Artist Lineup: Fiji, Katchafire, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Aaradhna, Sons of Zion, Aziel, Finn, Jordan T, Samiielz, Junior Maile, A Dough, Cutthroat Mode, Lomez Brown, Na Drua, David Rhythm
Festival highlights music, dance, tattoo cultural themes
RudeBwoy 3ntertainment presents the 7th annual Island Reggae Festival held Saturday, July 14, 2018 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose, California. With two stages of music with live reggae, pop and R& B from around the Pacific Rim & Jamaica, Other activities include an Island Dance Showcase with troupes from varied Polynesian cultures and an Island Tattoo expo, a free Diabetes Awareness clinic and unlimited carnival rides for children. Held offsite at a local athletic field is the annual Youth Rugby 7’s tournament. The gates open at 11am and the event concludes at 11pm. Discounted tickets are on sale now through islandreggaefest.com and the Eventbrite ticketing platform.
Returning to headline the Island Reggae Fest 2018 stage is the legendary Fiji whose stage name reflects his cultural background and whose golden voice has made him a pioneer of the Island Reggae sound as its most well-known artist paving the way for the careers of many others in the genre, whom he has personally mentored, recorded, and co-wrote with throughout the years. Island Reggae Festival fans welcome the artist by singing along word for word with his set of well-loved songs. Fiji performs in celebration of his June 22, 2018 greatest hits release of 50 songs entitled COLLECTION: 50th STATE OF MIND.
New Zealand’s Katchafire was formed by lead guitarist Grenville Bell, father of lead singer Logan Bell and drummer, vocalist & songwriter Jordan Bell. This 8-piece band has toured extensively performing on many of the world’s biggest festivals including Glastonbury in the UK. The Katchafire band’s recorded music including four highly successful studio albums and numerous singles with platinum sales certification remain a mainstay on Island Reggae playlists. An all-Maori reggae band, their sound is built on the foundation of classic roots reggae, with additional R&B, dancehall and funk influences that combine to present one of the greatest reggae shows on the scene today. Katchafire released a new 12 song reggae album entitled LEGACY June 1st.
Artists on the lineup for Island Reggae Festival consistently feature some of the Pacific Islands’ greatest talents living throughout the world and those that have been embraced by Island
Reggae music culture. Chaka Demus & Pliers the Jamaican duo best known for the 1993 mega hit reggae dancehall song “Murder She Wrote” appear on the Island Reggae Fest stage for the first time in 2018. Their latest song is a combination with J Boog, a playful, romantic song and video entitled “Good Cry”. The first Jamaican act to have three, consecutive top five hits on the UK charts, Chaka Demus & Pliers present catchy collaborations in a playful vocal style like “Tease Me” onstage. The duo has toured the world since the early nineties appearing on the American Music Awards with Alicia Keys and the BET Awards as representatives of dancehall reggae Jamaican style to the world with their signature hits.
Island Reggae Fest welcomes Aaradhna, a female R&B influenced singer who hails from New Zealand and is of Samoan and Indian descent. She’s built a steady fanbase by writing and releasing soulful, personal songs since 2004. All of four of her albums have gone on to become top 20 hits. Her 2016 album Brown Girl debuted at number one in New Zealand and addressed issues of racism she’s faced as a mixed-race New Zealander.
Sons of Zion are a band from New Zealand who fuse Rock, Dub, R&B with Reggae. They first came on the scene in 2009 and since that time have released a string of hits including “Be My Lady”, “Good Love”, “That Enough” and more. Touring New Zealand numerous times, they have performed numerous sold out shows both in the Pacific Rim and in the U.S.
Legendary San Francisco Bay native of Samoan descent, Aziel will bring his R&B influenced sound with songs like “Fall In Love Again” from his 2005 album Take You Away to the IRF 2018 audience. He won the Hawaii Music Award for Best R&B artist in 2006.
Finn (born Haifine Latapu) also known as Finn The Groovah is originally from South Sacramento, California. He grew up listening to Tongan folk music from his parents. His music is heavily influenced by R&B as heard on songs like his current single “Yeah Baby”.
With a growing audience of over 2.5 million streams on Spotify alone, Jordan T has toured the world performing on many of the world’s most prestigious festival stages including California Roots in the U.S., Summerjam in Germany and Rototom in Spain. His high-energy performance style, soaring vocals over roots reggae songwriting influenced by vintage soul melodies combined with world-class production values on hits like “Sunset Tonight” and “Close To You” make him a part of the next generation of Island Reggae.
Sammielz returns to IRF 2018 coming from Sydney, Australia he was born and raised in New Zealand. Performing as a solo artist since 2001, he’s got a stack of hits to perform including “Let Us Be” and “Good Vibes”.
Influenced by his Polynesian heritage, Junior Maile, Samoan on his mother’s side and Tongan on his father’s side has a unique vocal style that has its origins in the church where he began singing at the age of five! His R&B, soul and gospel vocal sound can be found in the one drop reggae song “When I’m Gone” with its uplifting lyrics, it has over 1 million plays on You Tube.
Rising star, A Dough comes to Island Reggae Festival with his hip-hop influenced lyrical flow over pop & R& B rhythms. His latest single is “Slow Down” a duet with fellow Island Reggae Festival artist Fiji.
Hailing from San Mateo, California Cutthroat Mode is made up of three members, Rich Rollin with his rap delivery, Juice Boi with conscious lyrical content and Mr. Musik with his uptempo vibes. Their most recent EP – Eastside, was released in 2017.
With his cultural heritage centered in the Maori of New Zealand and the Cook Islands Lomez Brown mixes Reggae with HipHop and R&B to create feel good music with an island flavor. Based in Auckland, New Zealand his songwriting is inspired by his present-day role as a youth worker in the school system. Singing hit songs like “All My Life” & “Luvin Comes Down”, Lomez Brown will make his first ever appearance at Island Reggae Festival 2018. Twin brothers Semi & Jona Qoro grew up in the islands of Hawaii and Fiji, their group name Na Drua means “twins” in Fijian. They have had deep love for island and reggae music and their family friend Sione Liufau is also part of the group that sing smooth three-part harmonies accompanied by ukulele and guitar rhythms.
David Rhythm was born in Hawaii and raised in Utah. A multi-instrumentalist whose original songs blend island reggae and R& B, he was a contestant in season 6 of the NBC series The Voice.
A family-friendly event, each year unlimited, free carnival rides and games are available for ages 12 and under. The event will feature over thirty merchandise and food vendors with
Pacific Islands menu offerings as well as some of the best in festival food favorites.
Producer, Danny Perez stated, “That’s what IRF is all about…to showcase our Island talent to the world. Fiji will be headlining and celebrating his new album, ‘The Collection/50th State of Mind’ ~ 50 of his all-time hits that we all grew up on…and I am excited for everyone to get a chance to see Polynesian crooner David Rhythm, whose R&B flavor puts you in mind of Luther Vandross. We are predominantly a Polynesian crowd and to see to our demographic expand to include many different groups is great. I’ve envisioned the Island Reggae Festival as an event that we as Polynesians can call our own but also as an avenue to expose our island culture and music to others.”
Tickets are available on line through the Island Reggae Festival website islandreggaefest.com through Eventbrite or at regional ticket outlets in the weeks to come in the Peninsula Area, San Francisco, North, East and South Bay, Sacramento, Stockton and Monterrey areas.