Twilight Concert Series 2017
Marcia Griffiths is the Queen of reggae music. In 2014 she had many successful shows internationally it being her 30th anniversary as an artist in the music business. Her latest album Marcia and Friends, featuring nearly forty songs with her and other top artists, straightaway hit the billboard charts. As one of the original I - Three’s - the background vocalists for the legendary Bob Marley - Marcia helps to keep the spirit of Bob Marley alive. She is a direct link to the prophetical, proverbial king of Reggae - Bob Marley. In her shows she always covers some of his hit songs with class and sincerity and the spirit of Bob Marley is rekindled. The I-Threes, Bob Marley’s three little birds, were the most influential female singing group in the history of Jamaican music. A trio featuring Marcia Griffiths, Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt, the I-Threes provided the rich harmonies for Bob Marley’s performances and recordings from 1974 until his passing ten years later.
Marcia Griffiths was already well known when the I-Threes came together. From her duet recordings with Bob Andy, including Young, Gifted and Black, Marcia Griffiths already had international recognition. During the recording, Marcia asked Judy to sing a harmony on Young, Gifted and Black, which later went to number two on the British charts. After that Marcia invited the Rita and Judy to sing harmony with her on a show she had at the House of Chen in New Kingston, Jamaica. This show was where the I-Threes vocal group was born. Shortly thereafter, after the departure of Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston from the Wailers, Bob asked the I-Threes to sing on his recording, Jah Live. After that historical recording, the I-Threes continued to record the entire Natty Dread album. For the next ten years the I-Threes did all the tours with Bob Marley and sang on all of his albums. The only Bob Marley album they didn’t sing harmony on was Catch a Fire.
Since Marley’s passing, Marcia has been working hard and consistently as a solo artist touring the world. August 2011 the I Threes did two major performances in San Diego and Los Angeles, CA at the Hollywood Bowl. People came from near and far to see the I-Threes performing together again. After these shows Marcia toured North America and headlined the Northwest World Music Festival in Eugene OR. On the annual U.S. Sunsplash Tours with Tony Johnson, Marcia used to do the tour every year. Marcia Griffiths is a rare example of what true quality reggae music embodies.
Marcia’s Love is Automatic single with Busy Signal was number one on the England and European charts. Another of her big current songs that gets a lot of radio airplay is What Goes Up, Must Come Down which is a combination with Marcia and Queen Ifrica. Marcia Griffith's latest CD, Marcia and Friends features combinations with singers such as Beres Hammond, Sanchez, Bunny Rugs, Daville, Freddie McGregor, Toots Hibbert, Barrington Levy, Diana King, Richie Stevens, Etana, Bob Andy and John Holt, amongst others. For DJ’s on Marcia and Friends, there are combinations with Gentleman, Damian Marley, Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and U Roy.
Marcia Griffiths is a special treat, bringing us inspired reggae music, backed by excellent background vocalists. She puts on a classic show, lively, inspired and uplifting.
Deeply mystical, Jah9 has emerged from a chrysalis of poetry, dub and spirit to become a powerful femiNINE energy within a universal grassroots movement of consciousness. Inspired by the open spaces in the instrumental dub of 1970’s Jamaican roots music, Jah9 sings with a voice that belies the dimensions of her physical body, from a soul much older than its current vessel; “reminiscent of that darkly operatic wailer for truth & justice, Nina Simone.” Her philosophy–profoundly spiritual, and her style–Jazz on Dub.
Born Janine Cunningham, Jah9 spent her first 9 years in Falmouth, Trelawny, on the rural western edge of Jamaica before moving into the city of Kingston, in 1991. Transplanted in the city, this country girl, used to the idyllic Falmouth where everyone knew everyone else, was suddenly struck by chaos disguised as order in Jamaica’s capital. Highly sensitive to her surroundings, she ventured inward and found an outlet for her feelings in the words that she wrote.
Growing up in a conscious family with a preacher for a father and a social worker for a mother, Janine had always been aware of the injustices in the world. However, it was not until she was on campus at the University of the West Indies that she would embark on a pivotal journey to find her true voice. At UWI, she would gather with a group of fellow socially conscious and Rastafari brethren by a fire to steam herbs and reason for long hours. There her heart was opened to the teachings of Haile Selassie I and her ears to the hypnotic bass of the heavy dub rhythms of roots reggae. Janine eventually embraced her childhood nickname, Jah9, as she learnt the significance of the word “Jah” and the number “9”.
A staple on Jamaica’s underground poetry scene by 2009, in instrumental dub she found a place where her words could live, and the songs she started to write found eager encouragement. Jah9 began recording with renowned keyboardist and flautist Sheldon Bernard and her demos caught the attention of the legendary Beres Hammond, who then began helping to develop her recording technique. She later teamed up with popular producer Donovan Bennett of Don Corleon Records and released her first 2 singles in late 2010.
Her focus and determination eventually culminated in the release of her debut album entitled “New Name”, an homage to her personal spiritual journey produced by pioneer dancehall selector and roots producer Rory ‘Stone Love’ Gilligan. Voted album of the year by AchisReggae.com, “New Name” has been described as “quite simply, the superb sum of its parts: a straight cultural roots album” by United Reggae’s Angus Taylor.
Since 2013, Jah9 has performed on the main stage with her band ‘The Dub Treatment’ at most major European and US reggae festivals. Described as “black magic” and “possessing a chilling yet bewitching vibrato evoking a young Ella Fitzgerald and a rootsy coolness à la Erykah Badu” her dub-filled live performances elevate consciousness and invoke a spiritual reawakening.
Jah9, a certified yoga instructor trained in Kemetic, Ashtanga and Iyengar methods, has been known to compel her audiences during her live set to pause, breathe deeply and feel empowered. She opens minds and soaks them in knowledge and positivity. As a way to intimately engage with her fan base, Jah9 also curates an organic rhythm-based yoga experience she calls ‘Yoga on Dub’. Jah9 is rooted in her African heritage and driven to serve. In 2015, while on tour in Italy and Malta she was intent on engaging with African refugees, sharing with them insight on the new environment they would face, natural wellness as well as yoga/breathing as healing therapy.
Jah9’s words are a reflection of the life she has constructed. Considered a nation builder and community activist, she has been heavily involved in youth development work. She has helped develop programs for at-risk youth in Kingston, worked on the creation of “Healing of the Nation” public awareness campaign and been at the core of the creation of the non-profit youth and arts advocacy group known as Manifesto JA in 2005.
In 2016, the Universal year of 9 [2+0+1+6], Jah9 has established for herself a foundation as a formidable lyricist and revolutionary force; and now shifts her energies to unveiling a deeper more personal deployment of her ‘Jazz on Dub’ sound. Empowered by her femiNINE – that which is found in the symbolism of 9, the symbol of creation and womb of the universe – Jah9 released her sophomore album divinely-entitled ‘9’ on September 9th, 2016.