Brooklyn, NYC — The Kings Theatre, since 2010 listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1929 as a movie-palace-type theatre under the original name of Loew’s Kings Theatre. The facility was closed from 1977 and reopened under Borough President Eric Adams on February 3, 2015, after renovations in the vicinity of 94-million dollars.
Come April 10, 11 and 12, a different kind of history will be made, as for the first time ever, major dancehall-reggae, crossover- mainstream R&B and soca concerts that are organized by Caribbean-Americans and African-Americans of Jammins Entertainment, Foreign Base and associates.
The concerts include one dubbed “Dancehall Rising” which will feature Mavado, Capleton, Lady Saw and Matisyahu on April 10; another entitled “Voices in Concert”, featuring live performances by Fantasia and Tessanne Chin on April 11; and a third concert labeled “First Impression” with a slate of Caribbean soca monarchs — Olatunji (reigning), Kes the Band, Kerwin Dubois, Ravi B, Mr. Killa, Lavaman and Lead Pipe & Saddis — from Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Guyana and Barbados.
As some have opined, although all of the three concerts mentioned are equally appealing, the soca concert carded for April 12 is particularly groundbreaking, because it advances the status of a genre of music that is yet to be duly respected and accepted as a category in certain circles – most notably the organizers of the Grammy Awards.
Each of the soca artistes performing on April 12, have won competitions, some power (up-tempo), others groovy (slower beat); and all have advanced the development of soca as a distinctive genre with their musical contributions, multiple achievements and massive international followings.
The majestically prestigious venue at which these concerts are being held, is generally recognized as a world-class facility of the highest quality. It is described as “unusually spacious” with “superb sight-lines, with the majority of its seats located on the main floor,” in a well referenced article in Wikipedia. “Instead of a large balcony, the Kings has only a small mezzanine, allowing the entire elegant design to be viewed from anywhere in the auditorium,” says Wikipedia.
The seating capacity of this opulently designed and hand-painted building is 3000.
One cannot help but be placed in a mood to appreciate the arts when seated within the artistically liberating confines of Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, and now the music lovers of the tri-state area are afforded a golden opportunity to do just that with dancehall-reggae, soca and mainstream and crossover R&B.