By Karyl Walker
What begun as the first steps in a spiritual journey blossomed into an internationally-recognized event that has drawn visitors and locals to the upscale neighborhood of Jacks Hill in St. Andrew, Jamaica.
Gabre Selassie is a devout Rastafarian who was raised during the 1970s golden era of roots-reggae. His love for the reggae derivative dub drove him to start the Dub Club which is held Sunday nights at his Jack’s Hill home.
“I have been on this journey for about 20 years and it has a lot to do with my Rastafari faith. Roots music is our own and this (Dub Club) is not a recent phenomenon,” Gabre Selassie told Caribbean National Weekly.
The Dub Club, which mainly features music played by Selassie on his Rockers Sound Station, is endorsed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB). Booking agents and talent scouts for major reggae shows in Europe, Japan and the US frequent the event.
“The feedback has been positive and tremendous overall. The endorsement by the JTB has brought more awareness of the event,” said Selassie.
The Dub Club is a must for fans who want clean entertainment and not the debauchery associated with dancehall promotions. But then came a bump.
Three weeks ago, the police visited the Dub Club and demanded the music be turned off as Selassie did not have a required show permit. Things turned sour when the promoter refused, informing the cops that he did in fact apply for and was given a permit. The police pepper-sprayed Selassie and took him to jail. He was freed in court after evidence of the valid permit was produced.
The incident has not embittered Selassie. He is calling for an amendment to Jamaica’s Night Noise Abatement Act, under which he was charged.
“I think the police should monitor the caller and do a fact check to find out if there is in fact someone being disturbed or if the caller is being mischievous or trying to get the event shut down due to other motives,” he said. “Someone can stay in Florida and get a dance locked off in Kingston because they don’t like the promoter.”
Selassie encouraged authorities to establish entertainment zones in Kingston where events can be held without being locked off at the 2:00 am time stipulated by law.