On the heels of announcing its headliners for the new Newport Blues & BBQ Festival, the Newport Yachting Center event venue and marina continues its hit parade of diverse summer entertainment on the waterfront with the announcement that tickets will go on sale this Friday, April 20th at 10 a.m. for the 3rd Annual Newport Waterfront Reggae Festival to take place Saturday, August 11 the from Noon to 10 p.m. The Festival will feature reggae legends Barrington Levy and Junior Marvin, as well as Bushman, Taj Weekes & Adowa and the Mighty Mystic and The Thunder Band. Tickets are $35 in advance or $45 the day of the Festival and can be purchased online at www.newportwaterfrontevents.com or by calling the Newport Yachting Center Box Office at (401) 846-1600. There is no reserved seating for the Festival. Flexible general admission allows concert attendees to come and go during the day and night.
The Festival gates will open at Noon and the schedule will be as follows: Courtyard Festival Stage – Mighty Mystic and The Thunder Band (Noon), Taj Weekes & Adowa (2:00 p.m.) and Bushman (4:00 p.m.); Main Stage – Junior Marvin (6:00 p.m.) and Barrington Levy (8:00 p.m.). Newport’s favorite homegrown band, The Ravers, will provide a free performance just outside the gates beginning at 11:00 a.m. to kick off the all day celebration.
“We’ve secured a host of incredible internationally-acclaimed acts from Jamaica this year to provide the authentic island grooves and, with our new open air patio, there will be even more space to enjoy Newport Harbor and our amazing views,” said Michele Maker Palmieri, General Manager of the Newport Yachting Center. “Like last year, it’s general admission and guests are able to come and go through our gates to enjoy what Newport has to offer and then head back to the Festival on their own schedule.”
The headliners for the Newport Waterfront Reggae Festival are as follows:
Born in Clarendon, Jamaica, Barrington Levy established his solo career in the late 1970s when at fourteen he became a popular performer at Jamaican dancehalls. In
1979, he recorded several hit singles, including “Looking My Love”, “Englishman”
and “Skylarking”, which became hits and established Levy’s career. By the time his
album, Robin Hood, was released in 1980, Levy was one of the biggest Jamaican stars and saw his international fame grow as well, especially in the United Kingdom. Although numerous Jamaican DJ’s and vocalists would rise and fall during the 1980’s, Levy was one of the few with staying power as he continued releasing massive hits, including “Shine Eye Girl”, “Under Mi Sensi” and “Here I Come”. In 1984, the twenty-something Levy received the Best Vocalist prize at the British Reggae Awards. In 1991 he returned to the UK charts with “Tribal Base”, a single by Rebel MC featuring Levy and Tenor Fly, and later in the decade he released the album, Living Dangerously, which included a collaboration with Snoop Dogg.
Levy has more recently performed on tracks for the Long Beach Dub All Stars, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Slightly Stoopid and the Rascalz. He continues to tour extensively and is currently working on his latest album, It’s About Time, due to be released later this year and featuring artists including Damian Marley, Buji Banton, Beres Hammond, Heavy D and more.
Best known for his work with Bob Marley's iconic band, The Wailers, Jamaican-born guitarist, Junior Marvin, had a choice in 1977 to join Stevie Wonder’s band or Bob Marley & The Wailers. He chose Marley's band because of their shared Jamaican heritage and the rest, as they say, is history. Exodus, Marvin's first album with The Wailers in 1977, was voted Best Album of The 20th Century by Time magazine.
Hit albums, including Babylon by Bus, Kaya, Survival and Uprising, would follow. After Marley's passing in 1981, Marvin released four additional albums with the band: ID (1989), Majestic Warriors (1991), Jah Message (1994), and My Friends (Live) (1995). Marvin moved to London as a child where he nurtured his love of both acting and music with numerous television appearances and a spot in The Beatles' movie Help! (1965). He soon began serving his musical apprenticeship in the United States by playing with the likes of blues legend T-Bone Walker and Ike and Tina Turner, quickly earning a reputation as an innovative and expressive blues rock guitarist.
Back in England, he was a member of the London Cast of the musical Hair, contributed to albums by Gerry Lockran, Reebop Kwaku Baah, Remi Kabaka, Fairport Convention and many others and joined the Keef Hartley Band, a pioneer of the burgeoning British blues rock circuit. Following his tenure with Hartley in the early 1970s, Marvin formed his own rock band, Hanson, and cut two albums before Marvin split and began performing session work for the likes of Steve Winwood and Toots & The Maytals. Marvin has appeared more recently on albums with Burning Spear, Alpha Blondy, Bunny Wailer, Culture, Beres Hammond, The Congos, O.A.R., and SOJA. His latest solo release is entitled, Wailin' for Love.
Born Dwight Duncan in St. Thomas, Jamaica, Bushman is an outstanding artist with a natural talent for singing carved from the same musical tradition as Bob Marley, Dennis Brown and Luciano, who he quotes as being his most dominant influences.
The Rastafarian is known for his dynamic lyrics, superb showmanship and classic performances. Bushman released his first album, Nyah Man Chant in 1997 to critical acclaim and followed that up with the popular albums, Total Commitment, Higher Ground and A Better Place. He is especially known for hit tracks like “Fire Burn a Weak Heart”, “Babylon Dead” and “Life Ain’t No Bed of Roses” which invoke a sense of strength and inspiration. Within the past year, Bushman has graced the stages in more than a dozen countries and performed at the Burlington Jazz Festival, Caribana and the People’s Festival, among others. His latest album release is Bushman Sings The Bush Doctor -Tribute to Peter Tosh.
Taj Weekes & Adowa unites a true social consciousness with an unforgettable reggae groove. Blending in elements of acoustic roots rock and afro-folk, the band's vibrant sound defies genre and has garnered critical acclaim and a wide audience across the globe. Born and raised on the island of St. Lucia, Weekes grew up the youngest of ten children in a family where music was ever present. By the age of nine, he and his brothers had formed a band which played in local talent shows, the town hall and parish centers around the island. Weekes soon felt confined by the borders of St. Lucia and left home to fulfill his musical ambitions in North America. There he formed his band, Taj Weekes & Adowa, and the label Jatta Records. In 2010, the band released its much-anticipated third album, A Waterlogged Soul Kitchen, which features fresh reggae laced with acoustic strings, guitar, violin and cello, along with splashes of soulful harmonica. Driven to inspire conscious thought and provoke discussion through his lyrics, Weekes says, "I write from the heart and I speak about issues that move me. I believe that’s what really matters." He took this belief a step further in 2007 with the establishment of his charity, They Often Cry Outreach (TOCO), to improve the lives of underprivileged children in the Caribbean through sports, health and enrichment programs.
Considered one of the leaders in the East Coast reggae scene, Mighty Mystic and The Thunder Band possess a fresh sound and musical diversity. Mighty Mystic was born Kevin Mark Holness in the countryside of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. In 1989, Holness relocated to Boston as his family was in search of a new life and he began to wet his feet in the local music scene. When it came time to find a name which best suited him, Holness choose "Mystic" which was the childhood nickname of his father. Mighty Mystic teamed up with producer Mike Cip to score a hit with their release of the single, "Riding on the Clouds" in 2006. The song stood on top of the Reggae charts, both nationally and internationally, for the following two years. In 2008, his new single, "Here I Am" featuring Reggae pop icon Shaggy was an instant success and enjoyed national college and urban mainstream radio play. In 2010, after releasing singles for nearly four years, Mighty Mystic cut his debut album, Wake up the World, which peaked at #4 on iTunes Reggae Charts.