Nasio Fontaine was born on the Caribbean island of Dominica to a Carib Indian mother and Father of African descent. He later moved to St. Maarten where he became influenced by Rastafari and reggae artists such as Burning Spear and Bob Marley. He recorded his first single in 1986 and has since released 5 albums to critical acclaim. He has performed at festivals in Africa and the UK.
Alpha Blondy was born in the Ivory Coast to a Muslim father and a Christian mother. He sings for unity and peace between all religions. He has recorded reggae music in English, French, Baoule, Hebrew, Arabic, Ashanti, Dioula, Malinke, and Wolof. He recorded with the Wailers at Tuff Gong Studios in Jamaica. He has worked with Sly and Robbie among other international musicians. From 1982 until now, he toured Europe and Africa and is known by his fans as “The Bob Marley of Africa.” He received a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album in 2003.
Joe Pilgrim and the Ligerians. Benin-born singer Joe Pilgrim spent his childhood in France.
Lucky Dube was a multi-platinum, award-winning South African Rastafarian reggae artist. He recorded 22 albums in Zulu, English, and Afrikaans over a 25 year period. Lucky Dude toured the world sharing stages with the likes of Sting and Sinead O’Connor. He appeared at the 1991 Reggae Sunsplash in Jamaica. Dube gave Africa a voice and took its culture to the global stage. He raised conversations about the struggles faced by the people in his homeland. He will be remembered and honored for his contributions made to South Africa, bringing African reggae to the mainstream, and bridging cultural gaps throughout the diaspora.
Midnite was a roots reggae band from St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. The band was started around 1989 by brothers Vaughn and Ron Benjamin and released its debut album in 1997. The Benjamin brothers went their separate ways at some point and the group reformed in 2015 around Vaughn Benjamin as Akae Beka. Reggae news website Midnight Raver referred to Midnite as “the most referred, influential, and prolific reggae act in two decades.”
J Boog was born of Samoan ancestry in Long Beach, California but grew up mostly in Compton. He went to Hawaii in the 2000’s and launched his singing career fusing reggae, R&B, hip-hop, and rock. His 2nd of 3 full-length albums rose to the top of the US Reggae Albums charts in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
Collie Budz was raised in Bermuda but was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to a Jamaican mother and Bermudian father. I included songs by Pressure Buss Pipes from the US Virgin Islands. Khari Kill and Zebulun hailing from Trinidad and Tobago are showcased.
Natural Blacks, the Guyanese-born reggae singer delivered some solid hits.
Stick Figure is an American reggae band based in Northern California. E.N Young from South of San Diego California near the Mexican border, former lead singer in the group Tribal Seeds.
The Simpkin Project, a reggae rock band from Huntington Beach, California contributes to the mix.
Hear songs from Katchafire, a New Zealand roots reggae band and City Kay, a French reggae band.
Matisyahu is a Jewish American reggae singer, rapper, and musician from Pennsylvania who grew up in White Plains, New York. He is known for blending Orthodox Jewish themes with reggae and rap. In 2006 Matisyahu was named Top Reggae Artist by Billboard.
“Rock right through Electric Avenue,” the biggest hit single by Eddy Grant who was born in Guyana and later moved to England and then Barbados.
Mista Savona is Australia’s leading reggae and dancehall producer. Listen for his collaboration with Julito Pardon, a Trumpet player from Havana, Cuba. The single is featured on the album “Havana meets Kingston” released by VP Records.