Sunday, November 24, 2013





King of Kings & Knakdemout present



longside ONE BLOOD sound SMOKY & YOUNG FYAH & DJ KURIOUS (Funktion)

SUNDAY 11/24

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 10:00 pm




Venue Phone: (510) 444-7474
Before 5 pm - please contact Parish Offices: 415.371.1631


579 18th Street (at San Pablo)
Oakland, CA 94612


$25.00 - $30.00

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sultry Reggae Singer Maxi Priest to Deliver the Gospel of Soul at Yoshi’s Oakland By Shelah Moody

Sultry Reggae Singer Maxi Priest to Deliver the Gospel of Soul at Yoshi’s Oakland
By Shelah Moody
 London-born singer/songwriter Max Alfred Elliot could not have chosen a better stage name: Maxi Priest. 

The name “Maxi” suits him because, since his first album, “You’re Safe: Caution” was released in 1985, he has taken reggae music to the maximum heights, to the top of the “Billboard” charts, to adult contemporary radio, to late night television, to the San Francisco Symphony. 

The last name “Priest” is fitting because it reflects his spiritual side and his belief in a higher power. Priest draws from his experience growing up in a Pentecostal church to create his unique blend of gospel, Jamaican reggae, British lover’s rock and American soul that inspires love and romance. 

There is something about a Maxi Priest song that moves you. It is no coincidence that Angela Basset and Taye Diggs shared their first dance while Priest’s song, “Art of Seduction” played in the background in the film adaptation of Terry McMillan’s novel “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” 

Maxi Priest is known for his international string of hits including “Close to You,” “Housecall” (with Shabba Ranks). “Set the Night to Music” (with Roberta Flack), “That Girl” (with Shaggy) and remakes of Cat Stevens’  “Wild World” and Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.” Whether performing at a large scale music festival or an intimate night spot, Priest always gives 110 percent. In a rare appearance,  Maxi Priest and his band will perform two shows on Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Yoshi’s Oakland. 

 Maxi Priest is particularly proud of his latest releases “Maximum Collection,” which includes 36 songs from the beginning of his career to the present. Another recent album close to his heart is “Time of Year,” a compilation of his favorite Christmas songs. (Hint: This may be the perfect gift as the holiday season approaches). 


During a press conference at the 17th Annual Monterey Bay Reggaefest last year, among other insightful topics that were discussed, Priest gave the media a preview of “Maximum Collection.” 

 “I look at it as a giving the younger generation a fast lane to catching up with  who Maxi Priest is,” said the golden voiced singer, who is recognized by his long, cascading dreads and megawatt smile.

 Although Priest and his siblings grew up in south London, he hails from hardworking Jamaican parents who immigrated to England in search of opportunity and success for their offspring. Priest draws from a regal bloodline, the late reggae icon Jacob Miller was his uncle and rapper Heavy D his cousin. 

 Priest’s obvious musical influences include Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Cat Stevens and Sting, whose material he has covered. Since Priest covered Golden Lady” on his 1999 album “Combination,” I asked about Stevie Wonder’s influence. 

“I think that Stevie Wonder has influenced everybody in music— musicians and non-musicians—in some way or another, said Priest. “He is very much a freedom fighter, always looking to spread the word of equal rights and justice.” 

 While headlining at the Monterey Bay Reggaefest in 2012, Priest joined the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence. There tone of the press conference took a serious turn.

“We know how to party, but we need to get a little bit serious sometimes,” said Priest. “(Jamaica) has survived for the last 50 years; and I can only hope that we learn from the 50 years of struggle that we’ve been through. There have been some highs and some serious lows. I only hope that our beautiful little island can look at those 50 years and make the next 50 years a better place, a better situation, for the younger generation. They are going to survive based on the foundation that we put down.”

Priest is particularly proud of his band, a multitalented, diverse group of musicians including Richard "Goofy" Campbell (keyboards), Paul KasticK (drums), JJ Sansaverino (guitar) and Taddy P. Camp (bass). When Camp approached the press table, Priest was more than happy to give him the spotlight. “He plays a mean solo bass and you should check out his CD, “Gimme Di Bass,” said Priest. “I had to say that, because it’s not good just to promote yourself.” 


In fact, Priest heaped praise on all of his band members, including DJ Beniton the Menace, a New Yorker who jams with Priest on “Housecall” and “That Girl.” Priest even invited his road manager/engineer, Steve Locke, to join the group at the table. 

Drummer Paul KasticK has been working with Priest since 1989; in fact, Priest’s was the first international band that KasticK played with. KasticK went on to play with the 809 band and other prestigious reggae artists. 

“In 1986, when I was a youth playing in the hotels six nights a week in Montego Bay, I heard Maxi Priest for the first time,” said KasticK. “I remember exactly where I was when I heard “Wild World” debut on the charts for the first time. Maxi’s music has had a profound effect on musicians. Maxi, to me, is one of the top five vocalists in the world.” 

Priest approached stellar guitarist JJ Sansaverino 12 years ago and ended up becoming a mentor. 

“I have the opportunity to work with one of my favorite reggae singers—Maxi Priest,” said Sansaverino. “I knew about Maxi Priest way before he knew about me. I was a fan; and I got the call to work with this brilliant artist. It’s been a learning experience. He’s groomed me from a shy guy on stage to a maniac—with a lot of constructive criticism along the way. He’s become my brother, and he’s taught me so much. I’m so happy to be doing my own project, but one of the happiest times for me is being on stage with this group of musicians. This is an all-star line-up and we’ve been all over the world, we’ve experience the best and the worst.” 

Priest’s attention turned to the 6’4 keyboardist Richard “Goofy” Campbell, a devout Seventh Day Adventist.

“There’s a lot more to Mr. Humble, Richard Campbell,” said Priest. “He has produced  quite a number of people; he continues to support a lot of the younger generation. In Montego Bay, he opens his doors to young people and helps them learn to play keyboard and play instruments. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with him, and that goes for all of my band members.”

During the end of the press conference, the conversation circled back to Maxi Priest’s inspiration on the younger generation. When I was in my twenties, my grandmother, the strong woman who raised me, had undergone brain surgery at age 90—and survived. During those critical moments, I played Priest’s album “Bonafide” over and over for comfort. Nowadays, I listen to Priest’s composition “God Watches over Us,” when I need an uplift. 

“Well, personally, I would say to a young person, first, find God,” said Priest. “When you find God, you will find yourself. When you can check out yourself, then you will know where you are going. It’s a support system. Faith is a key. Love is also a key. I’m a strong believer in faith, because it’s not everything that we know and understand. In traveling the world, my strongest asset has been faith, and belief that there is a God. I was brought up in very religious surroundings. I was raised in the Pentecostal church; my mother was a missionary in the Pentecostal church. So for me to create and sing a song like “God Watches over Us” is natural for me.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

Grammy Winning Reggae Singer/Songwriter Mykal Rose Illuminates the Stage with Sly and Robbie at Yoshi’s San Francisco

Grammy Winning Reggae Singer/Songwriter Mykal Rose Illuminates the Stage with Sly and Robbie at Yoshi’s San Francisco
Who: The Showdown Tour Featuring Mykal Rose Backed by famed Drum and Bass Duo Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare
When: 10:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20
Where: Yoshi’s San Francisco, 1330 Fillmore St., SF
Info: 415 655 5600,,
Story and Photos By Shelah Moody

Mykal Rose loves to sing. The former lead singer of the Grammy winning reggae band Black Uhuru said that he records at least five songs a day at his home studio in Florida. Known for his percussive tenor and his trademark “tu tu twang” and “ding ding woy” vocal riffs, Rose cannot discuss any of the Black Uhuru classics, “Shine Eye Gal” and “Whole World is Africa” without singing a few lines from each song.
            Michael “Grammy” Rose is gearing up for a U.S. tour with his former Black Uhuru band mates, Sly Dunbar (drums) and Robbie Shakespeare (bass)—a mini reunion.
            The “Showdown” tour hits Yoshi’s San Francisco on Friday, Sept. 20.  Rose said that he is looking forward to performing at the upscale venue that has hosted acts such as Natalie Cole, Angie Stone, George Clinton and of course, Sly and Robbie, (multiple Grammy winners in their own right who have produced everyone from Dennis Brown to Grace  Jones to No Doubt). Accompanying Mykal Rose and Sly and Robbie on the “Showdown” tour are acclaimed keyboardist “Bubbler” Waul and engineer Garfield McDonald.
            Black Uhuru (a Swahili word meaning “freedom) formed in 1972 in Waterhouse, Jamaica. Rose joined the band in 1977;  and together with Sly and Robbie, vocalists Puma Jones, Errol “Tarzan Nelson Duckie Simpson, became the quintessential protest band of the seventies and eighties, with revolutionary albums such as “Sinsemilla,” “Red” and “Chill Out.” In 1985, Black Uhuru made history as the first band to win a Grammy for Best Reggae Album for “Anthem.” With his deft songwriting skills and exotic vocals, Mykal Rose literally put Black Uhuru on the map. 
            “Reuniting with Sly and Robbie is the highlight of this tour,” said Rose, who left Black Uhuru in the mid eighties and established himself as a solo artist. “This is a show of the past, present and the future. After this tour, in 2014, we are going to do an album together.
            “Each and every one, stand guard, because this is gonna be a great show,” said Rose. “This summer, we played the Garance Festival in France, to 60,000 people. If Europe is ready, let’s see if the west coast is ready!”
            Mykal Rose was born on July 11, 1957, on what he described as a “Ben Johnson” day, a term commonly used by Jamaicans for days when the household has no money and food is scarse. Luckily, the circumstances surrounding one’s birth do not determine one’s destiny.
            Before joining Black Uhuru, Rose recorded as a solo artist for Jamaican producers such as Niney the Observer and Yabby You. Rose is a man who is keen on keeping up with all genres of music. His dream is to duet with soul songstress Keyshia Cole. One of his all-time favorite albums is Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life.” Rose recently got a kick out of watching Bill Cosby dance to “Spongy Reggae” on the Jimmy Fallon show—which exemplifies Black Uhuru’s influence on popular culture. Last year, Rose recorded a version of “Beat It” for Easy Star’s “Thrillah: A Reggae Tribute to Michael Jackson” compilation. Although he never met Michael Jackson, Rose said that he is a huge fan.
            “Yeah, mon, him great, oh Jah Jah,” Rose extolled in patois. “Michael Jackson went to the extreme with the music and gave the music justice when he sang. Yeah mon, him dangerous!” Rose could not resist singing a few lines from the Jackson/Paul McCartney duet, “The Girl is Mine.”
            One interesting fact about Mykal Rose is that he is an expert on holistic medicine. Rose has herbal remedies for everything from staying fit to getting over a cold, to personal hygiene  to fertility. For instance, he always carries fresh lemons, which he uses as an organic form of deodorant. Rose is extremely proud of his five children, one of whom is pursuing a career in nursing, another in civil engineering and another in music.
            Like conscious reggae artists of his era, Rose aims to make the world better for the youth.  Rose believes that Black Uhuru recordings should be available to students on college campuses for education and also for upliftment. His latest album, “Showdown Inna Bloody Town” addresses the global crisis of violence and gun culture. The album is extremely relevant in light of the recent Washington D.C. Navy Yard killings, the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut and other acts of senseless gun violence. For instance, producer Siahvash Dowlatshahi wanted to change the title of the Black Uhuru track “Youth of Eglington” to “Youth of Oakland,” due to the wave of violence in the city.
            “It looks like not even mankind can solve the crisis,” said Rose. “It’s like war upon war, and people want blood. We have songs like “Gunfighter,” about people who come to a party and break it up. A man fyah and everyone  run, gone, and the fun done. There’s a time for war, and there’s a time when people want to enjoy themselves.”
            There are also some creative dub mixes on “Showdown” such as “Bloody Dub” and Ethio-Jazz Version.”
 “This album is more Afrocentric,” said Rose. “It’s a different vibe for African brothers and sisters.”
            On a lighter note, at the end of our interview, Rose gladly entertained a fan’s curiosity about his famous dreadlocks, which he usually keeps under a hat or wrapped around his head like a turban.
            “When I let my hair down, it hits the floor,” said Rose. “It’s light as a feather, but heavy when it’s wet. That’s why I have to sleep on a king size bed—so that I can let out the whole of my dreads.

The Mykal Rose/Sly and Robbie Showdown Tour continues:
Sat Sept 21 Santa Cruz, CA – Moe’s Alley
Sun Sept 22 Santa Monica Pier
Tues Sept 24 Seattle, WA – Neumos
Wed Sept 25 San Juan Capistrano, CA
– The Coach House
Thurs Sept 26 Solano Beach, CA – The Belly Up
Fri Sept 27th Denver, CO – Casselman’s
Sun Sept 29thNew York, NY – B.B. Kings
Mon Sept 30th – Asbury Park, NJ – The Saint

Tues Oct 1st – Washington, D.C. – The Howard Theatre

Monday, September 9, 2013

Keznamdi Now Playing On Streetwise Radio

Keznamdi's  Bridging the Gap EP was released on April 30 and in less than 24 hours it move from number 27 on the iTunes Reggae Album charts to number 5 where he was only being beaten by Snoop Lion and Bob Marley albums.

The following week of May 7. Keznamdi's Bridging the Gap EP debut on the Billboard Reggae Album Charts as the Hot Shot Debut at Number 10.

Keznamdi's lead single 'Weekend' spent over a month on Entertainment Report's charts and peaked at number 2.

Keznamdi has been having tremendous success with his live shows; he launched his EP in Jamaica on June 18 at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Center to a crowd of over 500 people. He also did an up close and personal acoustic session at the Village Cafe on July 17 pulling over 300 paid patrons as the only headlining act.

Keznamdi recently performed on Reggae Sumfest's International Nights 1 and 2 with Jah Cure and Chronixx respectively.

Keznamdi is now in demand by some of Reggae and Dancehall' s biggest producers as he has recently voiced a new single with noted producer Don Corleon. Other producers working with Keznamdi are Yrevor Baby G James, Suku from Ward 21, TJ Records, Major Lazer etc.

Keznamdi will embark on a east coast promotional tour of the US for his Bridging the Gap  EP in September.

Please see the links below for videos and performances:

Thursday, August 29, 2013

 The new school year should see Jamaican students singing a different tune.

So believes Push Hitz Records' reggae/dancehall artiste Alkamis, as he prepares to put the finishing touches on his soon-to-be released Students single. The song, he said, is just a reminder to youngsters of the path they should follow.
"As the name suggests, it has something to do with the students. We a oppose and a propose, trying to get them on the right track. Trying to get them to know what them supposed to do and what them nuh supposed to do", said Alkamis.
The song touches on topics that are seen on a regular basis in high schools throughout the island.
"It's about things that we see every day from the youth in the schools. We touch the bleaching topic, the cellular phone topic, the pinch leave an inch, and even the economy," he shared.
Alkamis believes the song will be positively received as it is catchy and its message is one that everyone can relate to.
"Students, the nation need yuh - careful how yuh wheel and tun. Certain things yuh a do yuh doan need to, serious though yuh think it fun. It goes something like that, it's very catchy," said Alkamis.
European scene
The singjay who has found favour with reggae fans on the European scene is ready to step up his game and make his voice heard in Jamaica. Among Alkamis' previous releases are Can't Stop Loving YouFaith Inside, Badmind and Rain On Me. All have been positively received in the United States and European reggae market having good support from radio stations.
Students will open the ears of the young and old to his music with its uplifting, informative and educational content.  
listen the song on youtube  
song available for free download      
Follow links 

Instagram: Alkamismusic
Twitter: Alkamismusic

ARTIST BIO – Orlando “Alkamis” Johnson
When you hear the name Alkamis, you’re immediately struck with curiosity that this unique name belongs not to a rapper or a dj, but to one of Jamaica’s rising crooners. What will keep you his is soulful voice, set to destined to be a part of Jamaican music near and far.
Raised in Lampard, a fruitful farming district in the parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, Orlando Johnson started his musical career, singing at church and entertaining his supportive family (which includes nine siblings). As Orlando grew and his voice became stronger, so did his performances.
Outgrowing the church choir, Orlando started performing at stage shows, concerts, school programs, and parties. He began experimenting lyrically with clean topics ranging from history, love, and current affairs, voicing on RnB tracks as well as Dancehall riddims and Reggae ‘One Drop’ style tracks.
In 2005, Orlando saw the vision to pursue his musical talents professionally. Around this time, the stage name “Alkamis” was birthed. While in a session with Gumption Band, it was noted that “Orlando could put lyrics together like a Chemist” and the name Alkamis has stuck ever since.
Shortly after Alkamis linked with Askhelle from Vision House, who’s been a helpful hand in toward a professional career. In 2010 he was introduced to producers of Push Hitz Records; Delano Smith and Desmond Hepburn by a family member named Yvette Johnson. Within the last few years, Alkamis has recorded “No Love Again”, “Faith Inside” and “Can’t Stop Loving You”, as well as “Rain On Me”, “Forever”, ”My Turn”.
Inspired by Beres Hammond, Spragga Benz and Wayne Wonder, Alkamis has crafted his own sound combining the sweet melodies of ‘One Drop’ Reggae with a mix of soulful RnB. To showcase his talent, Alkamis would love to collaborate with veteran U-Roy and sultry singer Alaine.
At present Alkamis will be releasing the video for “Rain On Me” and prepping for his debut album. While the rising crooner is respectful that his professional career is taking a greater leap,
he wants people to understand his artistic mission and that is “create long lasting music, bringing positive inspirations across the world. Making people enjoy, appreciate, and change their lives through music”
Alkamis can be found on Facebook at and Twitter at For general information please contact .

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Common Kings

I first heard the song “No Other Love” on Streetwise Radio and loved it. I knew I had to hear more from this amazing band. As I listen to and found out more about this group of fantastic musicians, I knew this talented band was going on my playlist. The Common Kings makes me want to listen to them while sitting on the beach sipping on a cool drink. The band consists of Bass Player Lui Kirimaua (Ivan), Lead Singer Sasualei Maliga (Junyer), Drummer Jerome Taito (Rome), and Lead Guitar Player Taumata Grey (Mata). All the members of the Common Kings heritage are from the islands of Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Hawaii but they are from Orange County, California. Some of my favorite tunes are “Wade In Your Water”, “Alcoholic”, “Fly” and “Fall In Love”. If you like good Island soul music tune into Streetwise Radio and listen to the Common Kings you will become a fan. You can also listen to Streetwise Radio on MyGen365, Live365, Athena365, iTunes and Pandora.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013



Los Angeles, CA (July 29, 2013) In August of 2013, on Ghana’s Emancipation Day, the country will recognize an icon of the Diaspora, Nana Rita Marley, widow of the late superstar, Bob Marley.  This historic event will take place at the nation’s annual Golden Jubilee celebration of OAU/AU and the Pan-African History Festival (PANAFEST), wherein Sister Rita (Nana Afua Adobeya1) will be granted honorary citizenship of Ghana along with a Ghanaian passport.

In the words of H.E. Dr. Erieka Bennett/ Head of Mission, AU Diaspora Africa Forum, “We are thrilled to see the Ghana government recognizing the tremendous contribution Nana Rita has made to Ghana socially as well as economically.  This is a historical day for those of us from the diaspora.  Congratulations to our beloved Nana Rita Marley,” adds H.E. Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, “Indeed Mrs. Rita Marley continues to leverage her unique name recognition to showcase Ghana and talk up Ghana’s pan-Africanist role and tourism potential at every opportunity.” 

Fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech and the passing of Dr. W.B. DuBois, and more than 32 years after the passing of her husband, the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley, Mrs. Marley has now accomplished the main part of their dream: returning to Africa not as slaves, but to give back to the less privileged.

The talented Rita Anderson was born in Cuba and raised from an early age in Trenchtown, Jamaica, destined to become the matriarch of the musical Marley family. Now, for over 30 years, Rita Marley has been a principal figure on the music scene and has maintained a prominent role.

Mrs. Marley has worn many hats to manifest her continued commitment to her husband Bob Marley, her family and her people, as well as to fulfill her mission to enlighten, educate and entertain through her music. She is the benefactor of many humanitarian causes and the Rita Marley Foundation. RMM’s operations are based on the principles of love and compassion, with its work geared towards the alleviation of suffering in less fortunate communities.

Establishing a second home in Ghana in 1993, she began the task of working with the local Elders and Chiefs towards the provision of a road, a water supply and electrification. An on-going task since then is the development of the school and the health care center. Today, she continues her mission of sharing, caring and working together with all Africans, supporting activities in Kenya, Ethiopia and Jamaica. Learn more at:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tarrus Riley

Two words to describe Tarrus Riley amazing and conscious. I love the way he sings about issues in this world. This 34 year old Jamaican American born in Bronx, New York City and the son of reggae singer Jimmy Riley. Has a gift just like his father. Tarrus debut album Challenges came out to in 2004. Since then he has put out three more albums Parables in 2006, Contagious in 2009 and Mecoustic 2012. I heard the song “Stay With You” on Streetwise Radio I really like the song and had to listen to more from this wonderful artist. I found more songs that are going on my playlist like “Shaka Zulu Pickney”, “She's Royal”, “"Superman", “Beware”, “Front Door”, “Something Strong”, “Paradise”, “Human Nature”, “Gimme Likkle One Drop” and “Sorry Is A Sorry Word”. This amazing artist is going to be at Reggae On The River August 1st thru 4th 2013. You tune into Streetwise Radio and listen to Tarrus Riley songs. You can also listen to Streetwise Radio on Athena365, MyGen365, Live365, iTunes,Gilroy Radio, and Pandora.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Up Close and Personal with Reggae on the River’s General Manager, Justin Crellin By Shelah Moody

You never know who you will run into at Reggae on the River: activists and Joan Baez, Julia Butterfly Hill and actors Danny Glover and Leon have dropped into the biggest party in Northern California.

Reggae on the River started out as a grassroots festival 29 years ago as a benefit for the Mateel Community Center. The festival  went “Hollywood” for a few years glitterati showing up from all over the world and  tickets selling out at record speed. For the last five years, the Mateel Community Center has presented Reggae on the River at a smaller site. Benbow Lake State Recreation Area. This year, August 1-4, the Mateel Community Center proudly presents Reggae on the River at its original site at French’s Camp in Piercy, CA, with large scale acts such as Tarrus Riley, Morgan Heritage, Julian Marley, Nkulee Dube, the Meditations and more. Thousands of revelers descend on the festival every year for the chance to camp among the majestic California redwood trees and wade in the legendary Eel River.
                                   Tarrus Riley performing this year at ROTR

I recently spoke with Justin Crellin, General Manager for the Mateel Community Center and Reggae on the River.  Crellin, who hails from Virginia, relocated to Humboldt county and started out as festival equipment manager for Mateel Community Center and Reggae on the River in 1998.

Shelah Moody: What is the significance of the festival returning to its original site this year?

Justin Crellin: Going home to our original venue, French's Camp, which has always been the festival's spiritual home and where we've been working to get back do during our years of living in "exile" in Benbow (which served us well, but did not allow for the camping on site, nor other elements of the ROTR experience).

 SM: Reggae on the River, since its inception, has become so popular that it was even referenced on an episode of the cartoon "South Park." In your opinion, what has made the festival so popular over the years?

JC: The community most of all, but also the beauty of the natural environment where the festival is held.  In its inception, ROTR was one of the world's original celebrations of reggae music and reggae culture was a natural fit for the alternative community residing in the hills of southern Humboldt and northern Mendocino.

 SM: How did you go about choosing this year's eclectic lineup? I see that you've booked ROTR favorites such as Jade Steel and Nuklee Dube.

JC: We strive for balance and diversity.  Though it is mostly a reggae show and we try to represent the full diversity of reggae music (as much as possible anyway), we also like to spice things up with a handful of "world music" acts.  We also look to present a nice mix of both male and female performers, classic and emerging artists, touring NorCal favorites and artists who rarely (or have never) played in our region, acts supporting new albums (along with a few we haven't heard from in a while), etc.  For this homecoming year we also went back to our roots and booked an act (The Meditations), who was with us for the very first ROTR in 1984 and who will be marking their first time back at the festival since this very first year.  As for the specific artists you mentioned, we loved Nkulee Dube so much last year and got such a great crowd response on her that we broke our own unwritten rule of not repeating artists in back to back years and made an exception for her.  Jade Steel will be joining a host of other favorite vocalists and DJs from the Emerald Triangle and beyond in a track set showcase (with lots of special all-star guests) on Thursday, August 1st to kick things off for our early arrival ticket holders. 

SM: How long does it take to organize a large scale event such as Reggae on the River.

JC. All year (and then some)!  Meetings, etc. start ramp up in January and things get busier and busier as we approach showtime. 

SM: I've been attending ROTR since 1992, and I am particularly curious why people feel so comfortable walking around nude at the ROTR. :)

JC: I don't think nudity it is quite so prevalent these days as it once was, but ROTR is also a "free zone" for a lot of folks and a place where maybe they feel more comfortable to let go of their inhibitions to commune with nature and soak up the vibes.

 SM: What do you, personally enjoy about working with the festival?

JC: I like the nature of the work, the people I work with, and the feeling of being part of something much bigger than myself.  It is also fun to work with the artists and to be involved in creating the larger experience that keeps fans coming back to ROTR.  We do this for them (and for the Mateel Community Center and other local non-profit groups who fund raise through the event).  The fact that ROTR is produced by and benefits the non-profit Mateel Community Center is also something that sets it apart from a lot of other festivals.

SM: Can you tell us a little about the Mateel Community Center?

JC: We provide a variety of arts, education, cultural enrichment, youth and social service programs to the rural southern Humboldt community and also offer a meeting space and venue for rent.  For more info on all we do, please visit

 SM: Give us five fun facts about Reggae on the River.

JC: 1. It’s a Grassroots production- for and by the community!
2. This will be the first year back at French's Camp since 2005. 
3.  Our team mantra for the year is "Back to the Future"- as we look recreate the event on the model we used in the past, but in a new format for a new era of fans.
4.  We are keeping the numbers smaller than previous years at this venue (only 6,000 public tickets available) to make for a more intimate and family/ community friendly experience.
5.  It’s been called the "Best Place on Earth."  Come experience for yourself!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Stage and Screen Star Sister Carol Performs at Sierra Nevada World Music Festival’s 20th Anniversary Concert Story and Photos By Shelah Moody

Sister Carol performs at 8:40 p.m., Friday June 21st on the Village Stage at the 20th Annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, June 21-23, Mendocino County Fairgrounds, Boonville, CA,
Sister Carol East is a Grammy nominated DJ/singer, songwriter, who grew up in Kingston, Jamaica and Brooklyn, NY. She has performed at festivals and top venues around the world; her albums include “Mother Culture,” “Call Me Sister Carol,” “Empressive” and “Lyrically Potent.” Representing woman dreads on the big screen, Sister Carol appeared in Jonathan Demme's films, "Something Wild," “Married to the Mob,” (where she played the proprietor of a hair salon) and "Rachel Getting Married." Sister Carol recently launched her own clothing line, Black Cinderella; and she also nurturing the music career of her daughter Nakeeba Aminyea.

This weekend, Sister Carol helps kick off the festivities at the 20th Annual Sierra Nevada Music Festival in Boonville, CA. Ironically, also performing at SNWMF is one of Sister Carol’s mentors, Errol Dunkley, whose hit song inspired her moniker, “Black Cinderella.”
This spring, I caught up with Sister Carol backstage at the Independent nightclub in San Francisco, after she opened for Mykal Rose. The focus of our conversation was hair; dreadlocks in particular in relation to Rastafarian philosophy and popular culture.
“Well, when it comes to hair, we love to celebrate it in its most natural state; it’s most natural beauty. As a Rastafarian, I and I follow the codes of the Bible, the Nazarite vow not to cut or shave any corners of your hair. That’s where the dreadlocks (concept) comes from. Ever since I was a youth, I always wanted to have dreadlocks, but I couldn’t have them in my parents’ house; they wouldn’t have it. Why not? Because they are like, Catholics and Methodists; and in my heart, mi a Rasta but mi haffe keep it quiet because mi can’t bring it inna the house. So as soon as I was old enough and on my own, mi just start grow mi locks. It gave me a sense of freedom. They are my antennas, picking up all the frequencies from the cosmos. I feel like they give me a sense of power, because the longer they get, the stronger the vibration gets. I just love my hair, because I don’t have to do anything to it. I just wash it; and I’m good. I don’t put oils or pomades on my locks themselves; I just grease my scalp, because the scalp is like the root, and once you water the root, it doesn’t matter how tall the tree is, the water will get to the top of the tree, just like the oil in your scalp will get to the very tip of your locks. Dreadlocks were around long before I got here. I’m just carrying it on. The revolution started in Kenya with the Mau Mau Warriors, and the rebellion came with their hair, with dreadlocks to show that they weren’t down with the system. I’m just carrying on the heritage of my ancestors. Some say that Samson, in the Bible, was a dreadlocks, yeah mon, all of the strong black men inna the Bible were men with some big dreadlocks—Solomon, King David all of them. You never see a bald head Jesus yet.”

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Lenny I-Music Biography

     Courtney Grant aka "Lenny I" was born in Port Antonio the capital of the parish of Portland, & home of the Reggae Legend Mikey Dread, on the northeastern coast of Jamaica, about 60 miles (100 km) from Kingston. The Town young Lenny I spent his young formative years is the island's third largest port, famous as a shipping point for bananas and coconuts, as well as vibrant tourism  being a major contributor to the town’s economy. Here in this region bustling with commercial distractions the brilliant singer gives the world an inspiring Roots Reggae Album entitled "Urban Inner Quest!" 
      Lenny I has chosen Music as a cultural vehicle for communicating the love and intelligence of the noncommercial hardworking citizens of Jamaica. Jamaica is were he was exposed night and day to roots reggae music at an early age. This is the peoples music because it soothes the soul of the poor and needy and gives hope in spite of crisis. 
     Lenny I, moved to Portmore a coastal city in southern Jamaica in Saint Catherine, with easy access for major Reggae music vibrations going on in neighboring cities of Kingston and Spanish Town. Here in Portmore the Artist was fortunate to link with producer Debo Brown, and this positive break gave Lenny I crucial exposure for the "Professional" side of music production. Although the town he now occupied used to be a sewage dump this great singer found his way out of the negative thru "positive uplifting lyrics" for all his loyal fans. 
     A chance for his first mastered hit entitled "Knowledge," came when he was introduced to the "Flames Crew." This landed him on a compilation album with various quality artists, on a significant reggae album called "Essence." 
     Now well known for his beautiful singing, strong revolution, and engaging love songs he has had the privilege of working with Producers Sojie, Youngblood, Simba Music Empire, Dean Fraser and Axx Production. His blessings have only increased. Since the people love his music he gave them more, incuding; instant classics like "How About This Love" and  "Revenge and a Song"  featuring the Mega Reggae Star President Brown with one called "Mister dj." . Again Axx Production shot a video for the song "How About This Love." 
     Martin Luther King Jr. said, "when your good at something the world will beat a path to your door!" And now with the rise of the album "Revenge" the world is calling for more Lenny I. After an impressive performance at "Weekenz" a journalist gave an excellent review in the hot publication "CHAT" that declared "Lenny I is on the next level" with excellent, profound, quality militant and loving yet, very versatile, Roots Reggae Music. Then more work done with Axx Production including singles such as Exodus, The New wave, Ion lion Sound, Play Reggae, I n I Will, Dreams and Last Laugh firmly establish Lenny I as a powerful force in the reggae music industry! Not surprising other producers came running. So it is "One Link Production" made possible the unforgettable album "Urban Inna Quest." 
     Lenny I vision for future inspirational and uplifting reggae albums is about being in the culture of wholesome Music and multiplying the positive vibrations that come from good reasoning. After all he says, "being negative without positive vibes ends in sufferation and destruction of life." Thru meager beginnings in a little Jamaican coastal town named Port Antonio, a true Reggae star is born named Lenny I. Continue to expect more awesome music recording and stage shows from this amazing Reggae Artist; singing in the name of truth and love!!!  

Listen to Lenny I on Streetwise Radio, Live365, athena365, MyGen365, iTunes, Pandora, Gilroy Radio.
[for booking and album purchase information link Lenny I or email