In 1979, The Ontario Black History Society was successful in motivating the city of Toronto to declare February Black History Month commemorating the profound contributions of Afro -Canadians to the rich cultural fabric of our grand city. By December 1995, under the stewardship of MP Jean Augustine the Province of Ontario became signatory to the declaration.
In keeping with the spirit of month long activities, Toronto’s muti-racial music collective The Rhythm Express is proud to announce the release of reggae star Ammoye’s “Midnight Confessions,” honoring Jamaica’s beloved Philiss Dillon and her classic recording of 1971. Dillon’s is a cover of the American pop band, The Grass Roots top five international hit of 1967 – written by Lou T. Josie.
In support of Ammoye, The Rhythm Express features a stellar cast of musicians: Jamaica’s treasured Ernest Ranglin guitar, Jesse “Dubmatix” King – bass, Everton ‘Pablo’ Paul drums, Shane Forrest rhythm guitar and engineer, Selena Evangeline lead guitar, Gavin Hope and Evangeline background vocals arranged by Ammoye - produced and arranged by keyboardist Bill King and Jesse King.
Dillon was born in 1944 in Linstead, St. Catherine, Jamaica in the rich countryside. She was influenced by the pop singing artists of the time; Connie Francis, Patti Page and Dionne Warwick. It was during a talent contest at the Glass Bucket Club in Kingston, Jamaica with the group The Vulcans, she was discovered by session guitarist Lynn Taitt who introduced her to Duke Reid, a record producer and DJ of prominence and influence, who ran one of the most successful sound systems in Jamaica.
Dillon recorded her first date for Reid, “Don’t Stay Away” in late 1996 – at the time called “perhaps the finest female performance in Jamaican music.” She would go on to record various covers of American singers from Perry Como to Stephen Stills – but it’s her cover of “Midnight Confessions” that resonates nearly five decades later. Dillon is considered as one of the key singers of the rocksteady era. She died April 15, 2004 after a two-year battle with cancer and awarded posthumously the Order of Distinction in 2009 by the Jamaican government.
released February 1, 2016
Ammoye’s name is inspired by the Italian word for love. That’s what goes into her music, and it’s how audiences respond to her wherever she goes. Rooted in the reggae music of her native Jamaica. She is a two time Canadian Juno nominee. The 2013 Canadian Juno Awards Nominated song "Baby it's You" her Debut Single for “Best Reggae Recording” and "Radio" in the same category in 2014. Ammoye effortlessly glides from reggae to dancehall and dub, to gospel and soul, to hip hop and R&B, with breathtaking ease and presence. Her phenomenal new single and video, “Radio”, are currently taking over the airwaves and social media, having already charted in the U.K. on Galaxy Gold Radio.
Her singing career began as a child, raised by her grandparents in Clarendon, Jamaica and finding solace from life’s trials and tribulations by singing in her local church choir. After choir practice, she would regale the neighborhood with her latest songs and poems from the top of a mango tree in her backyard. In her teens, she reunited with her mother in Toronto, quickly establishing herself in the community by forming the Sisters in Christ church group and the Voices of the Underground Artist movement which became a much-appreciated resource which continues to help talented independent artists promote and perform their music.
Ammoye has one full-length album to her credit, 2010’s Haffi Win, which is a futuristic dancehall, dub, hip-hop and house collaboration with Ottawa producer Rise Ashen; and released several singles on the Balanced Records which include production and remixes by heavy-hitting producers such as Dubmatix, Courtney John, The Seed Organization and Citizen Sound.
She has recorded with the likes of: Grammy-winner Michael Rose (of Black Uhuru), Alton Ellis, Ranking Joe, Pinchers, Kemar “Flava” McGregor and the late Sugar Minott. Two of her songs, “Best Friend” and “Catch Up” were featured on MTV’s 2010 Winter Olympics special “Over The Bolts . Ammoye proudly represented Canada at the World Expo in Shanghai that same year where she met then-Governor General Michelle Jean, and recently featured prominently at several events marking the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence.
Over the past several years, Ammoye has been consistently performing at high-profile events and festivals in Canada and around the world, touring sharing the stage with A-list artists such as: Michael Bublé, Ziggy Marley, Freddie McGregor, Byron Lee & The DragonAires, Beres Hammond, Mutabaruka Beenie Man, Chaka Demus & Pliers, The Heptones, Gyptian, Richie Spice, Demarco ,Frankie Paul , Justin Nozuka Ken Boothe, Easy Star All-Stars, Exco Levi, Serani and Third world.
She has recently signed a recording deal with Pyramid Global Entertainment with distribution through Universal Music Group. Look out for her taking a stage near you on tour in 2015!
Bill King firstname.lastname@example.org