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Maxi Priest

by Yung-hsiang Kao

He just wants to be close to you, and to get close to Maxi Priest all you have to do is visit a couple of jazz clubs in Tokyo in early July.

The British reggae singer, who scored hits in the late 1980s and early ’90s on both sides of the Atlantic, brings his R&B-infused brand of pop music, along with his vocalist son, Marvin, and his band, to the Cotton Club and Blue Note Tokyo for five nights. Now 49, Priest is far removed from his chart-topping days, but with his extensive touring schedule, he has concentrated his energies on creating an exciting, dance-friendly evening of entertainment in any setting.

The wine glasses and dinnerware on the tables at both venues may not seem so conducive to dancing, but I’ve seen patrons getting out of their chairs and busting a move when Sergio Mendes was in town, and I expect the same festive mood to erupt during Priest’s sets.

Maxi Priest plays the Cotton Club from July 1-3 and Blue Note Tokyo from July 5-6. Shows start at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. each day at both venues. Ticket prices start from ¥8,400 at each venue. For more information, visit www.cottonclubjapan.co.jp and www.bluenote.co.jp