By Nazia Dewji
The Original Rude Boy and ska musician Neville Staple will headline this year’s Kingston Carnival.
Organisers have confirmed the former Specials star will perform a live set at the town centre festival – now in its 15th year – on September 7.
Last year reggae DJ David Rodigan entertained hundreds of revellers, but this year, carnival organiser John Azah, of charity Kingston Race and Equalities Council (KREC), has promised to raise the standards even higher.
He said: “Most people will know about the Specials – they are pretty big.
“We are trying to have a range of music so young people can enjoy it and the older generation can be dancing along too.
“Most carnivals are about a certain culture for example Notting Hill is the Afro-Caribbean community, Gunnersbury is about the Indian community, but this is about Kingston.
“Kingston is diverse and we are trying to encourage everybody to get involved.”
Kingston’s Banquet Records booked the headliner, who will take to the Market Place stage, dubbed the Prabhu Shetty stage, after the chairman of the carnival steering group.
There will also be a community stage outside Kingston police station for other acts throughout the day.
Mr Azah said: “The community stage is about promoting Kingston’s community organisations and anybody who is a fledging performer or anybody who wants to perform.
“At the moment the Market Place looks like a much bigger space than we have had before so we are going to have to make arrangements.”
A colourful procession with floats, Brazilian percussion bands and Bollywood dancers will parade through Kingston from noon in the alcohol-free festival.
There will also be an arts market and a food market.
Mr Azah said: “Kingston Carnival promotes the best that Kingston has – great food and great music. If you are looking for that then Kingston Carnival is where you need to be.”
Last year 14 mayors from across the capital came to the borough for carnival and the High Commissioner of Jamaica, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, also attended.
Mr Azah added: “This year we want to invite a couple of big names into town as well.”