An “Honor” Says Singer James Ingram Of Caribbean Gigs

Hardbeatnews, NEW YORK, N.Y., Weds. Dec. 20, 2005: For famed singer James Ingram, playing gigs in the Caribbean is always an honor and gives him a sense of coming “back home.”

The Ohio native, who has played Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas and Trinidad in the past, told us recently that in the Caribbean, he finds the people “have a different sense of pride” about themselves. 

“You have your face on the money,” said the African-American singer. “It’s a different thing for us over here in the U.S. You’re not second-class citizens over there, (that is) unless you come here and you’re treated like us.”

Ingram is among a slew of top artists set to play Montego Bay, Jamaica next month at the annual Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival. Five years ago he played Kingston, so he’s definitely looking forward to the show on Sat. Jan. 28.

“They can expect to hear most of my hits and some other new music,” he said, when asked about the songs he has in store for ticket holders. “I’ll be singing my heart out.”

Tunes like ‘Just Once,’ ‘Baby Come To Me,’ and ‘I Don’t Have The Heart,’ are some of the songs fans will be hearing, said the singer, who will be performing along with multiple Grammy winner Patti LaBelle among others.

“They have to come and see my special treat,” he said, jovially adding, “Because I haven’t seen them in a long time and I miss them. They have to come … I’m their brethren…Yea Mon. Irie Mon.”

Ingram says he keeps going strong professionally because of his “… love for the music,” a “gift” from God, which he says he refuses to take lightly. And he has a special word of advice for young and gifted Caribbean singers, relayed straight from his father – do not give up.

“My father told me before I came to LA, ‘have faith in God and confidence in myself and there was nothing that I couldn’t do.’ I got my break in 1980 after moving to LA in 1973. I was disappointed a lot but never discouraged. They couldn’t stop me from pursuing what I was going to do,” he revealed.

Ingram is set to release a new inspirational album early next year, but declined to give the title, saying only, “We’re not that far along yet.’ –