Sunday, November 7, 2010

Foundation Salute

October 30 is just around the corner and if the activities at the Press Release event for Reggae Culture Salute last Wednesday, October 13 at 310 Lounge were anything to go by, it can’t come soon enough. In a welcome and refreshing change to the usual crush at some reggae press events, the Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music, Inc. (CPR) hosted select media, music personalities and artists slated to appear in Brooklyn at the end of October.

On its 6th anniversary, October 30, 2010 – Reggae Culture Salute will unfold Salute to the Foundation at Nazareth Regional High School auditorium, 475 East 57th Street, Brooklyn, between Clarendon and Avenue D. Appropriately, the focus this year; is a well-deserved salute to a dwindling number of the venerable founders of reggae ‘culture’ music. In a year when the reggae world has lost some of its most innovative originators and contributors, namely, Wycliffe ‘Steely’ Johnson, O’Neil Edwards of TOK, Vivian Jackson aka Yabby You, Bobby Melody from London and last, but by no means least – Sugar Minott; Reggae Culture Salute is most timely in bringing this tribute by paying homage to Big Youth and Ernie Smith. Award-winning singer/songwriter Ernie Smith will be presented with the Pinnacle Award and both he and 70’s DJ Big Youth will receive Congressional Proclamations. Veteran musician and unsung elder Tony Tuff will present his personal tribute to Sugar Minott. Other performers on the bill are Douglas Guthrie, Mikey “Mack Daddy” Jarrett, Mystic Bowie and Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn of Ancient Vibration who will lead the audience on a magical journey delving back to the roots of Jamaican music as represented in nyahbinghi drumming.

In a canny move, it’s not just the old heads who will be paying and receiving tribute, but drawing in the youth and passing the baton, Nahki, Sugar Minott’s Japanese protégé and musicians for the event – Anthem Band will be paying their own tributes to the founders of reggae.

As the controversy swirls around ‘dancehall’, its reported demise and its responsibility for bringing down the house of reggae like a deck of cards, Reggae Culture Salute will show once again that this is not the case. For vinyl lovers, your musical tastebuds will be suitably assuaged with “boom” drops from Bobby Channel One and Sir Tommy’s who, in company with Mikey Jarrett, acted as panelists for the evening and like a mischievous triumvirate regaled those at the press event with their hilarious, thought provoking, historically educating and sometimes jaw-dropping and eye popping memories of a fledgling New York music scene.

It was indeed a nice touch for the headline acts to participate in the press conference via video-feed link as they gave interviews and promotion for the upcoming event in addition to live telephone calls where they gained some feedback from those present at the event.

The unchanging and underlying theme of Reggae Culture Salute is of course to continue to highlight, explore and expose the links and synergies between Reggae, Rasta and His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie. CPR, innovators and leaders in their steadfast mission to preserve reggae music have once again come up with a winning formula that may be imitated but never authenticated. For ticket information, contact 718 421 6927 or