Kingston-based Harry J Recording Studio in Kingston, Jamaica, where Bob Marley recorded the hit Redemption Song in the 1970s, has teamed up with New York-based indie label Easy Star Records and Kala Music Brand to host a special acoustic performance of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song in celebration of Reggae Month.
The performance, which will feature local musicians Hector Lewis, on the cajon, Jerome “Spangy” Small on the U-Bass, and Nico Groskopf and LaMont “Monty” Savory both on the tenor ukulele, was scheduled to premiere on Kala Music Brand’s YouTube page at noon on February 24.
This marks the first occasion these four Jamaican session musicians have directly collaborated. Individually, they record and perform with reggae artists like Koffee, Protojé, Lila Iké, Sevanna, and several other contemporary reggae acts.
Curator of the ‘Redemption Song’ performance and studio owner of Harry J Studio, Tara Johnson, welcomed the collaboration and thanked Ryan Sullivan from Sully Artist Services who made the collaboration possible.
“I’m grateful we could be the facilitators to deliver new and unique musical instruments to our talented musicians and it was a no-brainer to choose “Redemption Song” because it transcends geographical borders and is relatable to all people who have struggled, or are struggling, with oppression or challenging times. It’s Reggae Month, when people look to music for healing; it reminds us that no matter the gravity of the situation, ‘redemption’ will come. And we hope that in this current global crisis we could remind the world of that fact through reggae music,” said Johnson.
Explaining his choice for collaborating with Harry J Recording Studio, Michael Goldwasser of Easy Star Records said, “We are always looking for ways to collaborate with Jamaican artists and studios because much of the music we love came from many renowned studios in Jamaica. Tara Johnson has made her father’s studio a very relevant place for new Jamaican reggae. So. when we had the idea to do this project, Harry J’s seemed like the perfect place to do so.”
As the Kala Music Brand spreads its Reggae Month celebration to Jamaica with the delivery of the musical instruments used in the musical collaboration, director of artist relations at Kala, Joe DeMars, foresees a seamless combination of the U-BASS and reggae music because of its uniquely round and booming natural tone that it fits into a reggae mix with true ease.