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Contributions of African-Caribbean musicians in Hackney to be celebrated

AN EAST London borough is to recognise the contributions of pioneering musical artists. Mellow Mix Studios, in association with Hackney Picturehouse are unveiling a memorial plaque honouring the immeasurable contributions of African-Caribbean musicians from Hackney.

For more than 70 years, Hackney has been home to some of the most pioneering musical artists, organisations and projects in the UK. Reggae music in particular has deep roots within the borough which, during this time has both attracted and produced internationally acclaimed talent.

Some of the artists to be honoured include: Claudia Fontaine, Frankie Paul, Ray Carless, the late Angus ‘Drummie’ Zeb, Joy Mack, Jean Adebambo, Sugar Minott, Siddi Ranks and Joyce Sims among others.

Seeing that this rich history had yet to be properly commemorated, Mellow Mix, one of the borough’s foremost and longest standing Black music organisations, is spearheading the Gone But Not Forgotten project to make sure that this history is documented and publicly visible.

Seizing the initiative and independently raising funds from within the local community, Mellow Mix have partnered with Hackney Picturehouse to mount a memorial plaque dedicated to a host of late music industry greats whose legacy continues to influence the shape of music-making at an international level.

Each one of the artists being honoured has performed at the Oceans music venue during their career, as well as having strong ties with Hackney and its creative community. Located opposite Hackney Town Hall on Mare Street, the former Oceans building was converted into the Hackney Picturehouse cinema complex after the music venue closed its doors in 2004. The Mellow Mix team are proud to be delivering this memorial project – one they see as an important mark of respect to their late musical peers.

Project Coordinator Novlette Brown said: “We as an organisation feel it is important to show our respect and honour these artists. Each one contributed to Hackney being a colourful and diverse borough, performing locally and keeping strong ties with Hackney and its community. Now that there is a renewed commitment to documenting black history in the light of the tragic events of 2020, it is extremely important that this history is shared by the people who lived it”.


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