Latin Quarter celebrate 40th anniversary with tour date at Ramsgate Music Hall

Latin Quarter Photo Thomas Matthes

The band responsible for 80’s chart hit Radio Africa will kick off a 40th anniversary tour with a gig at Ramsgate Music Hall in April.

Latin Quarter will be marking four decades since the first rehearsal in 1983 and the release of new CD, Remember – on stage at The Half Moon.

The band made five albums, including Modern Times, before splitting in 1998/99 but in 2012 Latin Quarter reformed and have since made five more albums and the CD which will be available on March 31.

Four of the original members – Steve Skaith, Steve Jeffries, Richie Stevens  and Richard Wright – will be performing alongside singer Mary Carewe and South African bassist Yo Yo Buys.

Mary can also lay claim to being ‘an original’ as she sang on early demos before the release of Modern Times.

Steve Jeffries, known as Jaffa, and Mary won’t have far to travel for the Ramsgate gig as the couple moved from London to Broadstairs in 2020.

Civil partnership Photo Benjamin Film & Photography

The parents-of-two, who tied the knot in a civil partnership in 2021 after some 40 years of being together, have friend and family links with Whitstable and say they were drawn to Thanet’s beaches and the royal harbour at Ramsgate.

Latin Quarter is known for issue-led and political lyrics ranging from Radio Africa’s look at apartheid, famine and crushing debt to the West to America for Beginners, critiquing the Reagan era but just as appropriate for the Trump administration.

Photo Volker Neumann

Mary said: “A lot of people are still into Latin Quarter, what they like is the lyrics are asking interesting questions and talking about big subjects. The lyrics are social commentary, politics and really good stories and thoughts.”

Mary has also recorded vocals for scores of movies including The Hobbit series, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Mission Impossible – Fallout, Mary Poppins Returns and Cruella and been backing vocals for artists including Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, STEPS and Westlife as well as being a concert soloist with orchestras around the world.

Photo Volker Neumann

Jaffa is a composer, arranger and producer of songs, working with artists including Charles Aznavour and Elton John. He runs music production library Atlantic Seven Music and has worked on projects for Channel, Black and Decker, Peugeot, Heinz and other brands.

The pair will be joining their bandmates for rehearsals this month ahead of the Ramsgate gig and short tour at venues in Germany and London.

Jaffa said: “Every time we do a tour we have new material although we do some of the older tracks too. Modern Times was our first album and we are going to be playing all the tracks from that in the second half (of the gig) exactly as we recorded it 40 years ago. The first half will be songs chosen by fans in a poll and will be one track from each of the 10 albums.”

New CD, artwork by Volker Neumann, released by Westpark Music on March 31

Latin Quarter start the 40th anniversary tour at Ramsgate Music Hall on April 16, doors open 6pm, gig from 7pnm.

Tickets £12 plus booking fee, available at

Find out more about Latin Quarter here