Ashkenaz celebrates the life and music of the late reggae and world justice icon, February 11, 2007. Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and the show begins at 9:00 p.m. Tickets will be $12 or $10 for students, and all ages are always welcome.
The annual Bob Marley Birthday Tribute features two conscious reggae-Caribbean bands – SOJA and Native Elements – as well as the best in recorded Marley music by DJ Lionheart Sounds
Rising from the fertile reggae ground of Washington, D.C., SOJA (Soldiers of Jah Army) cites that city’s Bad Brains as an inspiration. SOJA has created its own blend of conscious roots music with revolutionary lyrics, entwined with the traditional rhythms of reggae, a style that, “comes across with passion and depth,” the Washington Post proclaimed in 2005. The band tours heavily, and is hitting the West Coast after a month in the Pacific, from Hawaii to the Republic of Palau, Guam and Saipan, far from the usual reggae stops. The band came together in 1997, featuring musicians who had grown up listening to reggae, hip-hop and rock. They shared the cause of using music for social change. Along with two lead singers – guitarist Jacob Hemphill and bassist Bob Jefferson – SOJA features keyboardist Patrick O’Shea, percussionist Ken Brownell and drummer Ryan Berty. “Get Wiser” is the group’s latest CD. Hemphill explains the album title, saying, “We as a society tend to have blinders on. We are trying to uplift people’s consciousness by breaking down what makes us blind. To do this, we’ve got to bring back truth. People get wiser.” Reviewing the CD for Performermag.com, Peter Stewart wrote, “It is a brilliant, convincing collection of US reggae at its best.”
Native Elements is one of the hardest working groups on the local reggae scene, having played to dancing throngs from San Francisco’s Reggae in the Park to Humboldt County’s Reggae on the River. As with their debut CD, “Nice n’ Up,” the group emphasizes uplifting original songs and dance beats that integrate strains of dub, R&B, hip-hop and jazz.
This concert is part of Ashkenaz’s celebration of Black History Month, through the African-rooted musical traditions of the Americas.
SOJA, Native Elements, and DJ Lionheart Sounds perform Sunday, Febuary 11th at Ashkenaz Music and Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave at Gilman in Berkeley. Ashkenaz is always all ages and is wheelchair accessible. Doors at 8:30 p.m.; Concert at 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $12 General/$10 Students and are available from Ashkenaz: (510) 525-5054, www.ashkenaz.com, or from Ticketweb.com.
Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center
1317 San Pablo Ave. at Gilman Berkeley, CA 94702
| Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center
510-525-5099 ext. 4#