For decades the essence of Reggae music has intricately weaved its way into everyday Canadian living. From the earliest days of the first Caribbean migrants until now, Reggae Music has had an influential impact on the cultural mosaic of Canada. From the earliest musing of artistes such as Bruce Cockburn to today’s Magic!, Drake and Justin Bieber, the impact of the deep roots of Reggae Music can be witnessed across the Canadian landscape.
It was these conditions that saw 14 year old Scottish Canadian Jason Wilson playing keyboard in Canada’s first major label Reggae band, Messenjah.
Thirty-plus years later, Dr. Jason Wilson has completed his doctoral thesis on the impact of Reggae Music within the Canadian diaspora, “King Alpha’s Song in a Strange Land”.
Prior to the release of his thesis in book format, Dr. Wilson, with the backing of Mad Riddim band from Vancouver, will take Rastagarians on a live musical journey through “The Golden Era of Canadian Reggae Music” from the early 1970s to 1990s and beyond.
“Yes my background is a proud Scot,” says Jason, “but all the people I grew up with were West Indians. Reggae is in my blood; it’s what I know.”
There’s no one more excited than ReggaeFest producer Leo Cripps about this event. “I am absolutely stoked for this event! It will definitely open many eyes on the importance of Reggae Music and how much impact it has had in shaping the artistic landscape of our country.”
Celebrating 150 years of Canada uniting cultures, “The Golden Era of Canadian Reggae Music” is the kick-off event to the 14th annual Calgary International Reggae Festival and takes place August 17 at the iconic King Eddy Hotel at Studio Bell, the National Music Centre. The event is all ages and free to the public.