Christian reggae and soca singer Jeff Johnson returns to Ashkenaz to celebrate the release of his new CD, “Weeping May Endure For A Night.” No weeping is planned tonight, however, as Johnson raises spirits with his unique reggae gospel concert. In addition to his original songs and music from 2009’s “Ain’t No Giving Up” CD, he also sings rearranged classics such as “Amazing Grace,” “Lean on Me,” and Bob Marley hits. The evening of inspirational songs also features Berkeley jazz and reggae singer Michele Ritterman (www.micheleritterman.com) backed by the Jeff Johnson Band. Ritterman is a psychotherapist, writer, and lecturer (“The Tao of a Woman”), who on the concert stage loves the upbeat rhythms of reggae and the positive messages of songs such as “Lean on Me” and “This Little Light of Mine” and Bob Marley standards. She has sung these songs with Johnson for a decade and raised her children on them. And tonight she celebrates her birthday singing her favorite songs!
Jeff Johnson’s heartfelt message in combining gospel and reggae is that “Love is the key to success, joy, peace and happiness,” and his uplifting original music reflects that spirit. Japhet “Jeff” Johnson lives in Oakland, but was born in the hills of Jamaica, where he taught himself to play bass and rhythm guitar, combining his religious beliefs with the music he felt closest to. By his early teens Johnson was arranging old gospel hymns into reggae and soca music. Teaching himself keyboard as well, Johnson directed programs in churches and played in a number of bands through the Western Gospel Promotion Corporation. He began writing his own songs at age 19. He moved to the U.S. at 25, where he now plays guitar while organizing concerts and tours throughout California and Jamaica.
When & Where
Ashkenaz is the East Bay's home to world music & dance... established 1973; nonprofit since 1997. We are always all ages! Kids 12 & under are admitted free unless otherwise noted.
All of our online ticket sales are will call. We will have a list of ticket buyers at the door; you do not need to bring a printout of your ticket/order confirmation.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, or 30 minutes before the dance lesson if there is one, unless otherwise noted.
Ashkenaz's Café opens when doors open and offers beer (draft and bottled), wine, kombucha, juices, sodas, coffee and tea, and snacks and light meals (all vegetarian, mostly organic).