The Ethiopian New Year

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And it’s the year 2008 in Ethiopia, today.


This day has many other significances, including the death of Peter McIntosh and all those that suffered at the hands of 9/11, that negative milestone in American history.

Anyway folks, enjoy this day knowing that you are part of the equation when it comes to cultures being educated about each other.

Tribute to Rico Rodriguez (1934-2015)

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Rico Rodriguez, trombonist, was part of the backbone to the development of reggae music, ever since the genre itself was in its earliest stage as Blue Beat and Ska. His style derived from the Jazz music that was coming out of the USA.

We are delighted and proud that we encountered an experience with this individual, when he performed on trombone, along with “Satch” (trumpet) and Dick Cuthrie (saxophone), on our Tribute To The Martyrs album. This album has always been recognised by our hardcore fans as being one of our best efforts.

To our fans out there, Rico, a student at the Alpha Boys Music School, in Kingston JA, was born in1934, in Havanna, Cuba.

A big up to the UB40 crew, too. Rico, a Ras that no one could separate from his spiff, once said to me that the first time he every received any decent and consistent money in this business was when he teamed up and went on tour with UB40. He said, “The man dem a look after me good, Dread!! The man dem a look after me good!”

So to the “Man from Wareika,” Jah guidances through your transition.  A milestone!

RASTAFARI Lives On (1892-1975)

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Here is a painting I did of H.I.M. Emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie I, The Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah.  RASTAFARI liveth still.

And lest we forget, here is a photo of Emmitt Till:

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Yesterday was also the 60th anniversary of his death. Sixty years on and very little has changed in the Deep South of the US.

Emmitt, then aged 14, was taken out of the house of his relatives in the middle of the night while on vacation in Mississippi. Reason? It was said that he made some kind of pass to a white woman earlier that day. His corpse was later found with his face badly mutilated. When the body was return back to his home town, Chicago, his mother had him paraded in an open casket for the whole world to see.

Yes, August 28, 1955 was a sad day in America’s history.

Now, with the more recent death of Trayvon Martin and the never-ending stream of homicides of young black youths at the hands of a militarized police, we have tension once again in the streets.

This question is to each and everyone: are we witnessing the compound aftermath and effects of slavery and colonialism in today’s society?

As Dr Martin Luther King, who we respect for being an advocate that brought about the voting rights for Afro Americans, 50 years ago, this month, would say, “Let Freedom Ring.”

Remembering Ras Gerry

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It has been half a year since Ras Gerry made his transition and he is still very much missed by us. I’m only so happy to have linked with him and had that chance to see him at his favorite pastime; playing the steel pans. The rehearsal he had with his local band in Orlando, completely held my attention.

Sadly, I was unable to attend the funeral that was held in Ft. Lauderdale due to a snow storm that had the airlines cancelled in NY.

Talking about vibes, out of NY’s 9,000,000 people, I was at a department store standing in line waiting to be served. Right next to me there was his sister whom I had never ever met, who heard my accent. Realizing I was a Jamaican, she turned around and went on to say that I reminded her so much of a brother she’d just buried. After a minute of exchanging details of his description, come to find out that before Ras Gerry had passed he had posted a photo of a stranger to his sister. She showed me the picture. Guess who the stranger was…???

R.I.P. Julian Bond

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“Violence is black children going to school for 12 years and receiving 6 years’ worth of education. 

“Any time someone carries a picket sign in front of the White House, that is the First Amendment in action. 

“The war in Iraq has as much to do with terrorism as the administration has to do with compassion.

“As legal slavery passed, we entered into a permanent period of unemployment and underemployment from which we have yet to emerge. 

“The First Amendment means everything to me.

- Julian Bond

There we were last night performing “Let Freedom Ring,” in honour of Dr Martin Luther King, in Costa Mesa to celebrate the 50th anniversary this month, where documents were signed that declared all African Americans the legitimate right to vote, yet not being aware that one of the most prolific activist of the Civil Rights Movement leaders, Julian Bond, had passed.

Horace Julian Bond, born 14 January 1940, transition 15 August 2015. I first recognised Julian back in 1986, doing an interview on national TV. It immediately struck me how eloquent and articulate he was on getting his message across. He remain a solid and focused figure in my eyes from then on.

Julian, at least you were around long enough to witness that 50 year milestone of progress in American history. You will be sadly missed by those that knew you.

Condolences to your sincere friends and family.


Medgar@ 90

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Although this is the last day of July, I would like you take some time and join me to pay tribute to Medgar Evers, because it was in this month, the 2nd of July to be precise, he would have turned 90 years old.

For the many world wide who is unfamiliar, Medgar Evers was the leader of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement for Coloured People), based in Jackson Mississippi. He was cut down while leaving his parked car, walking towards his home and family, on June 12th 1963.

Although Medgar was not internationally known as Dr Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, his role as a Freedom Fighter and activist was easily on par with the others. As a matter of fact, I personally consider him to be the most courageous of them all due to the fact that he was against all the odds, residing in the most racist zones in the US at that time, unprotected by the law or an entourage of friends and well-wishers.

I present another painting of mine, once again, unfinished in honour of such an icon. Medgar, may you continue to make your friends, family and mankind, proud.

Madiba @ 97

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Hail Mi Irieites,

Today, would have been the 97th earth day of Nelson Mandela. May he be continued to be remembered in all of us, especially in this ignorant phase this world happens to be going through at this time in regards to racism.

I present a painting for this special day, though unfinished. Enjoy!

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