Iya Terra lead singer Nathan Feinstein performs at Cali Roots in 2017. Photo by Brad Metzger.
This year’s One Love Cali Reggae Fest on February 10th and 11th at the Queen Mary in Long Beach features one of the best overall lineups I have seen in reggae music in California for any festival, which is even more remarkable considering its only a two-day event. And although reggae in its many forms is the focus, with the inclusion of Nas, Ben Harper and Atmosphere, this year One Love is taking cues from other successful institutions such as Cali Roots in Northern California by featuring other musical genres.
Here are some Artists not to be missed:
- Arise Roots, often under rated, brings a modern, uplifting take on Roots Reggae while never sacrificing its origin. I consider them the top Reggae band out of Los Angeles.
- Look for Collie Buddz to join Stick Figure onstage for “Smokin’ Love” off Stick’s newest release Set in Stone, while Stick Figure’s famous mascot Cocoa The Tour Dog struts the stage looking for beach balls thrown by the crowd. Also Eric Rachmany from headliner Rebelution, might join in with Stick Figure for their colab “Mind Block.”
- Common Kings, local Orange County boys, will be fired up as they celebrate their 2018 Reggae Grammy Nomination for their newest release “Lost in Paradise.”
- Tribal Seeds remains one of the most impressionable Reggae bands on the West Coast, as evidenced by the new powerful release Roots Party despite lineup changes including the departure of keyboardist E.N Young, drummer Carlos Verdugo (who has been replaced by veteran Jamey Zeb Dekofsky from Detour Posse) and Ryan “Gonzo” on guitar and vocals who recently suffered a stroke. Early reports from Tribal Seeds current tour have been stellar so even with these band member changes they should be a highlight not to be missed.
- Hirie is the rising star of California Reggae. She is an infectiously positive person and this shines through in the music. Her 2016 release Wandering Soul catapulted her to a new level and allowed her to tour extensively as a headliner, and her band is super tight and cohesive especially that horn section – Wicked!
- Iya Terra’s newest album Sacred Sound was voted Album of the Year on Surf Roots. They play early on Saturday.
- Nattali Rize delivers on all fronts: conscious lyrics, infectious rhythms and electrifying live performances. She recently toured with Hirie so look out for an on-stage collab between these two rising stars.
With its variety and breadth of artists, this years One Love Cali Reggae Fest promises to deliver!
Fans can also head over to San Bernardino’s NOS Events Center April 28 and 29 for Kaya Fest. This festival, which was originally planned for the Queen Mary, features a lineup that has never hit the West Coast! All of the Bob Marley sons and grandsons are performing, including Stephen, Ziggy, Damian, Julian, Ky Mani along with Marley grandsons Jo Mersa, Skip and Bambaata.
For more information on One Love Cali Reggae Fest click here.
The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Highway.