- Faith & Family
Who can forget tunes like “Rock Me Tonight (For Old Time’s Sake),” “Jam Tonight,” or the still-popular “You Are My Lady?” Well the voice behind those classic love songs first made popular in the 80s, Freddie Jackson, is coming to Miami and will take us down memory lane during the 2nd Annual Overtown Rhythm & Arts Festival. The all-day event, which kicks off at 11 a.m. and runs until 8 p.m., takes place on Saturday, June 23 on NW 3rd Avenue from 9th to 11th Street.
Jackson will be joined by jazz/gospel great Jonathan Butler along with a cavalcade of local and regional musical acts. And given the success of last year’s inaugural festival, there’s sure to be plenty of food, fun, local artistry and of course, fantastic music.
Jackson’s love songs are timeless
“Nobody is singing melodies like they used to,” Jackson said. “Songs today don’t have the kind of juice or longevity that music once had. Songs like “You are My Lady,” “On the Wings of Love” [Jeffrey Osborne] or “Feel the Fire [Peabo Bryson] — those are the kinds of songs that folks. There are songs that help people reminisce and rock for old time’s sake.”
Jackson says he’s excited to join his old pal Butler with whom he has a longtime friendship. But he hasn’t been resting on his laurels since he hit the top of the charts with his Capitol Records, chart-topping love songs. He’s been touring the U.S. recently with James Ingram, Howard Hewitt, Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson. Talk about a team of love song singing masters.
“The old fans that come out and the new fans that have come on board just prove that people are hungry get what they know and love,” he said. “But the industry has changed a lot since I first began recording. Radio stations are being eliminated that showcase real music and you have people who decide what will or will not be promoted. Even artists like Mary J Blige are feeling it — her last CD is incredible but it’s not getting the play it deserves. Luther Vandross once told me to ‘always be who I am.’ I can’t do songs without melody, a bridge or a message.”
Jackson has had his struggles with former management and recording companies which explains the gaps between his recordings and tours. But he has remained committed to the music with which he first fell in love.
“People want to hold hands and listen to each other’s heart and experience the romance of music,” he said. “I intend to be true to my dying self. After all, if it’s not broke why fix it?”
Event sponsors for the Festival include: Miami CRA, the City of Miami, the Knight Foundation, HOT 105 and NBC Miami. And of course, The Miami Times will be in the house as one of the media sponsors. Got to www.overtownfestival.com for more information.
By D. Kevin McNeir