Donavan I-taweh Cunningham was born in the hills of St. Ann,
the same parish in Jamaica where the great Marcus Garvey, Burning Spear and Bob
Marley all rise from. Like most successful artists, he comes from humble
beginnings. Raised in the farming community of Prickly Pole, just a few miles
from the home where Bob Marley grew in Nine Mile, he spent most of his
childhood farming alongside his father and four siblings. As a young child he
played music on handmade instruments crafted together from bamboo and sardine
It was the move to Kingston in 1992 that jump-started his
musical career. Living between the communities of Mall Road, Grants Pen,
Portmore, Rockfort, and Duhaney Park, I-taweh found comfort in the ghetto at
the Community Center of the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.
This was extremely influential for his music and his
mission, where he was amongst some of the greatest musicians in the industry
including, Dizzy Johnny Moore, Earl Chinna Smith, Nambo Robinson, and Bongo
Herman. During this time he was rarely seen without his guitar, and was given
the nickname Danny Gitz. Along with the
name, his skill and reputation as a musician began to grow, and the legendary
Sugar Minott took him under his wing as his guitarist and harmony singer.
In 1998, I-taweh became the youngest member of The Mystic
Revelation of Rastafari, Jamaica’s most influential Nyahbingi and cultural
group. With Brother Sam Clayton as the leader, they toured Europe extensively
until 2007 presenting traditional Jamaican music and educational workshops.
I-taweh produced and composed his first solo album,
Overload, which he released in 2011. He has since gone one to self-produce two
more albums, Judgement, which was released in February 2017, and his latest
project, Reload, was released on January 3, 2020.