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Gomba Jahbari

The Conviction of the “Brave Warriors”

Solid. Aggressive. Profound. These are only some of the words that describe the reggae group Gomba Jahbari . Made up of eight talented musicians—all San Juan natives—this band began taking its first steps in 1998, when two childhood friends, Carmelo Romero (drums and lead vocals) and Miguel Lampón ( guitar ) decided to join forces to undertake a musical project based on the simplicity of rhythm in Jamaican roots reggae. Their main goal: to rescue Caribbean-style music from the imbalance it suffers nowadays.

This rescue process took its definitive form with the creation of the band's first album, Sentémonos (Let's Sit) , which was independently produced in mid-2003 under their own label, Gomba Music . This album features 14 tracks charged with humanistic and social lyrics. “We want to create a revolution within each person who listens to our music. People should always search for the positive side of life, but since everything we want that's good comes with a price, there is no other choice but to fight for it,” explained Alberto Nieves, guitarist.

Gomba Jahbari , which means “Brave Warrior” in a South African tribal dialect, features a wealth of influences from diverse reggae bands that range from the mythical Bob Marley and Peter Tosh to groups such as ASWAD , Burning Spears and The Itals . With much effort and dedication, Gomba Jahbari has stood out successfully within the roots reggae circuit in Puerto Rico , keeping active while being embraced by numerous fans and lovers of the genre.

Given that warm welcome, the band has continued to promote its ideals with the launch of its new album, titled Convicción (Conviction) , which came out the first week of February 2005. Convicción was recorded in 2004 at Elastic Module Lab studios in Caguas , Puerto Rico, and its mixing took place in Lion Fox studios in Washington , D.C. under the expertise of Jim Fox , who counts Israel Vibrations and Culture among his clients.





Convicción features 13 tracks chock-full of social depth; among these is “Las Tumbas,” written by Bobby Capó and popularized by songster Ismael Rivera . The first single being promoted is “Si Tú Me Quieres,” (If You Love Me), which expresses the sacrifices one is willing to undergo for a loved one. The album also features six English tracks and a 16-page booklet with the songs' lyrics.

Convicción 's musical concept maintains a pure and original roots reggae sound, while also incorporating nuances and rhythms that go hand in hand with present-day tastes for global music. Its style is aggressive, with a powerful and unusual rhythm section. It's not the mellow reggae we're used to listening, but more like heavy roots.

"This album is a total rebirth. It is the first true album of Gomba Jahbari . For our first album, we were much more immature in every aspect, both recording and producing. This time around, we decided to work with our feet on the ground and do something good, which this is. We recorded in analog and worked with the legend that is Jim Fox. Everything was done as God intended it—very different [from before],” said Carmelo.

Gomba Jahbari formally presented Convicción in its first grand concert, which took place in March 2005 at the Tito Puente Amphitheater in San Juan . This event received great support from the Puerto Rican audience; for the first time, the band played its album live in its totality.

"This means a consecration—arriving where we've arrived and that we're here to stay. It's saying ‘Thank you' to people. What we feel is inexplicable; there are many emotions. The audience's support is incredible,” explained Carmelo. Besides Carmelo, Miguel and Alberto, Gomba Jahbari is rounded out by Humberto Torres (bass), Juan Carlos Sulsona (keyboards), Carlos Souss (keyboards), Jahaziel García (trumpet), and Misael Clemente (saxophone).


Gomba Jahbari Links:

The Music Of Gomba Jahbari - Track List


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