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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Augusta celebrates the 13th Annual Reggae Tribute to Bob Marley this Saturday at Sky City

AUGUSTA, GA - Reggae music has been bubbling beneath the surface of Augusta’s music scene for the past 15 years, said Frederick Benjamin of TRIBe Media and organizer of the 13th Annual Reggae Tribute to Bob Marley at Sky City on Sept. 4.

“The Bob Marley tribute has been for the past 10 to 15 years a barometer for what is happening in reggae in Augusta,” Benjamin said. “It is the only time of the year that we have an event that showcases local talent and brings in some outside talent and lets people hear authentic reggae in the Bob Marley tradition.”

There are so many different styles of reggae music these days, Benjamin said, but this tribute focuses on traditional reggae.
“You don’t really get the opportunity to hear reggae, in the style played by the Wailers, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Steal Pulse and those types of groups,” Benjamin said. “That is why I’m excited every year to go ahead and pull this thing together.”

For the past 13 years, Benjamin has hoped that the Bob Marley tribute would encourage more clubs to feature reggae throughout the year.

“There are very few local musicians who commit themselves to playing reggae,” he said. “Probably the greatest force locally has been the band Kaya, which has Rudy Collins, the bass player. He was one of the co-founders of that group. And Lady D, who has been a mainstay on the Marley tributes for the past 10 years, she was a co-founder of that group as well. They would throw down some of the hardest reggae in the area when they played.”

Lady D will be returning to the stage this year for the 13th annual tribute to Bob Marley.

“Lady D has one of the most dynamic voices that you will ever want to hear,” Benjamin said. “She always tears the place up. If you have never heard her, you are missing a treat. She is the ‘Queen of Reggae.’ When she is on stage, it is her stage.”

For Benjamin, reggae is a magnificent art form that relaxes people. It is an art form he works hard to keep alive in Augusta.

“It has been a labor of love,” he said. “But it is getting hard to keep this event to one evening. I would love to see a weekend or even a reggae festival developed in Augusta.”

The Columbia, S.C.-based band, ReggaeInfinity, will be returning to Augusta for the second year in a row to play at the Bob Marley tribute and they should not be missed, Benjamin said.

“I first heard this band in Columbia and I was struck by the authentic, rich reggae sound,” he said, adding that the band, Rebel Lion, will also be playing. “It just made you feel good.”
Reggae bands interested in getting involved in the local reggae scene should contact Benjamin at 706-836-2018 or e-mail him at
13th Annual Reggae Tribute to Bob Marley
Sky City
Saturday, Sept. 4
9 p.m.
Tickets are available at both Pyramid Music locations, Rebel Lion’s Den, Still Caribbean Restaurant and Sky City.


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