Dennis Alcapone To Make Stop in Chicago June 14

Jamaican Oldies ProductionsJUMP UP RECORDS continues its 20th Anniversary celebration in 2014 curating JAMAICAN OLDIES PRODUCTIONS, a partnership with MAYNE STAGE that brings vintage Jamaican ska and reggae vocalists to Chicago. We are very proud to announce our very first “deejay” show featuring the original Kingston hitmaker DENNIS ALCAPONE, performing for the first time ever in Chicago!

The art of talk-over on record has been evident throughout the history of Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean sounds; its origins can be directly traced back to the rhythmic vocal rhyming of Jamaican deejay toasting developed in the 60’s and early 70’s. American hip hop owes much of its style to 70’s pioneer DJ Kool Herc who was a Jamaican expatriate, while dancehall mega stars Shabba Ranks, Shaggy, Lady Saw, Sean Paul and Damian Marley have all achieved pop chart busters with toasting-influenced vocals. Jamaican deejay toasting has also influenced various styles of modern dance music, most notably jungle, drum & bass, reggaeton, UK garage, and dubstep.

It all began in the 60’s…that’s when Jamaican “deejays” fist laid claim to being recording artistes in their own right. The first pioneering toasters were Sir Lord Comic, Count Matchuki, and King Stitt, but it was not until U Roy began toasting over specially mixed Duke Reid dubplates at King Tubby’s sound system that the style first really caught the imagination of the Jamaican public. The enormous success of these sides sparked a frenzy among producers, and of the deejays who burst forth on the scene none proved more popular than DENNIS ALCAPONE.

Aside from his choice of superb original songs over which to record, DENNIS ALCAPONE’s popularity was primarily due to his unique, deceptively relaxed style. His command of classic rhythms, seamless interplay of deejay and original lyric, plus his trademark vocal effects produced music that has stood the test of time. ALCAPONE had his own distinct half-sung style with high-pitched whoops, with his influence clearly visible in DJ’s that followed including I-Roy, Dillinger, Michigan & Smiley, and the later “sing-jays” such as Eek-A-Mouse and Pinchers.

Dennis Alcapone Guns Don't ArgueDENNIS ALCAPONE’s singing style was pioneered at his own “EL PASO” sound system in 1969 and on his earliest recordings for KEITH HUDSON, COXSONE DODD / STUDIO ONE, and WINSTON “NINEY” HOLNESS, all of whom produced the singer in 1970. In the period from 1970 to 1973, ALCAPONE was prolific: he cut over 100 singles and released three albums, recording for BUNNY LEE, PRINCE BUSTER, SONIA POTTINGER, LEE PERRY, JOE GIBBS, and DUKE REID. The latter, who had issued U Roy’s earliest hits, repeated his success with ALCAPONE on “Number One Station“, “Rock To The Beat”, “Wake Up Jamaica”, and “Teach the Children”. ALCAPONE also had hits Bunny Lee including “Ripe Cherry” and “Guns Don’t Argue“. In 1972 he was named the island’s most popular deejay by Swing magazine, and shortly after he embarked on a successful tour of the UK. Dennis eventually relocated to London in 1974, and although his output dropped off considerably, he still occasionally gave glimpses of his undeniable talent, with recordings for a number of UK based producers including Sidney Crooks and Count Shelley.

He returned to live performance and recording in the 1988 and appeared at the WOMAD festival in 1989. He returned to Jamaica in 1990 to record again with Bunny Lee, and also made an appearance on Adrian Sherwood’s “Two Bad Card” album. He released an album with Mad Professor in 1997 entitled “21st Century Version”. With the 2000’s came a massive reissue campaign for his catalog, including TROJAN RECORD’s “My Voice Is Insured For Half A Million Dollars”, “Guns Don’t Argue – The Anthology 1970-1977”, “Soul To Soul – DJs Choice” and most recently Kingston Sounds’ “Yeah Yeah Yeah Mah Up The Dance”.

DENNIS ALCAPONE will be backed by an all star band lead by THE DRASTICS, who will also perform a full set of their reggae dub roots originals.

The Drastics are modern roots music. Their sound fits as easily in a Kingston dancehall as it does in an artist’s loft-party in the warehouse district. Though primarily classified as a reggae group, The Drastics embrace many styles of music both live and in the studio. This can be heard in their songs which draw from roots Jamaican music, hip hop, hard-bop jazz, afro-beat, dancehall, as well as folk music from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. Take this powder keg cocktail of styles, add the pulse of gritty everyday urban living and you get one explosive sound. Not playing into any gimmicks or compromising to trends (“The Drastics deserve much credit for moving deep into unchartered territories” – allMusic Guide) The Drastics have been consistantly rocking crowds for three years from NYC to LA and everywhere in between (“dub masters, The Drastics … never fail to put on a killer party” – TimeOut Chicago).

More support bands to be announced soon.

DJ Chuck Wren, Darren Reggae, and Feel The Rhythm DJs spin your favorite Jamaican oldies – strictly on vinyl – throughout the night and afterward until 3 am in the Act One Pub.

All this PLUS vendors selling original Jamaican vinyl, hand screened concert posters, JUMP UP RECORDS’ massive mail order table and much more. 18+ show.

Tickets ON SALE NOW via Manye Stage website for $30. Mayne Stage is located at 1328 W Morse, Chicago, Illinois 60626. RSVP if you are in the Chicago area to the events Facebook page.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.