Kingston, Jamaica/New York, NY: Hailed as the ‘Poor People’s Governor,’ Dancehall icon Bounty Killer joins forces with non-profit organization Upliftment Jamaica to revive his signature stage show Saddle to the East in support of on-going educational initiatives in St. Thomas, Jamaica’s most impoverished parish. After a six-year hiatus, the highly anticipated Saddle to the East, returns on August 26th, this time at Goodyear Oval in St. Thomas, and features the ace deejay (mc) alongside his A-List dancehall and reggae brethren.
‘The Five Star General’ who was named “Upliftment Ambassador” at the organization’s 2004 Gala, is re-launching the annual concert to raise money to support Upliftment’s programs geared toward improving academic training and structure, furnish teaching materials and supplies, and re-building playgrounds in St. Thomas’s under-funded schools.
“It’s a beautiful thing to see artists like Bounty Killer not only say, but also do,” states Upliftment Jamaica founder and St. Thomas native Gary Foster, Vice President of hip-hop mogul Russell Simmon’s Rush Communications. “I give the utmost respect to Bounty Killer for using his celebrity status as platform to make a difference in people’s lives and to make a positive impact on Jamaica.”
“Having been associated with Gary Foster and Upliftment Jamaica for the past two or three years, I have found them to be very dedicated to the work in St. Thomas,” states Bounty Killer of his decision to work with Upliftment to re-launch Saddle to the East. He also sees this as an opportunity to appease his fans that were angered when Bounty, due to circumstances beyond his control, wasn’t able to perform at East Fest late last year in St. Thomas. “All things considered, and St. Thomas being the ‘heart of the east’ I have decided to take the show to Goodyear Oval which has never seen a show of this magnitude.”
Bounty Killer, whose given name is Rodney Price, has been dominating the dancehall scene since the 90’s with a unique rapid-fire delivery and socially hard-hitting tunes like “Poor People Fed Up,” “Anytime,” and “Look.” His 1996 album My Xperience spent 6 months at the top of the Billboard Reggae Chart and 2 months on the Billboard Top Albums Chart. In 2001, he reached number 5 on Billboard Top 200 with “Hey Baby” which he recorded with rock/punk band No Doubt. He initiated Saddle to the East in 1999 in an effort to rally the entertainment sector to give back to the community. Originally held during Christmas season, the moderately priced show gave less fortunate populations the opportunity to see the biggest and best names in Jamaican music, while the proceeds were donated to schools and charities in the country’s inner-city communities. Due to mounting resistance from the authorities, Bounty Killer discontinued the show in 2001.
Upliftment Jamaica is a U.S. non-profit organization with a base in the rural community of White Horses in St. Thomas, Jamaica. Founded in 1999 by Gary Foster and three childhood friends—Nigel Paris, Clayton Balliston, Rainford Grant, and the late Kirk Green– UJ empowers children and adults throughout the island of Jamaica through annual and year-round programs in the areas of health, education, and workforce development. UJ operates a basic school, community technology center, a children’s library, and several athletic programs. For more information on Upliftment Jamaica, go to www.upliftmentjamaica.org
Music & Entertainment Journalist/Publicist