The international Reggae of the Rototom Sunsplash puts the finishing touches to its imminent edition with some twenty artists who will grace Benicasim, August 16 to 22. With Anthony BMicah Shemaiah & The DreaditesAaron Nigel SmithAcsel & The Reggae Rebel BandRhomanife and Jamaleònics, to name but a few.

Reggae legends celebrating milestone anniversaries, revivals of classic reggae movie soundtracks, a wealth of female empowerment, and an international gathering at three sound system areas… Rototom 2019 offers all this and more

The Main Stage hosts live shows from some of Jamaica’s biggest artists. It’s the place to see Grammy winning son of Bob, Ziggy Marley, cultural reggae’s 21st century heir-apparent Chronixx, highly creative dancehall “deejay” Busy Signal, and first family of modern reggae Morgan Heritage. A recent addition to the top tier of the lineup is fiery Rasta lyricist Anthony B. Also on the Main Stage are veteran harmony groups Israel Vibration, and Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill, versatile Rasta vocalist Queen Ifrica, deep-voiced cultural singer Bushman, and groundbreaking, trendsetting first lady of reggae song, Marcia Griffiths.


In addition, the stage hosts some special anniversary shows. Devout Rastafarian close harmony group the The Abyssinians celebrate their 50th year, progressive reggae outfit Third World commemorate their 45th, while British ska ensemble Selecter and Rasta prophets Misty in Roots both hit their 4th decade in music.

2019 marks Rototom’s 10th year in Spain, and in honour of this momentous occasion and the growth of Spanish reggae, local legends Green Valleymake a triumphant return to Benicassim. They will be putting on a very special show, filled with special guests.

Also representing Spain on the Main Stage are Navarran future dub duo Iseo & Dodosound with the Mousehunters, Madrid harmony trio Emeterians, and Barcelona’s multi-award winning reggae rumba and funk influenced Macaco

The songs from two of reggae’s greatest feature films are showcased by special collaborative performances. The soundtrack to Ted Bafaloukos’ 1978 reggae film Rockers will be recreated on stage by Bernard Collins of the Abyssinians, Big YouthKiddus I and drummer/lead actor Leroy Horsemouth Wallace. Franco Rosso’s powerful British reggae film Babylon will be revisited by original soundtrack creator Dennis Bovell and the movie’s lead, Brinsley Forde.

Completing the Main Stage lineup are Bob Marley’s grandson Jo Mersa, highly intellectual poet Jah9, veteran mento legends the The Jolly Boys, silky-voiced Protoje-signings Lila Iké and Sevana, hugely popular Californian band Slightly Stoopid and French hip hop collective L’Entourloop.

The neighbouring Lion Stage is a home to rising and seasoned reggae talent. It’s the place to find the African dancehall of Ghana’s Stonebwoy, a new album launch by Jamaica’s Warrior King, the soulful conscious reggae of France’s Nâmaan, honey-voiced Jamaican veteran Linval Thompson, and French sound system and production house OBF with emcees Charlie P, Sr Wilson and Shanti D. A diverse line-up includes Polish reggae ambassadors Bednarek, England’s hugely popular Gentleman’s Dub Club, French rebel singer Tairö, and Italian stalwart Brusco. Two brand new announcements are Jamaican roots revivalist Micah Shemaiah and Billboard chart-topping US-based protest singer and educator Aaron Nigel Smith.

The remainder of the Lion Stage roster is testimony to reggae’s international flavour. Europe is represented by Stand High Patrol featuring Marina P (France), Acsel & the Reggae Rebel band, Istituto Italiano Di Cumbia All Stars and exciting new announcement Rhomanife (all from Italy), Eva Lazarus and Mad Professor’s Young Robotiks Band featuring Lady Marga, Zeena, Redhed QI, Joe Ariwa (UK) and Forelock (Sardinia). From further afield come The New York Ska Jazz Ensemble, The US Virgin Islands’ Reemah, and Puerto Rico’s International Dub Ambassadors. The diversity of Spanish reggae is to be heard in the music of Itaca Band, Lasai, The Dance Crashers, All B, Koers and new Lion Stage addition the Jamaleònics. The festival’s commitment to female energy in dub music is enshrined in Women Soldier, a special ensemble of talented vocalists out of Barcelona and Italy, curated by producer Chalart 58.

Rototom has three spectacular sound system areas, each devoted to a different corner of Jamaican music. The Dancehall area hosts a pulsating party with appearances from UK chart hit maker Stylo G, New York-based Jamaican singer Kranium, Kingston collective Ward 21 and recently added Spanish deejay Mad Muasel. Also in attendance are Jamaica’s Stone Love, Renaissance 30, Freddie Krueger and ZJ Liquid, joined by Japan’s legendary Mighty Crown and Jah Works Sound, Germany’s Sentinel, France’s Drum Sound, Panama’s DJ Chiqui Dubs, Israel’s New Zion Sound, England’s V Rocket and Spain’s Blackup. Italy’s Northern Lights celebrating their 20th anniversary, and Rototom legend Lampa Dread are in residence.

The frenetic sounds of 2 Tone, Ska and Cumbia can be heard in the Caribbean Uptempo area. Highlights of the line-up include Jamaican veteran Winston Francis, the UK’s Natty Bo and former Selecter member King Hammond, as well as Colombia’s Banda Melao with appearances by Colombian and Honduran traditional dancers.

Heavier vibrations await at the Dub Academy. The area has invited an unprecedented gathering of sound systems, including The UK’s Iration Steppas, Jah Tubbys and Sinai, plus the Netherlands’ King Shiloh, Barcelona’s Greenlight Sound, France’s Blackboard Jungle, and Italy’s 48 Roots,  Each of these sonic giants will be bringing to this hallowed ground their own stacks. Further guests will be Mad Professor, the Ivory Coast’s producer Jacin, together some surprise acts.

Reggae’s roots in Africa can be experienced in the eclectic rhythms of the African Village. Artists confirmed for this year are Ghana’s quirky Fokn Bois, Senegal’s electronic Sabar and Mbalax fusionists Guiss Guiss Bou Bess, Ghanian highlife from Kwame, multilingual Guinean female artist Marga Mbande, Ethiopian instrumental quintet Qwanqwa, and Afro-fusion group Sahad and the Nataal Patchwork. DJ sets include Lisbon’s Celeste Mariposa, highlighting and exploring the Afro-Portuguese connection.

Continue reading “ROTOTOM SUNSPLASH 2019 is “STAND UP FOR EARTH” 26th Edition”

Un tour mondiale per Richie Stephens & Ska Nation Band grazie al supporto di Puglia Sound / Regione Puglia

La band italo/jamaicana Richie Stephens and The Ska Nation sta per dare il via al Kingston Salento International Tour, un tour internazionale in formazione al gran completo per esibirsi il prossimo 22 luglio sul palco del Reggae Sumfest, il festival di musica reggae più importante al mondo che si svolge da 25 anni a Montego Bay in Jamaica, altre tappe sull’isola di Bob Marley e uno show al REGGAEJAM, tra i più grandi festival del genere in Europa, in programma il 29 luglio in Germania. Capitanati della lead voice del progetto Richie Stephensche, dopo aver ricevuto nel 2017 ben due ASCAP Award per il brano Work di Rihanna di cui è il compositore, ritorna dopo 15 anni al Reggae Sumfest con la sua Ska Nation Band. Joe Bagdanovich, uomo d’affari jamaicano e patron del festival dell’isola, si è mostrato entusiasta del progetto e della reinterpretazione del classico napoletano ‘O Sole Mio proposto da Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band, decidendo di scritturare la formazione italo/jamaicana al completo per il suo 25esimo SUMFEST. 

Questo grande traguardo per la band italiana, in parte sostenuto da Puglia Sound e Wayout Eventi che hanno creduto nelle potenzialità del progetto culturale internazionale che unisce la Puglia e la Jamaica in un gemellaggio, si è concretizzando anche grazie all’impegno Rankin Lele e Papa Leu e del team Adriatic Sound. I due musicisti salentini, produttori della Ska Nation Band affiancati da Richie Stephens, rinomato cantante e produttore che con la sua Label Pot of Gold ha supervisionato il gruppo, hanno così inteso investire nella cultura nella convinzione che la musica sia uno dei migliori mezzi di promozione del territorio e dei suoi talenti artistici. Puglia Sound, ha per questo sposato e sostenuto a pieno la mission della Ska Nation Band.

La nuova hit “Bad Boys in town” di Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band ft. Bounty Killer, uno dei brani più suonati di Kingston ed è diventata virale anche grazie alla coreografia di noti dancers jamaicani che arricchiscono il videoclip ufficiale con una routine(coreografia) riportata ormai in moltissimi party, lezioni di danza e dancehall. L’ensemble SKA NATION BAND è formato da: Richie Stephens Lead Singer, Rankin Lele Singer, Papa Leu Singer & Guitar, Luca Manno Sax, Gianluca Ria Trombone, Gaetano Carrozzo Trombone, Giancarlo Dell’Anna Trumpet, Andrea Perrone Trumpet, “Maestro” Garofalo Keyboards, Antonio “Fossa” Miglietta Drum, Leo Klaus Bass, Morello Selecta DJ, Paola Pierri, Tammi TBacking Vocals. Tra i diversi ospiti di Richie Stephens & the Ska Nation Band sull’ambitissimo palco di Catherine Hall a Montego Bay, ci saranno anche i pionieri del reggae italiano Sud Sound System. Per Papa Leu e Rankin Lele, fondatori del progetto insieme alla reggae star jamaicana Richie Stephens,l’invito a partecipare al main stage del SumFest è un vero e proprio sogno che si realizza e, soprattutto, sono fieri di rappresentare l’Italia e alla Puglia in un evento di tale portata. Anche Sean Paul farà parte della ricca line up della 25esima edizione del Reggae Sumfest, insieme ad altri nomi del calibro di Bounty Killer, Beenie Man, Sizzla, Alkaline, Spice, Queen Ifrica, Tory Lanez, Mavado, Christopher Martin, Mad Cobra e tanti altri.

Comunicato stampa : Eugenia Conti 

Photo credit : Federico Giannace