Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica, and I went along to a celebration. It was rather a large gathering because there a fair number of people with Jamaican heritage in Leeds, including a 96 year old who sailed on the Windrush. I was left a bit unclear as to whether he was actually present last night, it seemed to all depend on whom one spoke to. I hope he enjoyed himself, wherever he was.
First up were the Jamaica Jazz All Stars featuring Brinsley Forde as guest vocalist, very good and very tight. They reminded my of a sort of Jools Holland Big Band with reggae replacing the boogie-woogie. The headliners were Dennis Alcapone, whose birthday it also was, but who was undoubtably a fair bit older than the country, and Freddie McGregor who I had assumed was old, but worryingly turned out to be younger than me. Anyway, they were both every bit as good as I hoped and I'm glad I've seen them.