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UB40 hosts Capella Festival Press Conference

Local News 29 Apr, 2023 Follow News

UB40 hosts Capella Festival Press Conference

Caymanian Artist Dan Ebanks will be performing alongside international acts at the Capella Festival on 29th April.

Toursim Minister Kenneth Bryan stopped by the UB40 press conference to wish the performers well before Saturday’s show.

By Stuart Wilson

With Cayman residents gearing up for the Capella Music Festival on Saturday, 29th April, one of the major acts set to perform for the highly anticipated concert held a press conference at the Ironshore Studios in George Town Grand Cayman on Friday, 28th April.

World renowned, top selling Reggae band UB40, who will play in the Cayman Islands for the first time at Capella, sat down to answer questions from the Islands’ leading media-houses at the event, which also featured Caymanian Musician Dan Ebanks, who will be performing on the evening.

Members of UB40 gave a sneak peak into their plant for Capella and let their fans know a bit more about the band that has been the soundtrack to their lives in many cases.

“It’s about the audience. We chose our set list based on the country where we are playing. Some songs are more popular in certain countries than others and so the set is always changing,” noted the UB40 members.

They added that when they first started out, their record label had tried to dissuade them from playing the Reggae covers that they have become so well known for but in the end the decision to continue ended up benefitting not only them but the musicians whom they have covered through the years.

“Many of those early artists were not being paid for their work and John Holt told us once, that he had never received a check until we recorded one of his songs,” they noted.

The group, which consist of 10 members, also expressed their love for playing live, expressing enthusiasm for the upcoming event.

“Playing live is where is where it’s at,” they noted.

The men said they are always in a cycle of either recording or touring and explained that their lives have been that way for the past 40 years.

“In the 70’s we went to see the wailers and after we left that show, we said, ‘We should put a band together’…,” they remarked.

The groups said that though music has changed over the years, their fans have always said that they have kept that sound that has made them so beloved around the world.

Along the way their message has sometimes leant its voice to the social issues of the day as well and during the apartheid regime that plagued South Africa they boycotted the country in protest to Nelson Mandela’s detention.

Upon Mandela’s release, UB40 played to the an audience o 70,000 persons over three days and still have the record for attendance at a live music event in that country to this day.

They recalled other milestones such as playing Madison Square Garden with a Number 1 single on the charts, feeling like they had solidified their place in the annuls of musical history.

After touring much of the world, UB40 said they were pleased to now be playing to an audience in the Cayman Islands, adding that they were looking forward to sharing their new material with fans as well.

“We have a new album, which features acts like Kabaka Pyramid and other great new artists,” they said, whilst noting that it they love the new songs just as much as the ones the world has come to know them for.

“After a while, if you’re just playing the same songs, it begins to feel like a glorified cabaret and so we do enjoy playing the new songs.”

Caymanian Dan Ebanks, who will be taking the stage at Capella Festival joined the press conference and expressed gratitude for what he said was a great responsibility of representing the Cayman Islands at the Capella Festival.

“I am both excited and nervous but really looking forward to it.”

After living in Spain for some time, Dan Ebanks has now signed a record deal with the Everheart Records and is in the process of completing a debut album under the Ironshore umbrella.

He said it was important for artists in Cayman to take their craft seriously and noted that consistency and dedication were an essential part of being successful.

Now 29 year of age, Dan Ebanks noted that he decided he would take music seriously after leaving his job as a server and taking up a challenge from his sister who had told him that doing music full time was not a viable option in Cayman.

He said, “One gig turned into two and I just kept going.”

Organizers of the Capella Festival noted that they were happy to be working with new talent from the Cayman Islands and indicated that sourcing new and upcoming acts was an integral part of the Capella ethos.

“When we discovered Bruno Mars, he had much the same trajectory as Dan Ebanks and had made a name for himself in his hometown first. Everyone told us how hard he had worked and we can see that same determination in Dan Ebanks,” they said, adding that this was a necessary ingredient in artists who go on to be talked about for decades.

Capella Festiival kicks off at the Festival Green in Camana Bay at 12pm on Saturday, 29th April and will feature a lineup of major acts such as LeAnn Rimes, UB40, Kes, Mr. Notch and Koffee, among other well-knows artists.

Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan also stopped by the press conference to meet the band and wish all the performers well.

He said it was an honour to have such high calibers acts gracing the stage in the Cayman Islands and noted that the Capella Festival was a great addition to the Islands’ tourism product.

Caption 1: UB40 hosted a press conference at the Ironshore Studios on Friday 28th April, in the run-up to the Capella Festival.

Caption 2: Caymanian Artist Dan Ebanks will be performing alongside international acts at the Capella Festival on 29th April.

Caption 3: Toursim Minister Kenneth Bryan stopped by the UB40 press conference to wish the performers well before Saturday’s show.

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