Gregory Gondwe, Malawi Best Blogger 2014

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Where is Morgan Heritage?

Of course this is only April and the year is still very young. But I guess I can start from where I stopped that on August 29, 2013, at around 1841 hours, Gramps Morgan wrote on his official Facebook wall that it’s official: “We are coming to Africa, the dates have been cut out any ‘Experienced Promoter’ can link us or if you know ‘the best promoter’ in your country have them contact us Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe.”

I have been watching the media spaces in the country but I have not seen anywhere else where it has been mentioned that Morgan Heritage has confirmed of their coming to Malawi.

At one point or the other, we were told that Multi Choice Malawi was in discussions to bring the Royal Reggae Family band to Malawi but there issues to do with the size of the monies that would exchange hands before they could really confirm their availability this year.

Like I said before, I have no problems with other countries where they had scheduled to visit because such musicians of repute visit and perform in those countries times without number. But I had a problem with how the local entertainment industry is going to handle this offer.

It’s a challenge, I said, that will speak volumes of how organised or mediocre our entertainment industry is. For someone who has been writing about music since 1993, I find it sad that if Gramps Morgan were to contact me to find him the best promoter in the country, surely I would not point at anyone.

I know another musical star, the Jazz connoisseur Earl Klugh, who visited Malawi courtesy of the Standard Bank’s ‘Joy of Jazz’ project.

For the sake of those that missed my first entry on the same I have to repeat by saying that I might assume too much that each and everyone here knows who Gramps Morgan - or The Morgan Heritage - is.

Denroy Morgan is the patriarchal genesis of the Morgan Heritage. He fathered 17 sons and 12 daughters. Denroy is famed as aJamaican reggae artist who was born in May Pen in Clarendon, but left Jamaica in 1965 at the age of 19 and travelled to theUnited States to become a musician.

He was part of the formation the Black Eagles, a New York City reggae band, in the 1970s before launching a prosperous solo career in the 1980s onwards.

With his Black Eagles, Denroy won the New York Reggae Music Festival in 1977 which set of his rise to fame which continued into the early 1980s. His most successful release "I'll Do Anything for You" in 1981 reinforced his fame as it peaked at Number 9 on the American soul chart. It also peaked at Number 7 on the dance charts and these successes helped to launch his solo reggae career.

His 29 children were all musical growing up and have since formed two separate bands; The Morgan Heritage and LMS.

Morgan Heritage is reggae band initially started as an octet featuring eight of Morgan's 29 children. Morgan Heritage began recording with their father in the early '90s.

Their father produced their debut single, ‘Wonderful World’, in 1991 followed shortly after by an album, ‘Growing Up’. Morgan Heritage’s first break came the following year when they performed at the Reggae Sunsplash.

Morgan Heritage is known globally as the “Royal Family of Reggae” and the “Rolling Stones of Reggae” owing to their electric stage antics.

Now the reggae band is made up of Peetah Morgan, Una Morgan, Roy ‘Gramps’ Morgan, Nakhamyah "Lukes" Morgan and Memo "Mr. Mojo" Morgan.
On the other hand, LMS is a dancehall and hip hop band made up of the trio Noshayah Morgan, Otiya ‘Laza’ Morgan and Miriam Morgan.

Now Roy "Gramps" Morgan who posted about their possible trip to Malawi is also a solo reggae singer whose debut album entitled ‘Two Sides of My Heart’ earned him a number of nominations for awards. He also made it big in 2009 when he featured in India Arie’s track ‘Therapy’. He has his second solo album to his name ‘Reggae Music Lives’ released in 2012.

After recording several successful albums that included ‘Full Cycle’ and ‘Three in One’ among others, Morgan Heritage took a five-year break but this year they have they have released their latest studio album ‘Here Come The Kings’.

Now if you look at the resume of Morgan Heritage - or better still Gramps Morgan - you will realise that they are not a small music unit.
And I repeat that their expressed interest to perform in Malawi cannot be taken lightly. Between June and August they will be perfoming in the USA with Barrington Levy. Currently they are touring Europe since March.

Now I ask again, where is the promoter to talk to The Morgan Heritage?

Time is running out.


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