June 19, 20 & 21, 2009


 About This Year's Artists:

Femi Kuti: Femi Kuti is the oldest son of the late Nigerian superstar Fela Kuti. Fela pioneered the sprawling big band sound called afrobeat. Femi stepped up to lead the band in 1984 after his father's musical tirades against Nigeria's power elite lead to his being jailed by the government on a trumped up currency charge. - More

King Sunny Adé: King Sunny Ade is the undisputed king of juju music, the dance-inspiring hybrid of western pop and traditional African music with roots in the guitar tradition of Nigeria. Following tremendous success with his early-1980s albums, Ade continues to weave a blend of guitars, synthesizers & layered percussions. - More

Michael Rose: Born in the Western Kingston ghetto of Waterhouse, Jamaica on July 11, 1957 Michael Rose was introduced to music by his brothers, who used to sing around the house. Blessed with a powerful voice he joined a band, doing local talent shows as well as entertaining tourists in the north coast hotels of Jamaica. - More

Anthony B: Draped in the rich colors of African cloth, his trademark staff in hand, and his dreadlocks wrapped regally on his head, Anthony B embodies all that it is spiritual and proactive about Reggae music. This artist has been steadfast in his mission to represent the poor and oppressed and to confront political injustices. - More

Sly & Robbie: Theirs is the ultimate musical marriage, a partnership that re-etched the very landscape of not just Jamaican music, but the entire world’s. Such hyperbole is oftentimes rolled out by publicity machines whenever two musical talents come together, but in the case of Sly & Robbie, it really was an earth-shattering union. - More

Zap Mama: Marie Daulne, the founder & fronting member of Zap Mama since the early 1990s, has lived a life that rivals Homer’s Odyssey. Filled with peril & triumph, globe-spanning quests, and a series of personal achievements that seem almost heroic in scope, her story is one of epic proportions in the annals of world music. - More

Junior Reid: To date, Jamaican-born singer Junior Reid, a devout Rastafarian regarded by many as a messenger from Jah, is best known for the hit singles Foreign Mind, One Blood, Boom Shak-a-Lak and Listen to the Voices. He also served as the lead singer for the Grammy Award-winning Reggae group Black Uhuru. - More

Tarrus Riley: Not even ten chariots with horses can stop this new reggae voice on the scene… no, it's not a novelty act, but one that is destined for legendary status. A 'natural' man of superb talent has risen like a Phoenix. Coming from a Nurse & a Singer, "healing music" is how he appropriately describes his music.  - More

The Heptones: The Heptones were one of the most influential groups of the rocksteady and early reggae era. As the leading vocal harmony group at Studio One, the Heptones' many hits dominated the dancehalls, inspired future singers, and provided timeless rhythms that have echoed through the decades that have followed. - More

The Abyssinians: The roots harmony vocals of The Abyssinians brought a quality of Rastafarian majesty to some of the most important tracks ever recorded in Jamaican reggae.  When the Abyssinians went into the studio, it was as though the musicians were on a mission to make music that would last through the ages.  - More

Etana: Etana has struck a cord with the masses, and is winning the hearts of the people one song at a time. Spirited in her approach to communicate unfitting & inspirational messages to the youth, she has been described as one who will bring about real change with her powerful and captivating voice.  - More

Cherine Anderson: In our modern day parade of glamour, glitz and unmerited superstardom, Cherine Anderson has taken today's road less traveled; the path of paying dues, cultivating her abilities and developing her signature Dancehall Soul sound; a mixture of reggae, dancehall, soul and r&b. - More

Ras Michael & The Sons Of Negus: Ras Michael was born George Michael Henry in Kingston, Jamaica. He grew up in the Rastafarian communities, where he learned hand drumming and eventually became an internationally acclaimed Nyabinghi drum specialist whose style is roots, rock reggae. - More

Bushman: Born Dwight Duncan, in the lush picturesque hill top village of Spring Garden, St. Thomas, Jamaica. He was raised as a Rasta since the tender age of two. Dwight attended the Lysson All Age School, where his music teacher noticed his potential for music and nurtured him in his developing stages. - More

Easy Star All-Stars: The Easy Star All-Stars are a collective family of some of the finest reggae musicians in the New York area. The band features a rotating cast drawn from a talented pool of players, meaning that every show has its own nuances and its own life.   - More

Michigan & Smiley: Michigan and Smiley are a Jamaican singjay duo of the late seventies first wave of Dancehall music, which included Yellowman, Eek a Mouse, Lone Ranger, General Echo, and others. They first recorded at Clement Coxsone Dodd's famous Studio 1, where they pressed their number one hit, "Rub a Dub Style" . - More

The Itals: Long before the Itals were a spark in their producer’s eye, Keith Porter recorded his first hit single, “Hitey Titey”, with the Westmorelites on the Studio One label. Around 1969 Keith joined Soul Hermit, singing lead, backed by Eugene Gray & Wignal Henry on guitars, and Reginald Seewell & Nash on base and drums.   - More

Ras Midas: Music has always been a natural thing for me… part of living and breathing... My grandmother dealt with music within her spiritual social activities, derived from people that came to brmaica in her era. Some Jamaicans still carry on that tradition with drums that communicate with Earth's different energies. - More

B-Side Players: The B-Side Players make music without borders or boundaries. On Fire In The Youth, they continue exploring the multifaceted grooves of Latin America and the Caribbean, incorporating the sounds of Cuba, Jamaica, Mexico and Brazil with the funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop rhythms of their homeland. - More

Del Castillo: Del Castillo has become a symbol of the cross-cultural power of music with their eclectic blend of Flamenco, Rock, Latin, Blues, and World music. It all began in 2000 when Rick & Mark del Castillo put together an album of Latin/Flamenco-style songs for their parents & friends in their hometown of Brownsville, Texas. - More

Comrade Fatso: Comrade Fatso, is one of the most explosive and controversial acts in Southern Africa today. Comrade Fatso calls his poetry Toyi Toyi Poetry, radical street poetry that mixes Shona with English and mbira with hip hop. It’s an art form that is an uprising against oppression. - More

Vagabond Opera: European Cabaret! Vintage Americana! Balkan Belly Dance! Neo-Classical Opera! Old World Yiddish Theater! Welcome to the six-piece, Portland, Oregon-based Vagabond Opera. They are described as "A band of ceaseless charisma, boundless energy and impeccable musicianship. - More

Rusty Zinn: Most artists, having discovered a niche that captures the approval of fans and critics alike, are reluctant to alter their course. Such is not the case with Rusty 2inn who sensed that he was at the beginning of his musical journey, and followed the path to his deep-rooted passion for reggae.  - More

Blue King Brown: Australia's Premier hard hitting Live Urban Roots crew Blue King Brown are currently working on their 2nd album, set to drop in 2009.  They have been travelling worldwide from Melbourne to Kingston Jamaica, New York to San Francisco & Aoteoroa New Zealand, working with the likes of Sly and Robbie.  - More

Sila & The Afrofunk Experience: High energy grooves characterize the musical style of Sila and The Afrofunk Experience. With lyrics in both English and Swahili, the band's sound is a funky fusion of African rhythm, funk, soukous, Afrobeat, and reggae, influenced by artists like James Brown and Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti. - More

Marty Dread: Marty Dread was named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he was born in the Bronx, New York in 1969. When Marty was 8 he moved to Maui, Hawaii after his father died. The change from concrete jungle to botanical jungle was great, but Marty was quick to adapt to the laid-back ways of his new island home. - More

The Lions: The Lions is the result of an impromptu recording session including members of Breakestra, Connie Price and the Keystones, Rhythm Roots All-Stars, Orgone, Sound Directions, Plant Life, Poetics and Macy Gray. They gathered together at Orgone's Killion Studios in L.A. to lay down some jamaican inspired tracks. - More

Native Elements: San Francisco's own Native Elements are one of the hardest working and most respected bands in the Northern California reggae scene. They have been nominated for a S.F. Weekly, Local Music Award (Wammie) and Bay Area Music Award (Bammie) for Outstanding World Beat/Reggae Club Band. - More

Julia Tsitsi Chigamba & The Chinyakare Ensemble: In 2001, Julia Tsitsi Chigamba established the organization Tawanda muChinyakare & the music and dance company Chinyakare to share the beauty and wisdom of her culture in the United States. Julia continues to teach dance, music and culture in the community. - More

Danza In Xochitl In Cuicatl: Danza In Xochitl In Cuicatl is a Calpulli or cultural circle and dance group that performs indigenous ritual dances that are known as Danza Azteca-Chichimeca. This form of dance comes from a Mesoamerican region called Valley of Anahuac, a place that is now known as Mexico City. - More

In The Dancehall:

Jah Shaka: The two most important elements of a Jamaican sound system are selection of records and sheer volume, emphasizing an apocalyptic amount of BASS. Most sessions (reggae dances) are held in the most run down parts of cities such as Kingston, New York, Toronto, or London.  - More 

Stone LoveStone Love: Stone Love represents the popular street culture of dancehall. When Wee-Pow began spinning in the early '70s, the hot Kingston nights would boom with open-air dances, animated by sound systems. Stone Love soon became a must-hear, drawing long lines and jamming every venue.  - More

Aba Shaka: Aba Shaka, has been involved with roots sound systems in the UK from the age of thirteen. He is a frontline musical warrior who is determined to use his music as an instrument for changing and healing minds and spirits. Aba Shaka will do a "Tribute To the Musical Ancestors" set on Sunday afternoon. - More

Jah Warrior Shelter Hi-Fi: Jah Warrior Shelter High Fidelity is an award winning sound system based in California’s Bay Area.  Each selector has his unique style, earning well deserved recognition as a top juggling sound.  In The Bay Area, you can always find a Jah Warrior Shelter Hi Fi dance to go to. - More

Comanche High Power: Founded in 1999 by Daddy Stevo, Comanche High Power has grown to be the king reggae sound of the North Bay. Comanche High Power is a roots and culture sound - concerned with the culture of Jamaica and the Caribbean, as well as being conscious about the message in the music we play. - More

Children's Performers:

AshebaAsheba: I share my stories and those of other songwriters and storytellers in a personal musical format - while bridging the gap between young and old. I love communicating with young children, knowing they have just come into this world bringing with them so much from their ancestors. - More

Lisa Monet: Three-time national Parents' Choice award winner Lisa Monet celebrates familiar experiences and CDs that delight and inspires kids and their grownups. Named a “Humboldt treasure” (Hum-Mums) and a “Leading lady of children's music” (Billboard) Lisa engages her audiences in singing, dancing, sign-language, percussion, and Hispanic stylings. - More

The Sierra Nevada World Music Festival typically has dozens of reggae and world beat bands performing each year, and 2009 will be no exception.  Keep checking back as we are constantly adding artists to the line-up. 

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