The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music, Inc. (CPR) will stage its annual Reggae Culture Salute at the Nazareth Regional High School Performance Center on Saturday, October 30, starting at 8:00PM. This year, the multimedia event of nyahbinghi drumming and rituals, video presentations and live roots reggae performances will pay homage to the foundation of the music and headlining the Salute to the Foundation will be 1970’s trailblazing toaster Big Youth and singer, songwriter Ernie Smith. A musical tribute to Sugar Minott will feature longtime friend and African Brothers group member, Tony Tuff; Japanese deejay and Sugar Minott’s protégé Nahki and New York based deejay Mikey “Mack Daddy” Jarrett who recently recorded the remake of the hit “Tonight” with the deceased Sugar Minott to rave reviews. The event also brings Broadway to Brooklyn with master drummer, Junior “Gabu” Wedderburn of Lion King fame along with his ensemble of Ancient Vibrations performing nyahbinghi drumming and chanting. Mysitc Bowie, front man for the group Tom Tom Club will also make an appearance. The backing band for the evening will be Anthem. Nazareth Regional High School Performance Center is located at 475 East 57th Street, between Clarendon and Avenue D in Brooklyn.
Reggae Culture Salute is a family friendly event staged each year to honor the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Mennen of Ethiopia. This year marks the 80th anniversary of the rare joint coronation which took place on November 2nd, 1930 to great international fanfare. The event also celebrates the unique relationship between Reggae, Rasta, Selassie and Jamaica and is widely recognized for its character and quality, and the authenticity of the music. In a preview of the inaugural staging of Reggae Culture Salute which marked the 75th anniversary of the coronation in 2005, Ben Sesario of the New York Times wrote “The big reggae concert this fall should be relatively free of the controversy that has dogged so many other recent reggae shows: homophobia,” and called Reggae Culture Salute “a celebration of reggae’s old-fashioned family values.” Reggae Culture Salute continues in this tradition.
This year’s presentation of the Pinnacle Award, CPR’s award of excellence for lifetime achievement will go to Ernie Smith. The combination of Ernie Smith, who won the Yamaha World Music Festival in Tokyo in 1972 with his composition Life is Just for Living and the tribute to Sugar Minot who was wildly popular in Japan underscores the introduction and growth of reggae in Japan.
Headlining the evening, Big Youth, an ambassador of roots reggae and the livity of Rastafari will pay tribute to his friend and colleague, Sugar Minott as he honors the coronation and contributions of Emperor Haile Selassie, and roots reggae with songs from his vast catalog.
Reggae Culture Salute is topped with delicious Caribbean Cuisine and a cultural marketplace and good vibrations. Proceeds from the event benefit CPR’s Community Conversation Series, a series of forums conducted throughout New York City addressing the creation, development, growth and presentation of roots reggae.