You can’t get much more romantic and danceable than Ashkenaz’s “Lover’s Rock Party” on Valentine’s Day with the Melodians backed by the Yellow Wall Dub Squad! Whether one is on a first dance date or celebrating decades of marriage, this is the classic Lover’s Rock Party. Now on their Golden Jubilee 50th anniversary tour, the Melodians are legendary for three simple words: “Rivers of Babylon.” Adopted as the theme song of Rastafarianism, and featured in the 1973 film that introduced reggae to the rest of the world (“The Harder They Come”), the song says everything important about this legendary Jamaican vocal group: its harmonies, its conscious spirit, and proof that reggae music can be both political and have an irresistible, albeit not fast, dance groove.
Even before the Wailers, the Melodians popularized rocksteady, the Jamaican style that came out of ska and led into reggae. They have recorded prolifically beyond “Rivers of Babylon,” boasting many great songs in their catalog, to say nothing of working for most of reggae’s legendary producers and labels. Along the way the trio disbanded more than once, with its members pursuing solo careers, yet regularly reuniting in the studio to record more hits, including “Sweet Sensation” (turned into a bigger hit by England’s UB40). Sadly, Brent Dowe suffered a heart attack and died in 2006. His fellow founders Tony Brevett and Trevor McNaughton continue as the Melodians, busily taking their music to Europe and across the U.S., backed by the best band in reggae: the Yellow Wall Dub Squad.
Yellow Wall Dub Squad came together as studio musicians in Jamaica and for much of the past decade has been constantly on the road, touring both as headliners and as the backing band of choice for the top artists in reggae: the Mighty Diamonds, the Melodians, Judy Mowatt, Brigadier Jerry, Sister Carol, Sugar Minott, Sammy Dread, Half Pint, Yami Bolo, the Abyssinians, Tanya Stephens – the list goes on. The Yellow Wall Dub Squad includes original members Stevie Love on guitar and Alton “Sandrum” Vanhorn on drums along with Dane “Tazz” Cole on keyboards, Balboa Becker on trombone, and saxophonist Daniel Casares.
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).