NEWSLETTER ~ Volume 11 ~ November 2018


Canadian Reggae is always Golden

CBC did a lovely piece on the genius that is Jackie Mittoo

“Jackie Mitto and the golden age of Canadian reggae”


How inaccurate

Jackie was great and forever will be great… and golden too

CBC could use a conversation with those within the reggae community sometimes

There are and have been many golden occurrences within the reggae scene in Canada

They went through their archives to dig up performances with Jackie and Lord Tanamo, 2 original members of the legendary Skatalites, the foundation band of ska back in the 1960s in Jamaica

That Jackie Mittoo talent was quite unique and of virtuoso quality and deserves even greater accolades for said genius

Yet there is more

Bob Marley may well be considered as “the king of reggae” based on his vast accomplishments, body of work and talent but reggae has many, many, many, other sons and daughters.  It ain’t just about Bob

Reggae is a voice

A spiritual frequency that reaches conscious souls globally

It is not only about a single person

It is always a blessing to see the past honored as this doc has done for Jackie yet I wonder when the CBC or any other Canadian program will take the time to tell the world about The Sattalites, Messenjah, Exco Levi, Blessed, Ammoye, Tasha Tee, Kirk Diamond, Lazo, Jones and Jones, concerts at The Opera House, more about Jason Wilson or Carl Harvey who has toured with Toots Hibbert for the last 40 or so years

I managed IBADAN for over a decade and had many golden moments at Lee’s Palace, The Bamboo, The El Mocambo, The Opera House and many other spots

CHRY 105.5, CKLN 88.1 with only CIUT 89.5 remaining of community radio through the 80s and the 90s.  These were golden years for reggae as well.  The radio personalities were as significant as many of the artists within the genre

Continue to support CIUT for many things including reggae.  Patrick Roots and DB Hawkes have been at it, on air, probably 30 years each, spinning reggae music from vinyl / cassette to laptop

Point the lights and the cameras towards some of the people above.  One will find lots of gold there

Too often reggae is viewed as nostalgia when we, Canada, have had this vibe, ongoing daily for over 50 years now


When is it given its value or it’s due within its own time?

Where there is an ability to earn as opposed to token documentaries years after the artists are dead and buried?

I am proud to see Joe Issacs, Carol Brown, Jay Douglas, Jason Wilson, Lord Tanamo, Willi Williams and film of the reggae past.  A source of pride for me as well as all who have lived it

Yet if the talent is good enough to be glorified, why is it so difficult to invest in the genre and pay its participants


Always accolades then excuses then always excluded from the fiscal table

Pride to watch heroes, friends, contemporaries on screen in our living rooms yet there is no fiscal value to this genre inna Canada

Back in the day the excuse was, “reggae is indigenous to Jamaica, so it can’t get support here”.  You could hear that from grant applications to radio people to music heads, booking agencies, major and minor record labels across the industry

Lots of accolades yet loads of exclusion

That is a truth about reggae Canada

Always grateful for the pat on the head yet being paid for ones talent and work is far more rewarding in my eyes

Before you go with another age old story / myth, “we have no budget”, please remember that in 2017, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra was awarded $7.5 MILLION grant for ONE celebration in Canada 150

One celebration

Reggae Canada received… Wait for it…


I take this opportunity to speak on those who still do it today, continually at the highest level

Tokenism is one of the strategies of our colonial masters inna Canada

Track the royalty payments of some of those performing today or over the years and I bet you the least amount of royalties paid to Canadian performing reggae artists, come from Canada

The least amount

How come?

We still only talking about the late, great, Jackie Mittoo

There are others

There is much more to reggae music than one person

Yet always proud of Jackie… and Bob


Thoughts on Buju Banton’s release from a decade of incarceration

What is your excitement level, 1 – 10, 10 being the most excited and 1 being the least?

Which artist {s} would like to see him do collaborations with?  Beres?  Damian and Stephen?  Chronixx?  Beenie Man and Bounty?

I hope and prayer is that Buju finds some levels of peace and harmony within and that this harrowing experiences has not darkened his spirit.  I hope is that Buju will shine that light from within as only he has

Buju’s light

Reggae For Life

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