Founded in 1965 by Albert Griffiths, The Gladiators has released some of the most mythical songs of Jamaican reggae. Their first hit, the single Hello Carol, was released in 1968. In 1976, thanks to their signature at Virgin, the trilogy Trenchtown Mix Up, Proverbial Reggae and Naturality has been distributed all around the world and some of the songs of these albums have become classics of the reggae as Mix Up and Roots Natty Roots.
The band has always been very productive and in 2014, The Gladiators had already released more than 40 albums. The lyrics are often militant and the very recognizable vocal harmonies are unquestionably a major part of the success.
At first, The Gladiators were a vocal trio. With the departure of the two other singers, Albert Griffiths took the leadership. Clinton Fearon spent a few years by his side but in 1987, he left the band to start a solo career. Beside Albert Griffiths (guitar and lead vocal), the line up includes Gallimore Sutherland (bass guitar and back vocals), Clinton Ruffus (guitar), Vernon Sutherland (keyboards).
In 2004, Albert Griffiths decided to stop touring, and at first, he passed on the torch to his sons Al on vocals and Anthony on drums. Together, they recorded the album Father and Sons in the Anchor studio in Kingston. After a few tours in this line up, the historic members of The Gladiators (Gallimore Sutherland, Clinton Ruffus, Ruddlowe Robinson, Vernon Sutherland) and Anthony Griffiths, who remains the drummer of the band, chose Droop Lion to be the new singer of the band, whose grain of voice is quite close to the one of the original singer.
The young artist, who already got noticed in 2011 with his hit "Freeway", and as the support act for Capleton during one of his European tours in 2013, is full of promises !
Early 2014, Droop Lion and The Gladiators released a new album entitled "Back On Tracks" recorded at Clive Hunt' studio in Kingston, The Mixing Lab. Droop Lion and The Gladiators have since toured several times in Europe performing the traditional repertory of The Gladiators as well as their new songs, which renew and energize the show !
It is a special soul that can find within itself the capacity to forgive those who would take the life of one it holds dear. It is an even more remarkable spirit that is able to channel such feelings of loss and pain into a moving anthem of forgiveness. Meet Droop Lion, a man with a mission and an appointment with destiny. An artiste possessed of a voice teeming with sincerity and a mind suffused with curiosity.
This 7 piece band features heavy drum and bass, tight rhythms, and a powerful horn section. Accompanied by a soulful tenor voice that inspires healing, awakening, and discipline. Creating music with deep dubs and explosive highs.This full bodied sound creates a universal atmosphere that reaches the essence and core of roots reggae music.
So fans of the 70's reggae legends and of contemporary likes of Groundation, Midnite, Abya Yala, Cultura Profetica, John Brown's Body bands that take this foundation to new heights will find this band refreshing and universal. Words from Chief Vigs. Review & Interview by Barney Murnin (Get Down Jones).
BBuddy Jay's Jamaican Jazz Band elaborates on the tradition of Jamaican Jazz and R n'B music. Engaging a deep respect for the sound, and pushing the music forward by writing original Jamaican jazz ,ska, dub reggae, calypso and rocksteady influenced tunes has been their path. Their sound is firmly rooted in the golden era of Jamaican music; the1960's and 1970's. Buddy Jay and the band's unique take on the genre of Jamaican jazz have allowed them to feel comfortable sharing the stage with bands performing a meried of styles. As part of the Soul'd Out Music Festival they shared the event with the likes of Vieux Farke Toure, Charles Bradley, Mos Def, and many more and have also shared the stage with genre icons like Winston Jarrett, The Skints, and The Expanders to name a few. The current lineup features members of All The Apparatus, Cherimoya, The Isrealites, Grupo Condente, and Brownish Black. Buddy and the band's very first album, "Buddy Jay's Jamaican Jazz Band" was recently released upon the world to great acclaim. These heavy hitters always bring the party and never play a room without a dance floor. Stay tuned because Buddy Jay is here to stay!