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   Thursday June 18, 2009


   11:00am Gates Open


   5:00pm-6:00pm  Dread I Sound System


Dread I Sound System is the champion of the dance in Kalamazoo.  From hosting the weekly "Reggae Revolution" show on WIDR, 89.1 FM in Kalamazoo to numerous club and concert appearances, Selector Jonathon is quickly becoming the new evolution of reggae music in Kalamazoo!

Join Selector Jonathon and his special guests including Slacky J. (WLUW-Chicago), DJ Assane, The African Teacher (WSND-South Bend), and perhaps a surprise or two all weekend at The Island Festival.



    6:30pm-8:00pm   Mystic Dub


Mystic Dub is currently touring the Midwest region n lovin d crowds. We wanna see MORE of you Roots Rock/Dancehall/Soca Reggae-lovin people out there, too! We bring originals in all d above stylee as well as covers by Bob Marley and the Wailers, Greggory Isaacs, Sister Carol, Marcia Aitken/Sasha, and more! We are a four piece including d following musicians: Hard-hittin' Drummy and vocalist Juan Carlos, Lead Singer/Songwriter/Keyboardist-Raya RIME True, Sax/Melodica/Guitarist/Percussion Mickey Mackenzie and bassist Simba Jahi.




            8:30pm-10:00pm  A Tribute to Doggie Ranks, Featuring Indika

As long as there has been a reggae scene in Kalamazoo, Doggie Ranks was a part of it!  Originally from Jamaica and residing in Chicago, Doggie graced the stage at Club Soda, The State Theatre, Bells, and has numerous explosive appearances at The Island Festival,   usually ending up with about 50 women dancing on stage.

Despite the loss of Doggie, the Indika Reggae Band continues to be a force to reckon with!


The Indika Reggae Band itself has won several music awards in the Windy City. In addition to their own high energy shows, they have also been honored to back international Reggae artists such as Dennis Brown, Frankie Paul, Sugar Minott and U Roy. The Members of Indika developed their talents on the island of Jamaica, giving them an authentic sound. They perform old Reggae favorites with new life, and add to the Reggae world with new original songs. You can hear them weekly performing on TV as Jenny Jones "House Band." Recently they were invited to perform at the Apollo Theatre in New York. If you can't check them out in person, look for their two award winning CD's "Proud 2-B your 'Budd'" and "Live at Exedus ll" at your local record store.



          10:30pm-12:00am  A Tribute to Nathan Ndjharine Featuring Zion Lion


  The past year has been a difficult one for reggae fans in    Kalamazoo, with the loss of a true Lion of Zion, Nathan Ndjharine.  His sudden passing continues to seem unreal, as he has been one of the stalwart performers at The Island Festival almost since the inception of the event.  With Yoroka, and Zion Lion, Nathan brought the message of One Love loud and clear to Kalamazoo, and we were so fortunate to have him in our lives!  Please join Nathan's fans and friends as we say goodbye Island Festival Style.







                       Nathan Performing at Island Festival





Zion Lion Reggae Band is the "baddest" band to hit Kalamazoo.    Zion Lion is a combination of several bands from the Kalamazoo area who crossed each others path along the way and decided to form what we believe to be the right mix of reggae, zouk, soukous, and afo-latin influences.







                                   Zion Lion at Island Festival 2006


Friday June 19, 2009

11:00am Gates Open

Join us for lunch


11:45am-1:15pm  Gypsi Fari Duo

Veterans of numerous Island Festival's Vince (left) and Bobby (right) are the backbone of the award winning Gypsi Fari band based in Chicago, IL.  Always a crowd pleaser, the Gypsi Fari duo will help set the mood for an Irie weekend!




Zion Lion at Island Festival 2006




5:00pm-6:00pm Ras Soul Jah

Ras SoulJah is a driving force in modern day reggae music. Ras SoulJah has a fresh and original style' this dynamic band's obvious influences of early traditional roots and culture remain evident in their music.  The Ras SoulJah Reggae Band is based upon the ideology of positive and uplifting consciousness that is conveyed through their reggae music. This band plays a variety of 'roots-n-culture' and ragga style originals, as well as, popular cover tunes.

Ras SoulJah's is a dynamic ensemble including members that hail from California, Detroit, Chicago and other parts of the Midwest .  The evolution of Ras SoulJah has spanned from the 1990s to present day.  Ras SoulJah is the creation of co-founders Timothy and La Donna Flynn. The group began its origin with the formation of 'Tribal Culcha.' this band specialized in a 'roots-n-culture' style. "Tribal Culcha's' metamorphosis continued until 1999, adding lead vocalist Fada Wayne from Kingston Jamaica, this ensemble then formed as the 'High Grade' reggae band. In 2002, 'High Grade' disbanded and ultimately, the Ras SoulJah reggae band was created.


6:30pm-7:45pm Universal Xpression


This marvelous group provides an amazingly energy pumping musical and theatrical treat. Universal Xpression uplifts and captivates its audiences with Caribbean rhythms such as reggae, soca, zouk, and dance hall music, with an undertone of African, Latin and American rhythms. Consequently, this rhythmic implementation has created a hypnotic groove and a beautiful sound, with a universal appeal, thus making this group the choice show band.

Universal Xpression has thrilled thousands all over America, Canada and the Caribbean at numerous venues: High schools, colleges, universities, clubs, festivals, weddings, parades, corporate parties, and parks. In twelve great years the group has built a tremendous fan base which continues to grow with every performance. Seeing Universal Xpression live is an awesome experience, strong and beautiful vocals, sweet harmony, solid and tight groovy music topped off with wonderful showmanship. You are embraced and involved in the mental, physical, educational and emotional awe. Universal Xpression is ultimately satisfying.



8:15pm-9:30pm Ifficial Reggae Movement

Ifficial Reggae Movement plays a diverse style of reggae that encompasses roots, lover's rock and dancehall.  The group is extremely diverse and able to please all tastes.
    Livingston (Lead Vocals) has been surrounded by singers his entire life. When he was a child, his mother and father sang in churches all over his native island Jamaica. The Montego Bay born vocalist and songwriter has a very unique and impressive style that displays the smoothness of roots and lover’s rock, and the roughness of dancehall. Livingston’s goal each performance is to electrify audiences, keeping them wanting more.
    Darryl (Bass) has been on the Reggae scene in Chicago for twenty years. He has played with some of the best in Reggae, including Frankie Paul, Nardo Ranks, Marcia Griffiths, and the legendary Dennis Brown. His entrancing bass lines are bound to reel you in and have you at the band’s mercy. Darryl a.k.a. Organized is also a dynamic singer and deejay that you won’t want to miss.
    Judah (Keyboards) has been a fixture on the reggae scene since 1989 when he was then playing the Bass. Judah's father urged him to start playing the piano at an early age and he even formed an a cappella group called the Soul Crusaders, singing all over the Midwest. He gave up his music to pursue a career in business, but returned to his first love upon the death of his father. In 1997 he formed a band and since that time has also played with several local artists. Judah is also a composer of conscious music that will leave you inspired.
    Kelsey (drums) is a newcomer to the reggae scene, but don't let that fool you. His enthusiasm will have you captivated. Kelsey comes from generations of drummers and has been greatly inspired by gospel music. Count on him being around for a long time with many great things to come!


10:00pm-11:30pm (UK Reggae Legend) Pato Banton

A Pato Banton concert is an event not to be missed and an experience not to be forgotten.

Positive Vibrations abound with a beat to keep you on your dancing feet, while Pato delivers a message that is food for the mind and soul. Many have considered his charismatic performance as live theatre where no show is alike and audience members become participants in the experience. Pato dialogues with the crowd on a range of topics including current day events and spiritual freedom while keeping the vibes upbeat and fun!  The direction of the concert is totally based on the feedback Pato receives from the audience as there is no fixed set list.  Many have said that the positivity

generated from the stage has changed their lives forever.  Sometimes Pato invites his fans to join him in a prayer circle after the show, where some have cried while sharing their stories of contemplated suicide, isolation after losing a loved one, struggles with substance abuse and how their personal connection with Pato has given them the strength to “Stay Positive” & “Never Give In.”

 The following Pato Banton story charts his rise from the most disadvantaged of circumstances in his youth, through a long and successful career as a world renowned reggae legend, back to his roots with a commitment to work for the benefit of young people in his community, and finally on a mission to spread the “Good News” & “Positive Vibrations” to the “Now Generation”.

12:00pm-1:30am Rising Reggae Star-Zareb (Aka Mr. Flash)

Zareb(Ranford Mc Curdy) was born and raised in Clarendon, Jamaica. When he was a young man of sixteen he realised there is nothing more for him than a life as one of the common craftsmen, working with steel or as a carpenter. But this kind of life didn’t meet Ranford’s expectations. That’s why he made for Kingston, to escape of country life and to experience the world. It was a hard time, living on Kingston’s streets with no assets and no job. One day one of his friends took him along to one of the many music studios in town. There Ranford, naturally more of a withdrawn personality, found a way to express himself, his thoughts and feelings. Singing became his passion. In the beginning he covered Songs of his musical ideals Half Pint and Junior Reid, but soon he developed his very own style and created his own lyrics. He felt he finally found his determination and so he spent more and more time in studios, as for example at Kilimanjaro’s, Anchor or Tuff Gong. That’s how he got the first chance for a very own song recording on the Stereo One Label. Using his then artist name Mr. Flash he recorded several songs with his friend and Macka Tree Crew-Member Fantan Mojah. This called the attention of many soundsystems and producers. Bobby Digital, Lion Vibes und Calibud wanted to work with him as well. Tracks like Rastafari ist he ruler are the results of this collaboration. The scene was crazy about this one and celebrated it as big tune as well as another tune called Authentic Love. Combinations with Jah Mason and Perfect followed until he felt it was time for a next step. This was 2006 when he changed his name into Zareb. He didn’t want to leave his carrer to chance and intended to work specificly on it to make his way as a respected artists in the long run. At this time he met producer and label manager Ingo from Pow Pow, who worked on one of his productions in Jamaica. Direct from the start the vibes between the both musicians were right and the idea of a joint project, Zareb’s debut album, was born. Since that time there were numerous Live-Shows with Fantan Mojah all around the world. Zareb used the chance to refine his voice and stage presence. He now looks forward to the start of his album Authentic Love, which is his first outright creation with a spectrum of songs that allows him to express all aspects of his personality and presents him as a matured artist, ready to enter the world of reggae music.

You will hear a lot more from zareb keep listening ,JAH LIVE.


Saturday June 20, 2009

11:00am Gates Open

Join us for lunch


12:00pm-1:30pm De Hurricane

Haling from the exotic isle of Dominica, Cleve “Hurricane” Jean Jacques has been a professional musician since he could remember. Hurricane’s musical career began at the tender age of fourteen, when he was performing as lead guitarist and vocalist for the Island’s leading band. Then Hurricane continued to develop in strength as a song writer, musical arranger, and entertainer. In 1986, he entered the arena of calypso and for the next fourteen years touched the hearts and lives of people all over the world.


Hurricane has performed in Europe, Central America, South America, Canada, the United States, and almost all of the Caribbean Islands. Hurricane has opened for or performed along side of Calypso King of the World Mighty Sparrow, Arrow, Ziggy Marley, Shaggy, Luciano, Morgan Heritage, Steel Pulse and more.


Presently, Hurricane resides in Chicago, heading the Hurricane band and performing with some of the most talented professionals in the industry. The band performs as a quartet or an orchestra featuring a brass section or steel pan. Hurricane also performs as a solo artist thrilling audiences with his true musical talent






2:00pm-3:30pm Family Groove Workshop Featuring Drumming Master Carolyn Kobel

What Carolyn will not tell you in her biography, is that she is one of the best percussionists in the Midwest.  With a passion for playing, teaching, and sharing her gift she is truly the "heartbeat of Kalamazoo".  Join Carolyn and special guests as they  explore personal expression through drum and dance, and get the kids involved!

Alright, here's the story-- You can check out my eclectic fusion of drums and percussion in the following incarnations: **Blue Dahlia** ( original art music for film, dance, and more with Derek Menchinger: acoustic/electric guitars/mandolin; Levi Strickland: bass and guitar; Cara Lieurance: flutes and vocals; Leslie Boughton: lyrics/lead vocals; **Fonn Mor** ( high energy music from the Celtic tradition with Curt Tramel: guitar/cittern/vocals; Rick Willey: fiddle/mandolin/vocals; Katie McIlwie: button accordian/flutes; Rick Stubbs: bass; **Dunuya Drum and Dance** ( music of West Africa and the Diaspora with Calvin "Shangojinmi" Ruff: percussion/vocals; Tommy Mac: percussion/lead djembe; Jennifer Nowlen: vocals/percussion; Kama Mitchell, Dasan Mitchell, Jaidyn Kynaston, Love Burkett, Heather Mitchell: dance; **The Skintones** (tribal trance dance) with Tommy Ufkes, drum-set and special guests; **Rhonda Larson and Ventus** ( classical/new age/world fusion from one of the world's most talented flute players with Rich Ridenour, piano/keys; **Trio



4:00pm-5:30pm De Hurricane (see above)


6:00pm-7:30pm The Pocket

The Pocket is a distinctly original band that combines alternative rock with authentic reggae roots. This combination creates an international sound for today's selective  audience. Incredible vocals, memorable lyrics and an infectious stage energy always leaves listeners wanting more. For the last two  years, The Pocket has been touring the US and the Caribbean. They have performed mainstage at the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival with icons Roberta Flack, Third World and Nora Jones. The Pocket also had the honor of showcasing  at The Bob Marley 60th Anniversary Festival presented by Tuff Gong. During their Carribean tour, The Pocket lit up the Jamaican coastline performing at Western Consciousness while thousands of  college spring breakers were also blown away by the party all night  performances at Margaritaville, Negril.
  Washington DC based lead vocalist, Omar Teitelbaum, brings extraordinary talent and unmistakable character to both the studio and the stage. Originally from Jamaica, lead guitarist Terrence Brown, musically guides the group with his insightful presence and positive vibrations. Matt "Wonderboy" Wood, both keyboardist and rapper extraordinaire, fits into the groove perfectly along with Nathan Read, a dynamic 'lock it in the pocket' drummer. Bassist, Sean Meyers, lays down a thick,deep groove accompanied by sultry background vocals to complete the band's tapestry of sound.
  The  Pocket's highly  aclaimed  album "Out of Many One" mixed by Errol  Brown (Bob Marley's main engineer) has seen international success. The first two pop reggae singles "Lila Rose" and "Oceanside” (Rooftop in Kingston) are quickly gaining recognition and respect in Jamaica on Irie FM, Zip and many other radio stations. The Pocket has also  performed at  some of the best  live music  venues in the US such as: 9:30 Club in  Washington  DC, Fox  Theater in  Boulder, CO and Malibu Inn in Los  Angeles. Incredible vocals, great lyrics, and a strong reggae influence, this is something truly unique.  The Pocket is a dedicated band with an  ever-growing fan base and  are poised and  prepared to take it to the next level in Jamaica, The United States and beyond. . .


8:00pm-9:30pm Taj Weekes and Adowa

Taj Weekes & Adowa present a brand new experience in classic roots reggae. With wry trenchant lyrics, a haunting dusky quiver in his voice and the knock-down sound of his band Adowa, Taj Weekes has managed to weave a rare social consciousness with an unforgettable reggae groove.

From every corner of the planet, people are responding to the authenticity of Taj Weekes’ spirit, heart and commitment to a world where people can communicate with one another to solve issues non-violently. Taj’s commitment to such a world is backed up by his non-profit organization, They Often Cry Outreach, dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged children around the world via music, soccer programs and more. In conjunction with LIFEbeat, TOCO is helping to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS in Caribbean communities.

For those that have been disadvantaged, abandoned or just alienated by a power structure that values profit over people and fear over hope, Taj Weekes and his new album DEIDEM speaks for them in its refusal to forget those left out of the new "global economy" and in his continued belief in what is possible through authentic music and real communication.





10:00pm-11:30pm Jamaican Reggae Legends - Culture

Culture has long been reggae’s preeminent harmony group.  Born in the 70's golden age of reggae, the ever viable Culture has garnered continual US and international acclaim for its long series of classic “roots” albums.  Culture’s legendary “Two Sevens Clash” (Shanachie) was Reggae Album of the Year in 1977 and is acknowledged by Rolling Stone Magazine (April 11, 2002) as #25 of the 50 all time coolest records (the only reggae album to make the list). 

Culture’s music, featuring the shining lead vocals of Joseph Hill, is solidly roots, perfectly executed and delivered with genuine emotional fervor.  Joseph Hill’s devotion to the traditional Rastafarian values of purity, simplicity and justice is exemplified by Culture’s lyrical themes.  Milo Miles, writing for The New York Times, named Culture as “the leading exponent of ‘conscious reggae’”.  Hill’s message is clear and uplifting.  His songwriting abilities are outstanding and music reviewers have lauded his achievements for two decades.

In 1976 Joseph and his cousin Albert Walker had formed a trio whose name evolved into Culture with the release of the mythic “Two Sevens Clash.”  Joseph Hill performed solo under the name Culture and recorded several projects during the early eighties; he and Albert subsequently reunited and produced a long series of critically acclaimed recordings. In fact, Culture’s entire body of work (over 28 albums) can be recommended almost without exception.  Noted albums such as “Nuff Crisis”, “Cumbolo,” and “Wings of a Dove” virtually define the “roots” genre. 

On August 19, 2006 while on tour in Europe, Joseph Hill passed suddenly and decisions for the future of the tour and the group had to be made quickly. The European promoters of the upcoming dates requested the group to continue the tour as a Tribute to Joseph Hill.  It was then that his son Kenyatta stepped away from the soundboard and picked up his father’s microphone. Kenyatta was familiar with all of the music and was perfect for the role of new lead singer for Culture. The tour went on

without pause and show after show, audiences, promoters and critics alike were amazed at the way in which Kenyatta was so much like his father onstage while introducing an element of his own.  One critic’s comment stands out. He summed it up by saying “It was more magic than tragic”.  It happened again in Bahia Brazil at a festival on Sept 2.  The final proof that Kenyatta was the logical choice took place in Jamaica at the memorial concert for Joseph Hill on the weekend of the funeral.  There was no doubt that when Kenyatta stepped up and performed, that he was the highlight of the star studded night.


12:00am-1:30am Zion Lion

There is no better way to close the 14th annual Island festival, other than with our good friends Zion Lion!

Zion Lion Reggae Band is the "baddest" band to hit Kalamazoo.    Zion Lion is a combination of several bands from the Kalamazoo area who crossed each others path along the way and decided to form what we believe to be the right mix of reggae, zouk, soukous, and afo-latin influences.