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Tribute to the Reggae Legends 2012

Tribute to the Reggae Legends 2012

Tribute to the Reggae Legends 2012

By on - Photos by Jan Salzman - 2 comments

The festival took place on February 18 & 19 in San Diego, California.

Tribute To The Reggae Legends

It was a cool winter California day with temperatures in the mid-60’s as I walked through the open air section of the Harbor Pier venue. A secondary stage was set up outside with lots of great local reggae bands performing. The main stage was set up inside the main building structure that had an open back to the pier. There also were many vendors set up on the second floor of the building with beautiful reggae wares. I was able to enter before the doors officially opened and I got myself situated with camera in hand for the main stage was about to heat up with a performance by Ocho Rios based artist President Brown! In his 45 minute set he performed such hits as Black and Proud and My Confidence, which really got the crowd moving and grooving.

Next up was newly reformed, huge reggae band Big Mountain, who were recording today’s performance for a live CD/DVD. They had many luminaries in their band celebrating their 29 years together including drummer, Paul Kastick (809 band/Maxi Priest), bassist Taddy P (Shaggy), and Reggie Griffin (famed NYC producer/musician). They performed their newly released single, Leap of Faith, which is sure to be a chart topper like their massive previous classics Touch My Light and their Billboard chart topper, Baby I Love Your Way. Kino, the charismatic lead singer wowed the crowd…sometimes playing guitar…sometimes coming out from behind the guitar, sparring with brother James (percussion and vocals) and putting on a magnificent stage show.

J Boog graced the stage backed by local sensational band Detour Posse and performed songs from his newest album 'Backyard Boogie' including Do It Again and Every Little Thing. He was joined onstage by vocalist Fiji, from Hawaii. Toward the end of his set he performed a cover of Marlon Asher’s song Ganga Farmer that was a big hit with the audience as they sang along with the lyrics.

Sister Nancy, who is the sister of reggae icon Brigadier Jerry, performed to an enthusiastic crowd including her smash hit, Bam Bam which is in regular rotation at all our reggae clubs here in So. Cal. And is a dance favorite.

Tribute To The Reggae LegendsKing Yellowman treated us to a very high energy set backed by the Sagittarius Band, out of Jamaica. The high-kicking star did a fabulous set, dressed in reggae warrior style camouflage. He pranced and ran across the stage, sometimes posing for the cameras singings such hits as Blueberry Hill, Operation Eradication and Don’t Burn It Down.

Now it was time for the headliner and perennial San Diego/Tribute to the Legends favorite artist, Don Carlos, known as a solo artist and also from many years as lead singer for reggaes’ legendary band Black Uhuru. His band, dressed in black to complement Don’s gleaming white jacket, drove a powerful reggae riddim to the massive audience. Don danced across the stage singing such classics as Laser Beam and Just a Passing Glance. His smiles warmed the crisp night air. He was joined onstage by Garth Dennis (Black Uhuru, The Wailing Souls) on backing vocals.

Day Two February 19, 2012

Day two started with the irie vibes of The Itals, lead singer, Keith Porter, singing classics like, In Dis Ya Time. Their lead guitar player, Dwight Pinkney, was picking out the notes in his well known style.

The very rootsy, Sister Carol, was backed by the band Ikronic which was lead by singer/guitarist Junior Jazz, most recently of Inner Circle fame. Sister Carol came onstage sporting a beautiful green/gold and red, Lion of Judah wrap. She sang such favorites as Mi Name Sister Carol, Black Cinderella and Dedicated to You.

Big Mountain made a repeat performance this Sunday thrilling the crowd once again with their classic hits and magnificent stage presence.

Italian reggae sensation, Alborosie, followed up with a strong set of songs from his last two albums for Greensleeves… my favorites the very rub-a-dub style Kingston Town, Rastafari Anthem and his hit cover of Steel Pulses’ Stepping Out. He danced across the stage swinging his knee-length dreadlocks with passion.

Reggae veterans and three time Grammy nominees, The Wailing Souls, opened their set with their classic, She Pleases Me. Winston “Pipe” Matthews was wearing a beautiful shirt with Haile Selassie on the front. Lloyd “Bread” McDonald sang lead on their classic Old Broom. Other classics that they performed were Jah, Jah Give Us Life and Shark Attack.

Tribute To The Reggae Legends

Junior Reid bounded onstage wearing a black suit and black bo bo style head wrap. His high register voice was clear and strong as he sang his hit tunes. He sang his massive solo hit One Blood about the third song into his set. Also a former lead singer for the legendary group Black Uhuru, he sang Great Train Robbery to the delight of the crowd. Another crowd pleaser was his song, This Is Why I’m Hot. The side of the stage area was packed during Junior’s set with all the musicians and singers there to hear his wonderful voice.

Opening the set for Johnny Osbourne was singer Wayne Smith, doing his classic Under Mi Sleng Teng.

Now it was time for the king of sleng teng, Johnny Osbourne, whose song Buddy Bye was a sleng teng anthem during the late 80’s in Jamaica. Celebrating four decades in the music business, Johnny sang classics like, Ice Cream Love, Little Sound Boy, Come Back Darling and Ringcraft the latter being the first time it was performed live. This was Johnny’s first West Coast appearance in ten years and the crowd loved it. Johnny and Wayne Smith were back by the Roots Covenant Band from San Diego who did a great job!

These two days of sold out shows proved the strength of reggae music in Southern California. Many thanks to promoter Makeda Dread for bringing this wonderful festival to San Diego!


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Read comments (2)

Posted by Dawn on 03.16.2012
You notice this article didn't discuss the food, shopping or location. The only good thing that occurred was the music. The food was horrible, they had roach coaches! It was too crowded, the beer garden as they called it didn't allow you to walk around with your beer you had to stay in one area and then you were kicked out if you were in there too long. There were only about 6 booths selling items that were way too expensive! I miss the Long Beach Raggamuffins Fest!

Posted by Tonto on 01.30.2013
I agreed Dawn. Also the accustics are terrible and if you're handicapped you're screwed. I never saw a artist the entire time, just people's rear ends. Not going again.

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