Downsound Entertainment has announced a special performance by Stephen Marley together with his son, Jo Mersa Marley at Reggae Sumfest in Jamaica. The two artists are scheduled to perform on Saturday night, July 22, 2017 at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay.
New York artist Double Tiger (Jay Spaker) makes appealing modern dub reggae loaded with electronic effects, reverb and pop hooks. On Sharp & Ready he incorporates a mix of Jamaican styles: ska, roots reggae, dub, dancehall and lover’s rock.
Despite the current political situation, Jay Spaker believes that it’s important to make positive and heartening music, bringing joy and inspiration to listeners.
Julian Marley was born in London in 1975. He is the son of reggae legendBob Marley and Lucy Pounder.
He grew up in a multicultural community. Since recording his first song at age five at the Marley family home in Kingston, Julian has become a skillful self-taught musician mastering the bass, drums and keyboards.
In 1989 he released his first album titled Uprising, also the name of his band. He moved to Jamaica in 1992 and began to work with reggae veterans Aston “Family Man” Barrett, Earl “Wire” Lindo, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Chinna” Smith.
Julian Marley’s CD Lion in the Morning reflects his growing maturity and musical sophistication. Collaborating on the album with Julian was the Ghetto Youths International production team founded by siblings Stephen and Ziggy Marley. The family connection goes further: it was recorded at the renovated Marley Music studio at Hope Road in Kingston, the studio where his father created some of his most important and well-known work.
Acorn Arts (1995)
Mr. Marley (1995)
Lion in the Morning (1996) A Time & Place (2003)
Systems (2003) Awake (Tuff Gong, 2009)
Violence In the Street (2011)
Modern reggae masters Morgan Heritage continue to dazzle the listener with its irresistible rhythms and masterfully-constructed vocals and harmonies. The award-winning group is at its best when it focuses on roots reggae, adding the admirable vocal mix that characterizes their sound: outstanding lead vocals, equally good backing harmonies, call and response, and edgy Mr. Talk Box electronic vocals.
As a crossover band, Morgan Heritage also features radio-friendly pop, R&B and rock influences that help the band reach larger audiences.
Guests include Kabaka Pyramid, Dre Island, and Stephen and Ziggy Marley.
Next concert dates:
May 27 – Tortola Pier Park – Road Town, British Virgin Islands
Jun 10 – Camfest – East Orange, New Jersey, USA
Jul 19 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Jul 20 – Ocean Mist – Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
Jul 21 – Wellfleet Beachcomber – Wellfleet, Massachusetts, USA
Jul 22 – Trumansburg Fairgrounds – Trumansburg, New York, USA
Dec 31 – The Trusts Arena – Auckland, New Zealand
Music festival Africa Oyé has announced that roots reggae legend Max Romeo will be performing at its 25th Anniversary festival. Africa Oyé 2017 takes place Saturday, June 17-18 at Sefton Park, Liverpool. Admission is free.
Max Romeo has had top 10 hits throughout Europe and has been sampled by artists like Jay Z and The Prodigy. Max Romeo’s career started when he signed a contract with Bunny Lee, one of the biggest producers of his time in Jamaica in the 1960s. Hits such as ‘Chase The Devil’ lead to international success and to performances across the world.
After working with producer Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Romeo’s style evolved from a typically Jamaican ska towards to pop reggae.
Other artists scheduled to perform include Mokoomba (Zimbabwe), Jupiter & Okwess International (DR Congo), Dobet Ghanore (Ivory Coast).
The popular exhibition The Art of Reggae will be returning to Constellations in The Baltic Triangle in Liverpool June 7-July 9, 2017.
The exhibition, a collaboration between the International Reggae Poster Contest and Positive Vibration, will display 100 reggae-inspired posters designed by artists and illustrators from all over the world.
Visitors will be able to bid on any of the framed posters by way of a silent auction and all profits from the sales will be donated to the Alpha Boys School – the vocational institution for underprivileged youths located in Kingston, Jamaica.
Steel Pulse was formed in 1975 in the UK with a firm commitment to fighting injustice, educating the masses, and promoting positive messages through spiritually uplifting music.
Probably the UK’s most highly-regarded roots reggae act, Steel Pulse originally formed at Handsworth Wood Boys School, Birmingham, and featured David Hinds (lead vocals, guitar), Basil Gabbidon (lead guitar, vocals) and Ronnie McQueen (bass).
However, it is Hinds who, as songwriter, has always been the foundation of Steel Pulse, from their early days establishing themselves in the Birmingham club scene onwards. Formed in 1975, their debut release, ‘Kibudu, Mansetta And Abuku” arrived on the small independent label Dip, and linked the plight of urban black youth with the image of a greater African homeland. They followed it with ‘Nyah Love’ for Anchor.
Surprisingly, they were initially refused live dates in Caribbean venues in the Midlands because of their Rastafarian beliefs. Aligning themselves closely with the Rock Against Racism 1 organization, they chose to tour instead with sympathetic elements of the punk movement, including the Stranglers, XTC etc.: “Punks had a way of enjoying themselves – throw hordes at you, beer, spit at you, that kind of thing“.
Eventually they found a more natural home in support slots for Burning Spear, that brought them to the attention of Island Records. Their first release for Island was the ‘Ku Klux Klan’ 45 rpm, a considered tilt at the evils of racism, and one often accompanied by a visual parody of the sect on stage.
By this time their band had swelled to include Selwyn ‘Bumbo’ Brown (keyboards), Steve ‘Grizzly’ Nesbitt (drums), Fonso Martin (vocals, percussion) and Michael Riley (vocals). Handsworth Revolution was an accomplished long playing debut and one of the major landmarks in the evolution of British reggae.
However, despite critical and moderate commercial success over three albums, the relationship with Island had soured by the time Caught You (released in the US as Reggae Fever) came out. They switched to Elektra, and revealed their most consistent collection of songs since their debut with True Democracy, distinguished by the Garvey eulogizing ‘Rally Around’ cut.
A further definitive set arrived in Earth Crisis. Unfortunately, Elektra tried to coerce Steel Pulse into a more mainstream vein, asking them to emulate the pop-reggae style of Eddy Grant. Babylon the Bandit was consequently weakened, but did contain the anthemic ‘Not King james Version’, which was a powerful indictment on the omission of black people and history from certain versions of the Bible. Babylon the Bandit won the Best Reggae Band Grammy award.
Their next recording was State of Emergency (MCA), which retained some of the synthesized dance elements of its predecessor. Though it was a significantly happier compromise, it still paled before any of their earlier albums.
Spike Lee met Steel Pulse at the group’s fund raising concert in Washington DC for the Jamaican victims of 1988’s Hurricane Gilbert. This resulted in David’s composition ‘Can’t Stand it’ featuring in Lee’s Do the Right Thing movie soundtrack.
Rastafari Centennial was recorded live at the Elysee Montmartre in Paris, and dedicated to the hundred year anniversary of the birth of Haile Selassie. It was the first recording since the defection of Fonso Martin, leaving the trio of David Hinds, Steve Nisbett and Selwyn Brown.
In the United States their reputation was growing, becoming the first ever reggae band to appear on the Tonight television show.
Their profile was raised further when, in 1992, the band filed a $1 million class action lawsuit against New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission. The group charged that cabbies refused to pick up blacks and Rastafarians throughout the streets of New York. This lawsuit initiated a video, Taxi Driver, with a supporting cast that included the Reverend Al Sharpton, Jay Leno, Branford Marsalis, C. Thomas Howell, Robert Townsend and the late Tony Johnson, the inspiration behind Sunsplash.
“We just can’t ignore the politics, because every life and soul that’s born on this earth is a political maneuver for someone, at some stage“, Hinds explained. “From a spiritual aspect, it’s really an upliftment through facing reality – what’s out there. We deal with positive spirits. It means putting aside the guns, the drugs and all of the things that are ailments of society – especially the black communities right now“.
In 1993, at the request of the Clinton Administration, Steel Pulse became the first reggae band ever to perform during the inaugural festivities in Washington DC.
The following year, the group headlined large-scale music events including the US Reggae Sunsplash Tour, Japanslpash, Northern California’s Reggae on the River Festival and embarked on a successful tour of South America.
1995 saw an extensive Caribbean tour followed by an appearance in January 1996 at the prestigious Hollywood Rock Festivals in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo which featured Page and Plant, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins and Aswad amongst others. Later that year Steel Pulse released their derivative best of album titled Rastanthology and followed this up in 1997, with the Grammy nominated, Rage and Fury album.
Extensive worldwide touring throughout the remainder of that year and 1998 included shows at MTV’s Boardaid in California and the environmental Waterman’s Ball in Los Angeles. December ’98 saw the return to Africa for the first time in fifteen years when they played the Ivory Coast. Hind’s notes “//it was a tremendous sight to behold and the ecstatic moral boost to our existence was so energizing//”.
For 1999, the group was headliner for the world-wide Spirit of Unity Tour and in August 1999 released a second live album titled Living Legacy (Tuff Gong international) that was recorded Live in Paris, Holland and Puerto Rico.
Popular reggae band Easy Star All-Stars will be touring the West Coast of the United States and Canada starting in May of 2017, including the first ever appearance at the California Roots Music and Arts Festival. The 16-stop tour will run through late June as Easy Star All-Stars travels to reggae-friendly cities across the West Coast and Mountains. Supporting acts include The Late Ones and The Elovators.
Easy Star All-Stars is well known for its reggae versions of full albums by legendary rock and pop acts Pink Floyd, Radiohead, The Beatles, and Michael Jackson, as well as its own original material from its decade plus as a recording act. All of the band’s albums have reach the top on the Billboard Reggae Charts, including Lonely Hearts Dub Band, Thrillah and Dub Side of the Moon.
May 27 – California Roots 2017 – Monterey, CA
May 28 – Romano’s Concert Lounge – Riverside, CA
May 29 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA
May 31 – Saint Rocke – Hermosa Beach, CA
June 1 – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA
June 2 – Velvet Jones – Santa Barbara, CA
June 3 – Summer Arts & Music Festival – Garberville, CA
June 4 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
June 5 – Brooklyn Bowl – Las Vegas, NV
June 7 – Fox Theater – Boulder, CO
June 8 – Gothic Theater – Englewood, CO
June 9 – The State Room – Salt Lake City, UT
June 10 – World Village Festival – Boise, ID
June 23 – Nectar Lounge – Seattle, WA
June 24 – Tall Tree Music Festival – Port Renfrew, BC, CAN
June 25 – Star Theater – Portland, OR
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