Saturday 22nd June marks the annual Windrush Day, an opportunity to celebrate and commemorate the migration of Caribbean citizens to the UK.
The MV Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in June 1948 carrying 492 passengers from the region. This would mark the beginning of the mass immigration movement in the UK, resulting in an estimated 172,000 West Indian born people living in the UK by 1961.
The impact of the Caribbean experience in the UK cannot be underestimated, and Boxpark have teamed up with Caribbean culture specialist BrukOut for two specially curated nights in their Wembley and Croydon branches.
Celebrating the rich heritage that previous generations have brought to these shores, the Wembley line up showcases “Music From Then To Now” – a musical journey from Ska through to Calypso, Rocksteady, Soul, Funk, Reggae and Dancehall.
Utilising the first hand knowledge and skills from some of the leading DJ’s in their genres including Calypso and Soca king Smokey Joe, Funk from one of the cornerstone soundsystems, Rapattack, Rock Steady king Chris Peckings, RnB from one of London’s leading DJ’s, D’Nyce, Ska specialist Rudy Ranx and Dancehall dons SilverStar. With illustrated performances from lauded Calypsonian Alexander D Great, Reggae singer Aleighcia Scott and north west London’s newest dancehall sensation Big Zeeks, this promises to be a celebration of the highest order!
Soca, Reggae and Dancehall are the order of the day in Croydon, with local DJ Vincent Kelly kicking things off with classic Calypso and Soca ahead of a journey through the sounds of Jamaica from the likes of Goldfinger, Robbo Ranx, Ras Kwame and Seani B. Look out for a special performance from acclaimed vocalist Christopher Ellis, son of Rock Steady legend Alton Ellis.
Programme curator Seani B said, ”We are really proud of these line ups, and we feel that this represents a large part of the musical experience of Black Britain from the docking of the Windrush to the modern day. Many of these DJ’s and performers have contributed immeasurably to the fabric of this country, and we are proud to be celebrating alongside them.”