John Holt and Freddie McGregor

There's no shortage of reggae music in South Florida. This place is probably the capital of reggae in the U.S., not just for its popularity but for the number of celebs who call it home. International reggae star Freddie McGregor is one of those artists, and he's putting on a show this weekend unlike anything you'd expect. Teaming up with his longtime friend John Holt, the two have created a Reggae Symphony, which is exactly what it sounds like. The idea is based on a series of sold-out concerts Holt and McGregor held in England in 2001 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Backed by Lloyd Parkes' We the People band and a 17-piece orchestra, Holt and McGregor will be singing some of their most popular songs. The concept is really cool, and when I spoke to McGregor recently, he sounded excited to try it again here in South Florida.


Reggae Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 20, at the Au Rene Theatre at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. $45-$100; call 954 462-0222, or visit

"We're going to create a real nice vibe," he says. "Something where people can put on dem nice clothes and have a good time for a few hours." So if you enjoy lover's-rock style foundation reggae and want to hear it live, played by a symphony orchestra, here's your chance to catch a rare event.

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