2003 Lineup



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FRIDAY JUNE 20  
11:00 am Festival begins Vendors will be serving foods characteristic of  the Caribbean and will have arts and crafts for sale.  Sample special Caribbean cocktails from Bacardi, or enjoy an ice cold Red Stripe.  

12:00pm-1:00pm Uprizin (Steel Drum Band) Comprised of Lyndon Sorzano and Matthew Earl Lemons, Uprizin is the perfect act to put you in the mood for a tropical weekend.  The steel pan originated in the islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930's. Since the 1880's, the colonists had tried to suppress and outlaw the rhythmic drums of the African natives, fearing riots and uprising. However, when their drums and Tamboo Bamboo were taken away, the natives simply found other "instruments" to play. These instruments ranged from old car parts, to dust bins, to garbage can lids, and even empty oil barrels (from the U.S. Navy bases on the islands).In the 1930's, it was discovered that notes could be produced by denting the oil barrels. Elle Manette, a drum maker still active, was one of the first to dish out the pan and tune it to produce several notes.  Many pan makers began to experiment and soon large neighborhood groups were formed to play music on the pans. By the late forties, the oil drums had become the instrument of choice and the annual festival of "Carnival" was filled with large performing groups competing as steel bands.

Today, steel drums are used around the world as a solo instrument and together as bands of three to hundreds. All types of music can be played on the steel drum. They will often be heard in reggae, soca, ska, and calypso music, but can also be found in many popular recordings and even classical.

Uprizin
5:00pm-6:15pm Reggae Happy Hour with Gypsi FariOriginally formed in 1977 by current members Vincent Huckaby (bass) and Leroy Webster (lead vocals), The Gypsi Fari Band has traveled the world and recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, with legendary Bob Marley and the Wailers.Receiving the kind of acclaim in Jamaica usually reserved for only the best "home grown" bands, Gypsi Fari also toured with top-flight bands such as Steel Pulse, Third World, Culture, Bearing Spear and Gil-Scott Heron."Perhaps the best raggae band or best all around band in Chicago today is the combined West Indian-American Gypsy Fari."- Jamaican Weekly Gleaner Gypsi Fari
6:45pm-7:45pm  Marcus "Yabba" Griffiths and Traxx  A multi-talented musician whose repertoire includes vocalist, song writer,performer, arranger, band leader, guitarist and producer. Marcus Yabba Griffiths was born in Manchester Parish, Jamaica. From age 11 he lived in Kingston, Jamaica. While performing as a member of the vocal group, Gold Tones, Griffiths recorded a single entitled "Girl Exposer" for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle Label. The release caught the attention of Rendford Cogle (songwriter for The Melodians). Cogle wrote "Lock Love Away" for Griffiths to sing on Sonia Pottinger's Hi-Note Label and, in 1969, the song went to #8 on the Top Ten charts in Jamaica. This same year he recorded a song for Clancy Ecoles, "Don't Break The Heart That Love You," and later re-recorded the song - then another which was Never released - for Clement "Coxsone" Dodd of Studio One.Moving from singing to playing guitar as a studio musician, Griffiths worked with the great musicians and singers of Jamaica - Bunny Wailer, Soul Syndicate, Gregory Isaacs, Roots Radics, Carlton and Family Man Barrett, Ronnie Davis, Lloyd Parks, Winston Grennan, Jackie Jackson, Hux Brown, Winston Wright, Lynn Taitt, Jackie Mittoo, Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, The Tamlins, Bobby Colphat, and many others earl chinna smith.Griffiths joined Charles Hannah and The Graduates in 1972, and 1974 found him touring Jamaica with Solid Foundation. During this time, he recorded the first version of his big hit, "Devil Woman," featuring The Tamlins; Devil Woman was released as a single in the U.S. and U.K. in 1976 and captured "hit song" status in metropolitan New York and Chicago.In 1976, he toured the U.S. with Big Youth and the band Creation. After the tour ended he joined The Black Eagles (now known as Morgan Heritage), then moved to New York City in 1977 to form Yahtova (God Love). Still based in New York, Griffiths, with Patrick "Shaka" Hochen, founded Traxx in 1979; Yabba Griffiths and Traxx relocated to Chicago, IL, in 1980, briefly joining Forces with Alligator Records.Marcus Yabba Griffiths & Traxx released their first album, Thrill Of Victory, in 1986 on the New York based Gyasi label; Thrill Of Victory was named one of the best new albums of the year in Europe. During the summer of 1989, Griffiths met producer Greg Errico, a founding member of Sly & The Family Stone, and Errico produced Traxx's second album, Reviver, recorded in Sausalito, CA.Griffiths' third album, Only Yabba, was recorded in 1997 and released in 1998 on Myjaki Records; Only Yabba features 11 songs including "Baby Sugar," a re-make of "Devil Woman." Good Reggae Music, an ep-cd featuring four songs, was released April 7, 2001 on Griffiths' Su-Cram Records label, and is followed by a full length CD entitled The Yabba Griffiths' Story, also on Su-Cram and will be released on March 11th 2002. yabba

8:15pm-9:30pm The Jah KingsJamming in the world of entertainment,where spiritual teachings have often become synonymous with deception, the Jah Kings offer music-with-a-message; Pure and positive, roots reggae. Their originality and lyrics keeps their fans' attention, while a melodious blend of funk, gospel, hip-hop, and reggae keeps the bodies grooving. Witnesses to a Kings' show have continuously heard the crowd chant

MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE!MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! MORE! To learn more about the Jah Kings Movement and how you can get involved, read the Jah Kings' Message . The Jah Kings are always in the midst of great changes. The Process of connecting technology with spirituality, entertainment with love, and business with humanity is a long and hilly path with many crossroads. Jah's Kings and Queens will emerge strong and wise, are you ready to begin?

The jah Kings
10:00pm-11:30pm Inner VisionsInternational Reggae sensations Inner Visions, is most definitely, keeping it all in the family. Joining them on their 2003 tour will be none other than the Jr. Pickering brothers, Aswad and Akiba Pickering.  Yes, Grasshopper has put his sons to work! One can only imagine the special impact these two will add to the already magnificent sounds of Inner Visions.Inner Visions are currently touring the Caribbean Islands.  Word from the Islands is that with this change, the group Inner Visions are much more tighter than before (if that can even be possible).  DJ Ras Ridi, KNON 89.3 Irie FM Dallas once said, "Inner Visions are so tight that you could not even get raindrops between them."  And just when you think Inner Visions, with their tight, sweet melodic harmonies, could not possibly get any better, they go and pull from their talented family surplus! For several months now, they have not only been touring the Islands and performing at Fundraising events.  They have also, been working diligently on a soon to be released compilation CD - titled "Street Corner Musicians," what a monumental task; they certainly have had a lot on their plates, all in the name of Reggae. With that being said, if you loved the Roots Reggae of the 70's, if you were amazed at the Roots Reggae of the 80's and 90's, well, I'm here to tell you in 2003 you will be astonished. Inner Visions will take you on a Conscious Reggae journey of the yester years, bringing you forward to the present 2003, with new vibes, holding tight and true to the Message that is in the Music Reggae!Inner Visions consist of the senior Pickering brothers, Philip "Grasshopper " Pickering, Lead Guitar and Lead vocals, Jupiter Pickering, Bass and Backing vocals, Ras Paul Samms, Lead vocals, Percussion's (he is known internationally as Mr. Percussionist).  The Players; their backing band, consist of Leroy "Spikie" Guiste on Lead Keyboards and the new additions the Jr. Pickering brothers, Aswad on drums and Akiba on rhythm keyboards.  This is definitely the group to watch.  Inner Visions continue to remain true to the Roots of Reggae, which has garnered them the title of The Caribbean Masters of Reggae and to others, Reggae Warrior Kings. Inner Visions
12:00am-1:30am  StagalagSTAGALAG is a Cleveland based four-piece band founded in 2000 - a fresh force on Ohio reggae scene! STAGALAG band members are veterans of Ohio reggae scene and their music activity could be traced back to The Ark Band (Columbus), Champion Bubblers (Cleveland), Flex Crew (Columbus), The Yard Hustlers (Columbus) and other area groups.STAGALAG brings the contemporary up-tempo reggae music, with flavors of dancehall, hip-hop as well as sounds of roots reggae & lovers rock. The band's firm rhythm section provides a solid foundation for joyous vocal harmonies.STAGALAG Reggae Band is a full-time working band performing well over 200 live shows per year! Stagalag
Saturday June 21st  
11:00 am Festival begins Vendors will be serving foods characteristic of  the Caribbean and will have arts and crafts for sale.  Sample special Caribbean cocktails from Bacardi, or enjoy an ice cold Red Stripe.  

12:00pm-1:00pm Uprizin (Steel Drum Band)Comprised of Lyndon Sorzano and Matthew Earl Lemons, Uprizin is the perfect act to put you in the mood for a tropical weekend.  The steel pan originated in the islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the 1930's. Since the 1880's, the colonists had tried to suppress and outlaw the rhythmic drums of the African natives, fearing riots and uprising. However, when their drums and Tamboo Bamboo were taken away, the natives simply found other "instruments" to play. These instruments ranged from old car parts, to dust bins, to garbage can lids, and even empty oil barrels (from the U.S. Navy bases on the islands).

In the 1930's, it was discovered that notes could be produced by denting the oil barrels. Elle Manette, a drum maker still active, was one of the first to dish out the pan and tune it to produce several notes.  Many pan makers began to experiment and soon large neighborhood groups were formed to play music on the pans. By the late forties, the oil drums had become the instrument of choice and the annual festival of "Carnival" was filled with large performing groups competing as steel bands.

Today, steel drums are used around the world as a solo instrument and together as bands of three to hundreds. All types of music can be played on the steel drum. They will often be heard in reggae, soca, ska, and calypso music, but can also be found in many popular recordings and even classical.

 
2:00pm-3:30pm  Family Groove WorkshopCarolyn Koebel will be presenting an interactive drumming event for the entire family. A variety of instruments will be available at the festival site, but bring your favorite to add to the circle's groove.  Carolyn has been hosting community drumming events at the Kraftbrau in Kalamazoo on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays for the past 3 years. She performs regionally, nationally, and internationally with the Skin-tones, Blue Dahlia (www.blue-dahlia.com), Fonnmhor (www.fonnmhor.com), and Rhonda Larson and Ventus (www.rhondalarson.com).For the past few years, Carolyn has been presenting children's interactive multicultural music events at libraries throughout Michigan. She offers national training workshops for the American Music Therapy Association on the therapeutic uses of drumming, in conjunction with functional skill development. She works adjunctly in the music therapy program at Western Michigan University, while serving as a contractual music therapist at Lakeside Treatment and Learning Center, and the Clinton County RESA.The drumming event will cover beginner's technique, learning rhythms in the voice and body, call/response drumming, and a final circle jam. All levels are welcome, come ready to support the groove and share your energy!  Family Groove Workshop
4:00pm-5:30pm  Indika, Featuring AndreaAndrea was born and raised in Chicago and began singing professionally in1982 with the Yabba Griffiths & Traxx Reggae Band. In the years to follow Andrea performed with many local artists such as: Debbie DeFire (R&B, Reggae, and World Beat), Kelly Rankin (Reggae, Dance Hall), Tony "BigRed" Aikens (Reggae), Donny Silk (Reggae, Dance Hall), Melaku (Ethiopian, World Beat), and Riot Squad (Reggae-out of Florida) among others, also opening up shows and singing back-up vocals for big name acts such as: Yellow Man, The Wailers, Michael Rose from Black Uruhu, and Everton Blender just to name a few. Andrea has performed for many of the Martin's International Reggae Awards in Chicago and picked up a certificate for her "Contribution to Reggae Music". In addition to Andrea's experience singing reggae she has also laid tracks for the JoAnna Connor Blues Band, singing back-up vocals for JoAnna, and the world renowned Luther Allison on the Blind Pig label. Along with her many live performances for clubs, radio, and cultural festivals, (including the "Taste of Chicago"), Andrea has much experience in studio recording and music videos Indika Website  Indika
6:00pm-7:30pm  Indika, Featuring Michael BlackMichael is truly one of the top Rastamon Roots Reggae singers in the Midwest. Back in the mid-1970’s, Michael and his family moved to Kingston, Jamaica. He started hanging out at local record stores and performing with their sound systems. In 1982, Michael moved to Chicago and became a fully integrated part of the Windy City's thriving Reggae scene. He has been honored numerous times by the Martin Inter-Culture Music Awards, including Best Male Vocalist, Best Showmanship and Best CD of the Year. The highlight of his career was in 1996 when he returned to his homeland and performed at Jamaica’s Sumfest in Montego Bay. Michael has toured the world performing in Japan, South America, England, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Barbados. He has shared the spot light with such Reggae greats as Capleton, Black Uhuru, Might Sparrow, Mutabaruka Gregory Isaacs, Garnett Silk, Beres Hammond and many more. Michael first appeared in Kalamazoo at Island Festival 2001, his inspired performance is not to be missed!  
8:00pm-9:30pm  Aswah Greggory and the EnforcersAswah introduces his debut CD. Fools & Rebels (Zoe Jah Productions). Greggori. eight-time winner of the distinguished "Most Culturally Oriented Artist Award" and " 1997 Best Reggae Band" of the Chicago Music Awards. is known as an artist consumed with a passion for a conscious revival- and this release does not fall short of that mark. Fools & Rebels clearly demonstrates Aswah as a man with something important to say -a message worth delivering. All 10 original works cry out to the spiritual, cultural. societal. moral, and ethical conscience of the new millennium. This CD is for anyone who trusts in the power of brotherhood, love, and the father almighty. A 20-year veteran of the Chicago music scene, Aswah is an artist who has paid his dues and earned his place. With his Chicago-based band, the Enforcers, Aswah has emerged as a local favorite booked with international bands on tour in the Windy City including Steel Pulse, Wailing Souls, Burning Spear, Yellowman, Israel Vibration Maxi Priest, Third World, Toots and the Maytals and Pato Banton.Off stage, Aswah is a man of few words -always humble, usually humorous, very subtle. His personal story is as inspiring as his lyrics and music. Born in Louisiana in 1946, Aswah came to Chicago after his Viet Nam experience to find work "somewhere other than the lumber mills" of Louisiana. In 1971, a serious industrial accident, which severed his right arm, also changed his life forever. After surviving not only the accident but also the grueling arm re-attachment surgeries and therapy which followed, Aswah emerged with a new sense of purpose leading him into a full-time music career. Spiritually guided and unencumbered by traditional definitions of success ("Material possessions won't save you, only bring aggression, enslave you", he sings in 'Save You From Yourself', Aswah's message is man's healing from violence, drugs, hatred and jealousy. The music is his medium.From a musical standpoint, 'Save You From Yourself' mixes roots reggae with rock steady rhythms nicely. The title track, 'Fools & Rebels', causes the listener to reflect on how many of us fight with one another, when what we really need is tolerance and love for one another. The drums and horns give this song an up-to-date sound while remaining true to a roots and culture message. Aswah's versatility is evident on, 'This Train', an upbeat dancehall style track. It is refreshing to hear a spiritual teaching in this style of music. The echo of the train horn calls all of us to get on board God's plan for salvation and freedom. Aswah's voice is mesmerizing in all tracks, causing us to feel the lyrics deeply.Like many emerging artists, Aswah sits patiently on scores of unpublished work, confident that when the time is right, Jah will make it happen. With the release of 'Fools & Rebels', it appears the time is right.  Aswah
10:00pm-11:30pm  The MeditationsOn Wednesday afternoon, I received the call that all promoters dread.  The headline act cannot perform due to visa problems.  We are pleased to announce that we have secured another of the great vocal harmony acts to perform at the Island Festival. In 1977, The Meditations came to the attention of reggae's most famous artist, Bob Marley. He heard in The Meditations echoes of his own group, The Wailers, when they were first starting out. He tapped The Meditations to sing backing vocals on a number of songs, including "Blackman Redemption," "Punky Reggae Party," and "Rastaman Live Up." He also invited them to open the historic One Love Peace Concert in April 1978, where they shared the bill with Marley, Peter Tosh and others.The Meditationsformed - 1975 (Kingston, Jamaica)Ansel Cridland - Danny Clarke - Winston WatsonThe Meditations first formed as a group in the mid-seventies following the breakup of the Linkers. Led by Ansel Cridland, The Linkers had made a series of recordings in the late sixties, including the classic, "Nyah Man Story." About 1971, Danny Clarke and Winston Watson recorded several titles for Lee Perry's Upsetter label individually and as the duo, 'Flames.' Ansel and Danny first began working together informally about 1972, with Winston joining them soon after. Inspired by a love of the Impressions, the group began to develop a vocal blend that would bring them international respect.The Meditations cut a number of important 45s for producers in Jamaica as early as 1974. However, a series of recordings for Federal Records in the mid-seventies led to the release of the group's first album, "Message From The Meditations," in 1976 and a second, "Wake Up," in 1977. Rightly regarded as classics today, these two albums established the Meditations as one of reggae finest vocal groups. These seminal recordings opened the door to live appearances in the US and Bermuda in 1977, and brought them to the attention of Bob Marley.The Meditations began working full time as Marley's harmony trio, recording with producer Lee Perry. Together they recorded the classics "Rastaman Live Up," "Blackman Redemption" and "Punky Reggae Party." In April 1978, the Meditations opened the historic One Love Peace Concert for Marley, at the National Stadium in Kingston. They also released singles that year on Marley's Tuff Gong label and Perry's Black Art label in Jamaica. In 1979, they began to work on the album "Guidance," with the Wailers for Island Records. However, that agreement was never signed and today that album can be heard on "Reggae Crazy," (Nighthawk CD-317). 'Reggae Crazy' anthologizes fifteen Meditations titles from 1971- 1979, selected by Ansel Cridland for this CD.Throughout the eighties, the Meditations continued to record and perform. They released the album "No More Friend" in 1983, on Greensleeves Records, and a Greatest Hits package in 1984 for Shanachie. In 1988, Heartbeat released "For The Good Of Man," an album of new recordings and in 1994 that label issued "Deeper Roots – The Best of The Meditations," collecting titles from the first two albums on CD.Of all the groups that came out of the fertile seventies reggae-scene in Jamaica, the Meditations, perhaps more than any other group, set the standard for sheer vocal virtuosity. Each is an experienced lead singer having performed and recorded as soloists and in other groups, throughout the decades since the sixties. The group survived a breakup in the mid-eighties and went on to reunite in 1993, when they recorded "Return Of The Meditations." The Meditations
12:00am 1:30am Yoroka World Beat Fusion.  Afro Pop.  Party music.  Dance groove. Island vibes.  yoroka’s music is as easy to move to as it is difficult to label or categorize, but the Namibian word that is their name says it all loud and clear: Get happy, be happy, and stay happy. The music makes it happen, and everyone who’s ever experienced yoroka live knows their sound takes the meaning of their name literally. The nucleus of yoroka was formed when members of various veteran bands in Kalamazoo’s fertile music scene came together in the mid-nineties.  The diverse influences and backgrounds of these musicians merged to form a truly unique and immediately recognizable sound, an original hybrid of African guitar-propelled dance music distilled through a sonic filter of Funk,  Reggae, Jazz, Rock, and Afro-Cuban influences.  Equally comfortable dishing out long jams and medleys ideal for the trance dance party vibe or laying down tightly orchestrated Island Music and Reggae tunes, yoroka has gone on to win awards, release a self titled CD, record live, and please crowds at festivals, clubs and bars throughout the Midwest.  Those looking for original music played with the passion of accomplished, experienced musicians who are in it for the love and the people’s positive reaction know exactly where they can find it:  On the dance floor with yoroka. Yoroka