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NEW MUSIC VISION FOR WASHINGTON DC/BALTIMORE!

 By Howard Campbell—-
 (From left) Donovan Murphy, Neville Jones and Pete Pinnock—-

THREE Jamaican businessmen have formed a new company they say will revive dancehall/reggae music’s fortunes in the Washington DC/Baltimore, Maryland area.

Vision in Music is the name of the organisation. Its principals are Donovan Murphy, Neville Jones and Pete Pinnock who all live in Baltimore.

Officially formed in February, the company got off the mark in December with a show featuring Beenie Man at the Cordoba Social Club in that city. Their next big gig has Capleton headlining the Palladium venue on May 23, also in Baltimore.

“Most of the shows we had in the DC/Baltimore area were at the Crossroads, but since that closed down there has been a decline in quality reggae events. We want to bring back the vibe but also build a reputation for presenting high-class shows,” said Pinnock.

The Crossroads was a club in the American capital where top reggae acts performed for over 15 years. The venue, which had a capacity of close to 1,000 patrons, closed in 2012.

Murphy, Jones and Pinnock have promoted reggae shows in ‘DC’ and Baltimore independently since 2001. Murphy, who owns three restaurants in the latter, said based on he and his partners’ business instincts, Vision in Music’s objective is to make a profit.

“Our goal is to move the thing forward with smart business decisions and make some money at the same time,” he said.

Washington DC and Baltimore once had a thriving reggae scene. It was the home of RAS Records, the all-reggae label that had several big artists like Israel Vibration, Culture, Gregory Isaacs and Freddie McGregor on its books.

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The area is also home to Lion and Fox Recording Studios where many Jamaican acts ‘mixed’ their albums and songs with engineer Jim Fox. The Crossroads and Bukom Café were the top reggae venues.

But like the Chicago reggae scene which has declined since the closure of the Wild Hare four years ago, DC/Baltimore has also waned despite having a large West Indian community.

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