He is best known as the lead singer and founding member of the group, The Isley Brothers, but come Thursday January 27th, the Jazz and Blues Festival will welcome a solo performance by Ron Isley. With ease, Ron Isley has won the hearts of many fans around the world with his Rhythm and Blues, Doo-wop, Soul and Contemporary R&B melodies. Isley has been in the music business for over 50 years and has gained the title “Mr. Longevity” in the R&B world. The stalwart boasts over 25 gold , platinum and multi platinum albums and numerous hit singles.
Songs like ‘Turn Me On’, “Who’s that Lady”, “Between the sheets” and his collaboration with R. Kelly “Down low” and “Show down” have made him a well known name in music circles across the world.
Walter Elmore of Turnkey Productions, the producers of the festival, says that the Jazz festival is fortunate to have Isley as one of the performers.
“Ron Isley is a stalwart in the music business. He has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music including Kelly Price, R Kelly and Lauren Hill. He is one of those persons whose music never dies and he has the hits to show for it,” Elmore said.
Ron Isley began making his mark in music with a voice to be reckoned at age 16, when he and his older brothers moved from Cincinnati to New York where they began recording doo-wop for a number of local labels. These recordings fostered the landing of a major deal with RCA records. Isley and his brothers later started their own record label T-Neck, subsequently, the Isley Brothers scored five platinum albums after making a distribution agreement with Columbia Records.
In 1978 Ron and his brother Rudolf remained in the music industry after the passing of their brother O’Kelly and did the album “Smooth Sailing” which contained the tribute to their late brother, “Send A Message”. In the 90’s Ron began his solo career after Rudolf left the musical scene to become a religious minister. It was during this time that Isley began working with R&B’s R. Kelly and founded his alter ego “Mr. Biggs”. Ron Isley was honoured with the “Legend Award” at the 2010 Soul Train Awards . In 2010 he also released his first solo album Mr. I.
Isley says he has always wanted to make music.
“From as far back as I can remember I always wanted to make music. That was the biggest deal to me then and it’s the biggest deal to me now,” Isley said.
“I love listening to music from Alicia Keys, R. Kelly, Musiq Soulchild, Mary J Blige and D’Angelo. I think they put a lot of love in their music and so do I,” he added.
“I believe that if you have a blessing from God in talent, you must honour that blessing. You can go as far as you want to go just keep faith in God and love what you’re doing,” Isley commented.
Isley admits that he is looking forward to coming to Jamaica and performing on the Jamaica Jazz festival.
The Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival will be held in Trelawny at the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium from Thursday Jan 27 – Saturday Jan 30th.