February 07, 2012 17:20 ET

A Night of Roots Rock Reggae in the Nation's Capital

A Tribute to Reggae Icons: Dennis Brown, Bob Marley & Culture's Joseph Hill

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 7, 2012) - On Saturday February 11, Club Saw in Ottawa is your one stop for a night of Roots Rock Reggae, Rock Steady and Lovers Rock. For die hard reggae fans, there might even be some Ska, the Jamaican precursor to reggae music. It will be a night of education and entertainment followed by an Irie Vibes Dance Session to the music of three reggae icons whose birthdays were all celebrated within days of each other. Joseph Hill, January 22, Dennis Brown, February 1 and Bob Marley, February 6. It is rather timely as Canada celebrates black history month and puts the spotlight on West Indian history, which has not been given much prominence in Ottawa`s black history celebrations. An anomaly considering a large percentage of the black population in Ottawa is of West Indian heritage.

These icons have definitely made their mark in history as evidenced by their music and the messages contained therein, that are still very relevant today. Although threatened by the commercialization of dancehall reggae, whose beat and lyrics bear little if any resemblance to the Roots reggae that epitomized peace, one love and an end to social injustice, the legacy of these icons lives on. These ideals were sadly not a part of life for many Jamaicans, particularly Rastafarians, ultimate outcasts of Jamaican society at the time. A rigid class system polarized the beautiful island where the lower class suffered oppression and lived out all the horrors that are part and parcel of stark poverty. It was out of this struggle that Jamaica and Rastafarianism's gift to the world was bestowed. The music was a genuinely spontaneous encapsulation of the people's experiences, emotions and traditions. The visceral and emotional appeals of the music make Reggae music the international phenomenon that it is. It has long left the shores of Jamaica and found eager audiences in the UK and then around the world. Reggae at its core gives a voice to people and has become a philosophy in itself. It has taken on deeps meanings within very unexpected and varying communities such as the Hopi and Havasupai Indians in Arizona, Palenquero Maroons in Columbia, urban youths in Nigeria and South Africa, working class skinheads in Britain, Maoris in New Zealand and Aboriginal Australians, just to name a few.

Though times have changed tremendously since Bob Marley's Redemption song, Joseph Hill's No Cry Oh Sufferer and Dennis Brown's visions of Africa as the promised land, equality for all is still a fleeting illusion. The message of this rebel music is poignant but simple, and has found a home in the hearts of the privileged and disenchanted alike. At its core, the rhythm of the music is simply captivating. Both the message and the musical rhythms of these icons will be highlights at Saturday night's celebration which will also include the recognition of some of Ottawa's very own stalwarts of reggae music and a performance by one of Ottawa's leading slam poets, Cannon 2X. At only $10 for advanced tickets, this night promises to give a lot more bang for your buck. For more information visit or

Contact Information