The Kennedy Center and the Grammy Museum presented a tribute concert to Bob Marley titled “The Legacy of Bob Marley” last Sunday night, June 23, 2013. I was lucky enough to attend and saw many great friends. Dermot Hussey did a stalwart job as MC for the show. His credentials as a documentarian, broadcaster, and historian of black music, especially reggae and jazz, are unparalleled. His vast knowledge of the genres is astonishing. What is perhaps most intriguing is his knowledge of modern roots reggae, especially American-borne roots reggae. Great friend and always the perfect gentleman.
The show was absolutely great. The Roots Radics anchored all performances with near-perfect musicianship. Flabba Holt is a man made for music. Drummer Style Scott was incredible to watch. Regardless of who was at the mic, be it Junior Marvin or Matisyahu, he gave 110% with a boundless energy and in-your-face drumming style that I will not soon forget. The highlights of the night were Junior Marvin playing one of his favorites “The Heathen.” His guitar solos blaze fire. Also, blues singer Toshi Reagon with an acoustic version of “Sun Is Shining,” which had jaws dropping throughout the auditorium. I also enjoyed Citizen Cope’s rendition of “Natural Mystic.” The real standout though was African roots singer Rocky Dawani, whose stage persona and electrifying dance moves had the crowd in awe. Yes, he has been compared to Bob Marley as an electrifying performer. I don’t really agree with the comparison because I’ve seen nobody do onstage what Marley did, but he gave it his all.
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