Category Archives: MUSIC

Errol Blackwood – Singer, Songwriter, Musician

Errol Blackwood was born in the Accompong (Maroon) Hills of Jamaica. He moved to Toronto Canada at an early age where he learned to play the Bass Guitar. He played with several bands in Ontario doing a mixture of RNB, Rock and Funk. His love for music comes from a variety of sources, from the church of his father who was a pastor, the Nyahbingi Drummers, the School music drama concert and the Jukebox playing from Country to Rhythm n Blues.

In 1980, Errol formed the band Messenjah, along with Ray Ruddock and Rupert Harvey. They recorded two albums and a video under the WEA record label. Messenjah toured extensively for 6 years traveling across Canada and the U.S.A The band regrouped in 1986. Highlights included sharing stage with Hugh Masekela, The Clash, Frank Zappa and, Reggae Sun-Splash CBC TV Concert in the park and Much Music cross Canada simulcast.

Errol is a serious Rastaman whose faith is the driving force in his life. It characterizes his being. With his sporting majestic dreadlocks, he pens plays and sings out his hunger for Justice and Equal Rights. He is certainly one of the hardest working entertainers in Canada today.

Tarrus Riley | Shaka Zulu Pickney

This is the official video for “Shaka Zulu Pickney” by Tarrus Riley. Directed by Storm Saulter

Tarrus Riley | “Wild Fire [Protect the People]“

One of the most promising of the second generation of Jamaica roots reggae singers, Tarrus Riley is the son of Jimmy Riley who has had a long career as a solo artist as well as being a former member of The Uniques and the Techniques. Like his father, Riley has a sweet, nuanced tenor vocal style, although his first connection with the Jamaican music scene was as a DJ (under the name Taurus). Riley taught himself to play keyboards and several percussion instruments and began writing his own songs, many of which had strong Rastafarian and consciousness-leaning themes.

His first album, Challenges, was produced by the great Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser and released on Yaman Records. It yielded a couple of big reggae chart hits, including the song “Larger Than Life.” Fraser also produced 14 of the 15 tracks (the other was produced by Chris Chin) on Riley’s sophomore effort, Parables, which appeared in 2006 from VP Records and featured the legendary rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare. It, too, generated a big single in “She’s Royal.” Riley has done several concert appearances with his father, who is, along with Tarrus’ mother, Lavern Tatham, very active in mentoring and supporting his son’s career.

Riley’s songs retain ties to the Jamaican roots tradition while still managing to sound distinctly contemporary. In addition, his strong stage presence gives him crossover appeal and marks him as a coming force on the international reggae scene. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi

Damian “Junior Gong” Marley | Ballaflex

Damian Marley is the youngest son of legendary musician Bob Marley and, like, the rest of his family, is a full-time musician. Marley was born to his father and Cindy Breakspeare, who was Miss World 1976. He was only two years old when his father died. And was nicknamed “Junior Gong” in honor of his father, who’d been known as “Tuff Gong.”

Damian has been in the music business since he was 13 years old, making his record-producing debut with 1996’s “Mr. Marley.” The album was a critical hit, stirring up quite a few fans. His 2nd album “Halfway Tree” came in 2001. The album’s name is a reference to his mother growing up in the richer part of life and his father in the poorer – in other words, he’s halfway between rich and poor. Halfway Tree is also a landmark of sorts in Kingston that denotes the cultural apex of New Kingston. The album snagged a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

In 2004 Damian participated in a 270 city tour called the “Bob Marley Roots, Rock, Reggae Festival” with four of his brothers. This would mark a trend with Marley, as he frequently tours with his brothers while they’re playing, especially Julian and Stephen, two members of the Ghetto Youths Crew. He appeared along with Julian in Stephen’s video for one of his songs, “The Traffic Jam”. He has also appeared in collaborations with various artists, including Cyprus Hill, Mariah Carey, Lil’ Kim and Snoop Dogg.

2005 saw the release of Marley’s third album “Welcome to Jamrock”, which won two Grammy awards for the album – Best Reggae Album and Best Urban/Alternative Performance – making him the first and only Jamaican-born reggae artist to take two Grammies in the same night.

Like his father and family members Marley is a devout Rastafarian who believes in brotherly peace and freedom for all.

Matisyahu’s Booming Sound of Faith | Redemption Song

Matisyahu (born Matthew Paul Miller, June 30, 1979) is an American reggae musician.

Known for blending traditional Jewish themes with reggae, rock, beat box and hip hop sounds, Matisyahu is most recognizable for being an orthodox Jew and writing a number of songs based on his faith and beliefs. Since 2004, he has released two studio albums as well as one live album, two remix CDs and one DVD featuring a live concert, and a number of interviews. Through his short career, Matisyahu has teamed up with some of the biggest names in reggae production including Bill Laswell and duo Sly & Robbie. Most recently, he was named Top Reggae Artist of 2006 by Billboard as well as being named a spokesperson for Kenneth Cole.

Drawing from the sounds of Bob Marley, Shlomo Carlebach, Buju Banton and, yet remaining wholly original, Matisyahu’s performance is an uplifting, powerful experience for all in his presence. Even the most pessimistic in his audience is inspired by his ability to so honestly convey such a delicate topic as faith/spirituality. It is his dedication to his belief and openness to others that compels one to respect his artistry and message. It’s in that fleeting moment when our skepticism melts and our souls open up, that Matisyahu enters with his booming sound of faith. Since his debut, Matisyahu has received positive reviews from both rock and reggae outlets.

Jah9, Contemporary & Conscious | “Warning”

Old school blues improvisation meets hard hitting lyrical prowess in a rich imaginative blend of vocal clarity and complexity. Janine brings her refreshing mix of poetry to the stage and delivers a mature, sophisticated style with a unique and captivating energy all of her own. Her musical influences range from Billie Holiday and Nina Simone to Augustus Pablo and Sizzla Kalongi.

As a singer/songwriter/activist, Janine touches on issues ranging from social injustice, violence, politics and gender to intimate matters of the heart, mind and spirit. Janine a.k.a. ‘Jah9’ has emerged from the underground poetry/live music scene relatively unknown and has earned the hearts and respect of her peers and audiences with each encounter since.

Over the past 2 years she has been consistently and impressively making her mark on the Jamaican musical landscape, inspiring audiences and musicians alike through her songs and the live productions she has conceptualized and staged. She is now poised for heavy rotation due to her signature sound and collaborations with ace producers including Donovan Bennett of Corleon Records, Rory Gilligan of Stone Love International, and on her highly anticipated debut album project with Beres Hammond and Sheldon Bernard of Harmony House Music. The album is slated for release in 2011 but Jah9 is already in demand as a songwriter and creative director of repute.

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Rollin’ w/ Protoje | “RasTa Love”

It is said that society has lost its way. We have all but entirely lost hope in the possibility of revolutionary progress instigated by the young people of Jamaica. The pessimists have yet to consider the notorious innovation of Jamaicans, that therein lies a rich history of focusing and refocusing in perilous times, pinpointing the tiny loopholes and then widening them into gaping gaps for not only Jamaicans to see the truth, but the entire world. This is what a certain exciting breakthrough musician has committed himself to doing. His name… Protoje.

Born in the 80’s but wishing he was birthed in the 60’s, Protoje (Oje Ollivierre) is the fresh face with the freshest lyrical delivery, still having a feel of vintage reggae music but being a suitable update for the present time.

Indeed, Marley’s mantra was to “free the people with music.” Protoje’s mantra is to free the people with art. Music – his appointed contribution to the artistic revolution – is only one of the many distinct art forms. He takes up the mantle of spokesperson for the Movement and represents the evident unity among a large group of talented musical, literary and visual artists who have silently and patiently developed under the radar and are about to march together into a new era of prosperity for all.

Despite being the cousin of regular chart-topping producer, Donovan ‘Don Corleon’ Bennett, Protoje continues to resist the urge to lay his vocals on every other riddim in the dancehall mainstream. He is meticulously piecing together his debut album, The Seven Year Itch, while focusing the rest of his efforts on the perfection of his live performances. Already, a pattern has been detected whereby Protoje invariably sees a significant hike in his fan base the day after his last performance. This invokes the truth in the saying, “you have to see to believe.”

Bob Marley & The Wailers | BBC Special – “Stir It Up”

Bob Marley & The Wailers was created in 1974 by Bob Marley, after Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left the precursor band, The Wailers.

Bob Marley & The Wailers consisted of Bob Marley himself as guitarist, songwriter and lead singer, the Wailers Band as the backing band, and the I Threes as backup vocalists. The Wailers Band included the brothers Carlton and Aston “Family Man” Barrett on drums and bass respectively, Junior Marvin and Al Anderson on lead guitar, Tyrone Downie and Earl “Wya” Lindo on keyboards, and Alvin “Seeco” Patterson on percussion. The I Threes, consisted of Bob Marley’s wife Rita Marley, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths.

Lyrics & Riddim

Reggae music is the roots of Rastafarian “livity.” Reggae, similarly, is the heartbeat of the film – both in lyrics and rhythm. A pulsating reggae score drives the film — classic recognizable tracks as well as the innovative, experimental works of contemporary international stars.

Artists, to be confirmed include the likes of…

• Alborosie
• Burning Spear
• Damian Marley
• Jacob Miller
• Jah Cure
• King Jassim
• Matisyahu
• Morgan Heritage
• No-Maddz
• Protoje
• Ras Levi Roots
• Tarrus Riley
• Turbulence

and the film’s lead, Donisha Prendergast.

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Bob Marley & the Wailers | “Catch a Fire 1999 part 1″

When Bob Marley, Bunny Livingston (Wailer), and Peter McIntosh (Tosh) entered the studio and began recording Catch a Fire in 1972, they had already established an impressive track record on the island of Jamaica. But when they signed to Chris Blackwell’s Island label, their music reached a new level. While reggae music had not been tremendously popular at this time, The Wailers proved their style of reggae was strong enough to carry a full-length album.

Alborosie | “Kingston Town”

Alborosie, born Alberto D’Ascola in 1977, is a regae artist born in Marsala – Sicily, Italy, but now residing in Kingston, Jamaica. He is a multi-instrumentalist, being proficient in guitar, bass, drums and piano. His musical career began in the Italian reggae band Reggae National Tickets, from Bergamo city, when he was 15 years old in 1993, in which he was known as Stena.

In 2001 Alborosie decided to try a solo career. He moved to Jamaica to be close to reggae music’s roots and Rastafari culture. There, he started working as sound engineer and producer. He has also worked with artists like Gentleman, Ky-Mani Marley. His first solo album was called Soul Pirate. In the summer of 2009 he released his second album, “Escape from Babylon. In August 2008 Alborosie played at the Uppsala Reggae Festival.

The name ‘Alborosie’ comes from a name he was given in his early years in Jamaica. “Borosie was what they used to call me. Let me put it like this. My early experience in Jamaica was… not nice. Borosie was a name they used to call me and it have a negative meaning. So I said “I’m gonna use this name and mash up the place turn a negative into a positive thing!”. Basically my name is Albert so I add “Al” – Al-borosie. But I’m not gonna tell you what borosie mean!”

Alborosie’s hits include “Rastafari Anthem”, “Kingston Town”, and “Call Up Jah”. Alborosie recently started his own record label, Forward Recordings. He has given concerts all round the world, including most of Europe and Jamaica.

Playing For Change | “Back to your Roots”

Back To Your Roots – This amazing song was recorded live at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, British Colombia on November 19, 2009. It was just released as part of the PFC Band’s Live CD/DVD, which is a must-have for all PFC fans! This song features verses by Titi Tsira, Mermans Kenkosenki, and Jason Tamba (who sings in Ngala!), plus a guitar solo by Louis Mhlanga that dares you to blink!

If you like this song, be sure to check out the rest of the release!…​live/​

Burning Spear | “Slavery Days”

Born Winston Rodney in St. Ann, Jamaica, he was an early fan of Bob Marley. As the legend goes, Rodney bumped into Marley while walking through a field, and the two began talking about music. Marley encouraged him to visit Jamaica’s Studio One, where Rodney and a fellow musician recorded “Door Peep.” By the time of its release, Rodney had branded the duo Burning Spear, taking the nickname of Jomo Kenyatta, who was jailed by a colonial British government in Africa but rose to become the first president of Kenya.

“I don’t know how other people see music,” reggae legend Burning Spear reflects. “Some people might see it based upon money, some people might see music based upon opportunity and access. But I see music as life. I see music as inspiration.”

Their music builds upon the Jamaican native’s legacy of musical activism. With its inimitable dancing groove, the album percolates and bubbles rhythmically in its call for unity between races, between nations, between individuals and even between business associates.

For more than 35 years, Burning Spear’s music-thus, his life-has inspired people on numerous continents. Since the beginning, his songs have implored listeners to fight oppression in all its forms, to work at improving their own condition and to consider the social impact of their actions.

No matter who looks at Burning Spear’s career, they have to be impressed. Of his more than 25 albums, nine have earned Grammy nominations, with one of them – 1999′s CALLING RASTAFRI – receiving the Academy’s Best Reggae Album honor. Burning Spear made history again recently, taking home a 2009 Grammy for his latest album, Jah Is Real.
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No-Maddz Live | “The Trod”

The Trod is the title track of No-Maddz debut album. It is a One-Take live video from the historical Trod Live Album Recording on March 27, 2010 in Kingston, Jamaica.