Ska Legend Monty Morris to Play The Joint

Monty Morris Flyer

Ska Legend Eric “Monty” Morris will be making a stop in Los Angeles to give a rare performance in support of his recent debut album release “The Living Legends Collection”. The first place Monty played when we decided to re-start his singing career was in Long Beach, CA so it’s fitting that he’s sort of made the area a second home having performed 4 other times (more than anywhere else). We love it too bringing his original Ska hits to the stage to the very vocal fans he has here.

He will be supported by local favorites Penny Reel and The Amalgamated on Saturday August 27th at the Joint located at 8771 W. Pico Blvd. Tickets cost $15.00. Tickets can be bought here.


August 13, 2011 (Los Angeles, CA) – Jamaican ska music legend Eric “Monty” Morris will return to the Southland on August 27th for what will be his fifth ever show in the City of Angeles. Monty will be honored in a very special Tribute To A Living Legend showcase inside the popular new reggae night spot, The Joint.

Fresh from his debut European tour and in support of his first full-length album entitled The Living Legends Collection, Monty will be backed by an all-star cast of L.A. based musicians for this one night only. Also on the bill will be L.A.’s reggae rising stars Penny Reel (named after Monty’s hit song), popular San Diego ska outfit The Amalgamated, deejay Ras Sal and emcee Junor Francis (of KXLU radio). Monty’s fans can expect a high energy set that will include his hits “Humpty Dumpty,” “Strongman Sampson,” “Penny Reel” and “Oil In My Lamp.

Eric “Monty” Morris
Monty Morris, who has outlived many of his contemporaries, is recognized and considered one of the founding fathers of ska music. As early as 1961, prior to Jamaica gaining its independence from Great Britain, he had several hit songs such as “I’ve Tried,” “Me & My Forty Five,” “Say That You Love Me,” “Search the World” and the chart topping, “Humpty Dumpty” for singer/producer Prince Buster. Also in 1961, he recorded “To Be or Not to Be” for producer Coxsone Dodd.

That same year Monty teamed up with Jamaican expatriate who now resides in Canada, Roy Panton. The duo released several unique and brilliant cuts “In & Out the Window,” Oh Little Honey” and Sweetie Pie,” all of which made cash registers ring for producer Duke Reid.

Along with giants of the ska epoch, Alton Ellis, Stranger Cole and Ken Boothe, Morris grew up in the Trench Town area of Kingston, Jamaica. His big opportunity came when he competed in the ever so popular Vere Johns’ Opportunity Hour. From there Monty went on to make hit songs for every Kingston producer of the day.

With his popularity at an all time high, having placed multiple tunes such as “Oil In My Lamp,” “Strongman Sampson,” “Humpty Dumpty,” “Drop Your Sword,” “Penny Reel” and “Oil in My Lamp,” on the top ten charts on both Jamaican radio stations, JBC and RJR, Monty could do no wrong. He was commissioned to perform in the United States at the highly prestigious 1964 New York World’s Fair.

The fabulous cast of Jamaican musicians that rocked the foundation of New York City included Millie Small, Jimmy Cliff, and Byron Lee & the Dragonaires. The Fair’s theme was “Peace through Understanding,” dedicated to “Man’s Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe.” By 1966, Jamaica’s first indigenous music had evolved into the short lived but glorious Rocksteady and Monty was back in the spotlight with his last major contribution to the Jamaican music charts “Say What You’re Saying” for producer/singer Clancy Eccles in 1968.

The following year, Monty migrated to the United States where he has been residing ever since. To date, his songs have been included in numerous ska, rocksteady and reggae compilations. Much to his delight, in the 2003 Jim Jarmusch directed film “Coffee and Cigarettes,” used his song “Enna Bella” as one of soundtrack numbers. In March of 2011 Monty released his first full-length album “The Living Legends Collection” on Buckley Records.

Penny Reel
Penny Reel originated a decade ago, when founding members Brandon Niznik and Joanne Highland began playing music together as teenagers. After spending years developing their style as an acoustic duo, Penny Reel have now expanded to a full band lineup and a bigger sound. Well-versed in the traditional Jamaican styles of reggae, rocksteady, and ska, the band lays down steady grooves complemented by catchy melodies bound to capture the attention of a diverse range of fans. Fronting the band is singer Joanne, who charms listeners with smooth vocals and soulful tone. Brandon, as guitarist and producer, possesses a formidable talent for finding and cultivating danceable rhythms and grooves. Appealing to young and old souls alike, Penny Reel brings a modern vibe with throwback flavor, infusing youthful energy into the old-school reggae rhythms that have inspired them.

The Amalgamated
The Amalgamated are a traditional ska/jazz band with early 60’s Rocksteady and reggae influences. Formed in 2007 in San Diego, CA, The Amalgamated are an incredible live band that makes everyone dance to up-tempo beats and also get the audience into a groove with light reggae textures. The creativity flowing during their performances can often remind the audience of great jazz standards. A 10-member ensemble that includes a full horn section, keys and percussion, The Amalgamated deliver a high energy performance that leaves the audience wanting more.

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.