Bob Marley Festival Tour Renamed to Legends of Rasta Reggae Festival Tour

Formerly known as the Annual Bob Marley Festival Tour, the 2006 Annual "Universal Love" Legends of Rasta Reggae Festival Tour is the original Reggae Festival Tour. Over the past 19 years, the Houston based Tour has visited over 45 cities in the United States and abroad, making it the longest running Touring Festival in the world.
This year marks the 20th year since the first tour and the 15th year it has traveled the world to spread awareness of Reggae Music and messages of Universal Love, Peace & Unity along with the Rastafarian way.
The 2006 Tour theme is "Universal Love" and the theme song is "I Can See Clearly", by Johnny Nash.Alan Gray


Reggae For Christ Hits The Air Waves

What do reggae music and the gospel of Christ have in common? When most people hear the words 'reggae music' they immediately think of Bob Marley, one of the most famous Rastafarians to emerge from Jamaica. But if you listen to the words of most of Bob Marley's music you will realize that he quotes regularly from the Bible.Reggae is not normally associated with Christianity. However Tennyson Walters, president of OFMB (Our Father's Music Business) had a vision to spread the good news of Jesus Christ worldwide and he uses different forms of music to reach those who would normally not listen to gospel music.


Tracing Reggae's Catholic Roots

Less well known, and more bizarre, is that this order of nuns is also partly responsible for the birth of reggae music.The sisters had already been working in Kingston, Jamaica, for 12 years when they founded the Alpha Boys' School in 1892.Its purpose was to house and educate "wayward boys," most of them from backgrounds of dire poverty. With instruments donated by a benefactor, a drum and fife corps was set up which, as the years passed, became a martial brass band. By the mid-20th century, the connection with military music was still a constant, but the Alpha Boys' bandmasters were increasingly influenced by swing and jazz."Without the school, there just wouldn't have been the blossoming of talent on the island in the key period of the `60s and `70s," says Laurence Cane-Honeysett, a music consultant to reggae label Trojan Records, who has compiled the excellent album Alpha Boys' School: Music in Education 1910-2006."When the Jamaican music industry took off, it was totally dependent on those who studied there," he says.A quartet of Alpha alumni, Tommy McCook (pictured), Johnny "Dizzy" Moore, Lester Sterling and the celebrated trombonist Don Drummond, were founder members of the Skatalites and, as such, co-creators of Jamaica's first indigenous pop music.
Bar the odd dent - such as the depiction in the film The Magdalene Sisters of cruelty in their now-defunct Irish orphanages and laundries - the reputation of the Catholic Order of the Sisters of Mercy is of 200 years of good deeds in some of the most underprivileged areas of the world.

Reggae would eventually bloom from these roots at Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd's hugely influential Studio One, all built on horn sections featuring Alpharians.Thomas Green


Sean Paul and politics

The biggest musician to come out of Jamaica since Bob Marley has a lot more on his mind than asking sexy ladies to "shake that thing," it seems.
Take gun control in Jamaican, for instance. There isn't any, Sean Paul opined.
"There are only two major political parties (in Jamaica) and they have control of docks and bays that bring in the guns," said Sean Paul, whose Never Going To Be The Same from his new album The Trinity is dedicated to late Jamaican musician Daddigon, a victim of gun violence. "We don't make guns in Jamaica" so he says it's up to him to drop a "lot on the politicians."


Guyanese reggae group First Born hits the charts with "Uplift Yourself"

The Guyanese reggae outfit First Born has been making moves in Jamaica over the last couple of months. The group hit the charts with "Irites" and now they are charting with "Uplift Yourself", which features Fantan Mojah.First Born has been steadily building its reputation as a bonafide reggae band having shared the international stage with a string of big name acts, and spreading its brand of cultural messages.© Stabroek News