Over­seas spice to ska fes­ti­val

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT - Roy Black Gleaner Writer http://www. touch­sto­net­ick­et­ing.com.

OVER­SEAS ACTS com­prise close to a third of the on-stage per­form­ers at the up­com­ing One World Ska and Rock­steady Mu­sic Fes­ti­val slated for the Ranny Wil­liams En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on Saturday, Novem­ber 26. Of the 14 acts down to per­form, two are from the United States, one is from The United King­dom, and one is from Spain. The other acts are from Ja­maica, although some spend most of their time on the over­seas cir­cuit hon­our­ing en­gage­ments.

Out of Barcelona, Spain, comes The Soweto Ska Band to grace the stage of the Ranny Wil­liams En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre as the highly an­tic­i­pated spec­ta­cle un­folds in all its glory. The band came to­gether in 1998 when it be­gan to show an ad­mi­ra­tion for cer­tain forms of Ja­maican big bands mu­sic of the 1960s.

Soweto idolises Ja­maican artistes like The Wail­ing Wail­ers, Toots and The May­tals, Justin Hines and The Domi­nos, Jackie Opel and The Skatal­ites band, who they try to em­u­late. Their mu­sic trans­ports you to the dance floors of a 1960s Ja­maica, where or­ches­tras made peo­ple move to the in­fec­tious beat of the ska and other syn­co­pated rhythms.

To date, the band has re­leased three record­ings: Se­lect EP (2007), You Give Me Fever (2008), and South West Town (2011). Recorded and pro­duced in the, 60s Ja­maican-style, the band will re­lease its new al­bum next month – an LP full of ska, Ja­maican rhythm and blues, and rock­steady. It has also per­formed with Ja­maican stal­warts like The Skatal­ites band, Toots and The May­tals, Lau­rel Aitken, Rico Ro­driguez, B.B. Seaton, Win­ston Fran­cis, Der­rick Mor­gan, and Den­nis Al­capone.

The Brook­lyn At­trac­tors, is an­other of the over­seas acts set to per­form at the fes­ti­val. They were founded by trum­peter, Rich Graiko in 2011 as a way of pay­ing homage to the 1960s and 1970s era of Ja­maican and Amer­i­can in­stru­men­tal mu­sic. The group, which in­cludes the leg­endary Ja­maican per­cus­sion­ist Larry McDon­ald, plans to bring to the fes­ti­val in­flu­ences from Tommy McCook and The Su­person­ics, The Soul Ven­dors, and Rico Ro­driguez. In so do­ing, they hope to push for­ward on old tra­di­tions and leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on pa­trons.

The mel­liflu­ous tones of The Skatal­ites band had dancers for­ever flood­ing dance floors in dance halls through­out Kingston in the 1960s. Com­pris­ing the best mu­si­cians in the land, the band be­came leg­endary, back­ing the big­gest ska hits of the day by artistes like The Wail­ers, Toots and The May­tals, Jackie Opel, Lord Cre­ator, and oth­ers, while record­ing sev­eral ex­em­plary in­stru­men­tals.


Although be­ing to­gether for only 18 months af­ter be­ing formed in 1964, the band was widely rated as the most pop­u­lar ex­po­nent of the ska beat. They re­formed in 1983, af­ter an ap­prox­i­mate 20-year hia­tus, and shortly af­ter, be­gan to tour reg­u­larly. Now, af­ter more than 50 years and var­i­ous line-up changes, they con­tinue to re­tain their unique sound and style and have not stopped thrilling au­di­ences in ev­ery cor­ner of the globe. They hope to bring that aura of nos­tal­gia and ex­cite­ment to the stage of The Ranny Wil­liams En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre on the night of Novem­ber 26 to take pa­trons back to the days when ska was the heart­beat of the na­tion.

The fes­ti­val will also see B.B. Seaton and The Gay­lads out of The UK. The group planted its roots in Ja­maica in the mid1960s with a long line of hits that in­cluded Lady With The Red Dress, You’ll Never Leave Him, Stop Mak­ing Love Be­side Me, You Should Never Do That, No Good Girl, Give A Help­ing Hand, Mes­sage To My Girl, Love Me with All Your Heart, Red Rose, Pe­cu­liar Man, Don’t Say No, Joy in The Morn­ing, She Want It, Hard To Con­fess, Over The Rain­bow’s End, ABC Rock­steady, There’s a Fire, My Ja­maican Girl, and more. Although un­der­go­ing a cou­ple of line-up changes, the group has man­aged to re­tain its high­pitched three-part har­mony sound that was uniquely their own, and they have vowed to bring it to the fes­ti­val’s stage. They con­tinue to suc­cess­fully per­form their orig­i­nal ma­te­rial both in Ja­maica and the UK.

Other per­form­ers in­clude Toots and The May­tals, Bob Andy, Leroy Sib­bles, U-Roy (king of toast­ers), Der­rick Mor­gan (King of Ska), Stranger Cole, and the bands – Lloyd Parks and We The Peo­ple, Spar­row Martin and Ska­sonic, Yard Beat, and Earth Cry.

Sound Sys­tem se­lec­tors are Dex­ter Camp­bell (the Ska Pro­fes­sor) and Roy Black from Klas’s Saturday Night Al­ter­na­tive.

Ticket out­lets are at Der­rick’s One Stop in Twin Gates – Con­stant Spring Road; Fon­tana Phar­macy – Bar­bi­can and Ocho Rios; Bill Ex­press; and se­lect Mail­pac lo­ca­tions is­land­wide; RJR gift shop; The Pe­ga­sus ho­tel and on line at

Har­ris “BB” Seaton (The Gay­lads) ac­cepts a JaRIA award from Mayor An­gela Brown-Burke.

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