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Tribute to the Reggae Legends 2013

Tribute to the Reggae Legends 2013

Tribute to the Reggae Legends 2013

By on - Photos by Jan Salzman - Comment

The festival took place in San Diego, California on February 16 and 17.  

My day started off at the beautiful Harbor Pier in the Port of San Diego. The sunny, breezy day was exquisite and presented a wonderful ambiance for the weekend’s musical event. Food and crafts vendors lined the entrance to the venue with a colorful red, gold and green.

Tribute To The Legends 2013 - Israel Vibration

The first performer that I caught was Earl Zero… so named by the great reggae guitarist Earl “Chinna” Smith so that the two would be differentiated. Harking back to the 70’s Earl brought us great conscious lyrics in his songs like the very famous “And God Said to Man”.

Little John is considered the first dancehall singer and he can create lyrics over any backing track. He began recording at the age of nine and is most known for his song from 1990, “Boombastic”.

The great reggae vocal group, The Melodians, were up next. Famous for their Leslie Kong produce song, “By the Rivers of Babylon”, they brought vocal harmonies to the venue. They worked with Coxone Dodd from the mid sixties and are staples in the reggae scene.

Martin Campbell made his first musical mark in the UK with the Channel One studios. He was backed by the Fully Fullwood Band which included well known guitarist Tony Chin. Martin is well known and very popular in the San Diego area in particular.

Now it was time for the great roots reggae sound of Israel Vibration. Stricken with Polio as youths they met during treatment for their condition and have provided some of the best reggae music out of Jamaica. Their fabulous performances endure despite their disabilities. Wiss and Skelly traded lead vocals backed by the world renowned reggae band The Roots Radics, including bassist Flabba Holt and guitarist Dwight Pinkney. Wiss and Skelly took turns being front man with one of them standing to the back during the time that the other was in the spotlight. They rocked the venue with favorites like “Hard Road” and “Feelin Irie”. The crowd was thrilled with their performance as they played to the max crowd of the day.

Don Carlos, famed for his work with Grammy winning and many Grammy nominated group Black Uhuru, has been a major contributor to the roots reggae genre. From the 1970’s to present day he has thrilled crowds all over the world, both with Black Uhuru and as a solo artist. His very energetic performance kept the crowd entranced as he gave his masterful set.

Tribute To The Legends 2013 - Don Carlos

Day 2

From childhood Tristan Palma has been bringing his singjay style of regge to the public, working alongside of reggae greats such as Sugar Minott and Freddie McGregor. His roots go back to the Soul Syndicate, where he established a long running relationship with guitarist Tony Chin, who still backed him on this day along with renowned bassist Fully Fullwood.

Out of Denham Town, Kingston, Jamaica, Prince Alla started singing as a child recording with Joe Gibbs. A staunch Rastafarian, he revived his music career in the mid seventies after taking a spiritual retreat in Bull Bay. His joyful countenance had the crowd cheering as the legendary performer did his hits, “Only Love Can Conquer” and “Sun is Shining”.

Richie Spice is one of my favorite roots artists and I was overjoyed that he was a last minute addition to the lineup on Sunday. Michael Rose couldn’t make the show due to visa problems. Richie sang his smash hit, “Earth a Run Red” as his second song in his set and I had to dance for a moment. His spectacular performance included many of his biggest hits like, “Brown Skin” and “Grovin My Girl”.

Tribute To The Legends 2013 - LucianoMartin Campbell did a wonderful encore performance for his great audience in San Diego.

Queen Ifrica is one of the premier female reggae artists out of Jamaica since the mid 1990’s. Her performance brought expert delivery of her songs to the venue including “Below the Waist” and “Daddy”. Her long association with Tony Rebel and Flames Productions has made her career soar. She is one of the most influential women on the reggae scene.

Luciano is my favorite reggae artists in the world. Jah Messenger (as he is also known) gave a blazing performance bringing the love of Jah to the venue. Nominated for a Grammy in 2002 for “A New Day”, he is one of the most prominent reggae entertainers out of Jamaica. Performing his many smash hits like, “It’s Me Again Jah”, “Sweep Over My Soul” and “Who Could It Be”, Luciano gave inspiration to all of those in attendance. He closed the event singing Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” solo with his acoustic guitar. The whole audience sang along with him during this tribute.

Exhausted from the two days of fantastic music, dancing and carrying two heavy cameras, I stepped lightly on my aching feet as I packed up and walked to my car. I listened to “Sweep Over My Soul” on my drive back to friend Stephanie Parra’s home. I want to thank her for my shelter and rejuvenation during my stay in San Diego. Also, many thanks to Makeda Dread and Carlos Culture, promoters and MC’s of the event and Russell Gerlach my press contact. Thanks for the great music!

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