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At Ashkenaz Boxing Day is always a reggae event. Conscious reggae singer Stevie Culture and the ever-popular Yellow Wall Dub Squad headline the night, with RazorBlade and his new combo the Rock Steadies opening.
Songs such as “Just Party,” “Conscious Step,” and “Gotta Make a Change” have made Culture one of the big draws in reggae. He has always presented a positive message in his songs; as Culture explains his attitude: “Hol’ a joy! (stay positive). Don’t let the problem rule your life. Don’t think of the problem. Think of the solution. Just be happy about what you’re doing!”
Born to Rastafarian parents in the 1970s in Kingston, Jamaica, by his early teens Culture was singing at dancehall parties. He became the lead singer in Jamaica’s popular ’90s group the S.A.N.E. Band. He honed his skills on stage as a backing vocalist for such artists as Dennis Brown, Tony Rebel, Everton Blender, Capleton, and Garnet Silk. His 2008 debut album, “Top Class,” reflected his “Hol’ a Joy” philosophy. The songs contain messages important to the singer: “Dat Ting Deh” is a warning about hardcore drugs and how they ruin people’s lives. The title track is a reminder that women can be “independent and do what they want” without apology. “Conscious Lyrics” is about keeping a positive message in Reggae Music. “Link Up” is an appeal to every nation to put aside their differences and just dance to reggae music. Culture’s recordings since have continued to present his upbeat views with deep reggae dance grooves.
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.
While growing up in Westmoreland, Jamaica, RazorBlade and other youngsters would get together and play music. Even though few could afford real instruments, they were determined to create sound with anything they could get their hands on: cardboard boxes, empty bottles, tin cans. He later immigrated to the U.S. and found that drums captured his heart. He says of the experience, “the drums actually chose me.” Since then, he has played with Andrew Tosh, Mad Cobra, Paul Elliott, the Harmonics, and Our Boys Steel Band.
When & Where
Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center
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).