Cleveland Watkiss: The Great Jamaican Songbook

Date:Thu 22 Sep 2022
Venue:J2 (seated show)
Price:£25 adv

Multi award-winning vocalist, actor and composer Cleveland Watkiss MBE explores Jamaica’s long history of pioneering musical sounds, including mento, reggae, ska and more. With classic tracks from legendary artists including Gregory Isaacs, Dennis Brown and Delroy Wilson, The Great Jamaican Songbook tells poignant stories about the times and the culture, with a deep and infectious rhythm.

Cleveland and his band will bring to life some of the greatest songs written by Jamaican legends from mento, ska and reggae to dub and roots. Born in Hackney, Cleveland’s parents were from Jamaica and it was Jamaican music that inspired him during his teens. Cleveland said; 

“I grew up listening to great Jamaican music at home. Artists like Dennis Brown, Jacob Miller, The Wailers, Burning Spear, Delroy Wilson and Gregory Isaacs were a big influence on me as a vocalist. For this tour I wanted to go back to the music I grew up with, have some fun and pay homage to the rich musical heritage of Jamaica and the long line of artists to come out of Jamaican music.”

Cleveland has worked with a wide range of artists over the decades from Stevie Wonder, Bobby McFerrin, Goldie, Björk, Talvin Singh, Jackie Mittoo, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Abdullah Ibrahim and The Who to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He received an Ivor Novello Award in 2021, the MBE in 2018, was nominated for Best Jazz Act, MOBO Awards 2017, was Vocalist of the Year, Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017 and has been awarded Guardian Jazz Awards Best Vocalist, Best Vocalist, London Jazz Awards 2010.

Photo Credit: Kelly Watkiss

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Under 14's must be accompanied by an adult.

Box office and bar open 1 hour before event start time.

All prices shown include booking fees.


Cambridge Junction works closely with groups and organisations to provide a safe, welcoming space for everyone. We are a venue that strives to be inclusive and promote equality for all. If you have any access requirements or questions please contact Cambridge Junction prior to your visit so we can make your experience as convenient as possible. For more information about accessibility please click HERE.

J2 has flat floor access.

If you have any concerns or need assistance whilst visiting us please speak to any member of staff and they will help you or contact a Duty Manager.


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