.com. Great Expectation is available to purchase now on PIAS/Geejam Recordings.
For further information, please contact:
Ben Martin @ Marshall Arts
firstname.lastname@example.org / + 44 20 7586 3831