Wall Street Theater Presents:
71 Wall Street
Norwalk, CT, 06850
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
What a year 2019 is for Marcia Griffiths! Not only does she celebrate her 55th anniversary as an artist, the reggae queen continues to be recognized for her sterling contribution to Jamaican music.
In February and March, she received the Gold Award and Icon Award from the Jamaican government and Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA), respectively. The latter she accepted as a member of the I Three, along with Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt.
Her new album, “Timeless”, produced by Donovan Germain and distributed by Tad’s International Record, is slated for release in June. Marcia is booked for major festivals and shows in Europe --- including Rototom Sunsplash in Spain and Boomtown Festival in London.
The Honorable Marcia Linnet Griffiths, OD, CD, was born to working-class parents Joseph and Beatrice Griffiths in West Kingston. Though the family faced economic challenges, Marcia considers her early days glorious, because there was always one thing in abundance Love. That, she said, made them the wealthiest family in the world.
Marcia attended Kingston Senior School and was a committed member of her church choir. She started singing professionally in 1964 with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires and recalls performing soul singer Carla Thomas’ “No Time To Lose” to phenomenal response from the audience.
From there, she moved to Studio One where she found mentors in producer Clement “Coxson” Dodd and singer/songwriter Bob Andy. It was there that she recorded her first hit song, “Feel Like Jumping”, followed by “Really Together” with Bob Andy which sparked a personal and professional relationship.
“Luckily for me, Bob Andy was always a strong and wise person. He was there for me in the early days and that gave me confidence,” Marcia said.
The duo moved to the Harry J Label, hitting the British as well as international charts with “Young Gifted and Black” and “The Pied Piper”. They also recorded two albums with those titles.
Marcia continued her solo career on the High Note label with Sonia Pottinger, reggae’s sole established female producer. Her hits for Miss Pottinger include “Stepping Outa Babylon”, as well as two albums, “Naturally” and “Stepping”.
To date, Marcia has released 18 solo albums; five duet albums with Bob Andy (including the live double CD, “An Evening with Bob & Marcia), a duet album with various artists called “Marcia Griffiths and Friends,” and two albums with The I-Three.
Her career has evolved with reggae. In the 1970s, she recorded and toured with Bob Marley as a member of the I Three; in the 1980s, she had a massive hit with the funky Electric Boogie which was a strong seller in the United States where it sparked a dance craze of the same name.
In the 1990s, Marcia found a new dancehall audience as a member of Penthouse Records. Teaming with Germain, head of that label, she scored with songs like “I Shall Sing” and a cover of Andy’s “Fire Burning”.
As for her opinion on female reggae vocalists, Marcia said: “It been a rough, tough job standing up as a woman in this male-dominated business, that’s why my album before “Land of Love” I chose to call it “Indomitable”, which means not easily discouraged or defeated. My views on women in reggae are positive; most of the new or upcoming female singers in reggae have publicly declared that I have been their inspiration, and I was their role model; I am in awe! I feel very good about that; to know that I have influenced my people positively.”
The epitome of strength, determination and resilience, Lady G embodies what her decades of hard work in the dancehall reggae arena conveys. Born Janice Fyffe, in Spanish Town, St Catherine, Lady G came on the scene in the 1980s, armed with abounding talent and dreams to match - on her journey to ultimate success.
This was the era when artists such as: Shelly Thunder, Sister Nancy and Sister Charmaine had gained immense success in the typically male dominated dancehall reggae sphere; and Lady G made the decision to make her mark too, but "on her terms". Holding fast to traditions ingrained from childhood, she decided to strive for inclusion within this fascinating musical setting, but firmly maintained the stance, that "slackness" would not be her vehicle to victory.
A past student of St. Joseph High and Dunoon Technical School, Lady G's keen interest in music prompted her to sneak away from home at times, to travel around the country with the Black Scorpio Sound System. Learning valuable life lessons through these escapades, Lady G eventually completed her schooling and was soon recognized as an upcoming vibrant talent, by Denzil "Sassafras" Naar. Taking charge of her career, Naar became the perfect boost for Lady G, since he was also working with top DJ, Papa San. Before long Lady G was making a name for herself allover Jamaica.
When the single, "Nuff Respect" graced the global musical circuits, it surpassed all her previous releases and Lady G became an international household name with this hit that was touted as the anthem of many women who demanded to be treated with respect. Gussie Clarke of Music Works produced "Nuff Respect" and "Round Table Talk". Collaborations with Papa San on "Legal Rights" and "Round Table Talk" landed Lady G in the hit bound driver's seat - placing her in the league of number one dancehall artists. The extremely talented DJ garnered a host of awards after this - starting with DJ of the year in both the United States and Canada. Then from 1988, Lady G saw a 10 year span of accolades and awards from entities such as: Martins; Tamika, Rockers; Jamaica Federation of Musicians (JFM); Binns and the Canadian Reggae Music Awards. The video for "Round Table Talk" was also awarded for Best Video.
In the late 1980s, Lady G took a break from the spotlight to add to her family. On her return she joined forces with Dannie Brownie and began recording on the Main Street Records label and Exterminator Records. Seamlessly, she flowed back onto the scene that was now rife with new female DJs, releasing hits like: "Rock Back", "Me or theGun" and "Thank You" done in tandem with Chevelle Franklyn.
A 1998 album release entitled "Nuff Respect" with a remix of the popular single of the same name brought another boost for Lady G, who followed up with hits like "Breeze Off" and a collaboration in 2000 with Crissy D entitled "Girls Like Us" that topped British charts. International tours ensued and in 2003 the DJ took charge of her own career by forming the production company, G-String Music. Top artists like: Sizzla, Capleton, Ce'Cile, Lady Saw and Macka Diamond rocked G-String produced rhythms - such as: "Belly Skin" and "Flava" and the company worked with famed Greensleeves and VP Records who served as distributors.
A continual force to be reckoned with, Lady G has maintained a steady presence and remains dynamic in the 21st century dancehall scene . Touring Europe in 2005 under the Queens of Reggae banner, the DJ extraordinaire was part of an esteemed selection of women that included: Marcia Griffiths and others.
G-String Music rolled out the album, "Rated G" in 2012. It was produced by Lady G and her brother, Vincent "Pancho" Wright. Among the featured tracks on this album are "Ghetto Vibes", "Slow Motion" and "That Question" featuring Lovindeer.
Since 2012 Lady G teamed up with a Montreal, Canada based record label called Indie Rootz Records. With a hit single "Rock & Come In" a collaboration with Shae Mill in 2014. In the summer of 2015, an EP entitled "Smile" was released. Lady G took it to another levelshowing off her many facets and styles. Along with several videos to support the well delivered songs on this EP, including her new song called "Jamaica".
The indomitable Lady G has proven that a combination of fortitude and innate talent can lead to ultimate success and longevity in the fickle world of dancehall music.