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The Ninth Annual Reggae in the Desert Concert Coming To Vegas Next Month

05/25/2010
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The ninth annual Reggae in the Desert concert returns to the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater with a collection of acts including Barrington Levy, Sly and Robbie, Marcia Griffiths, Yellowman, Mystic Roots and local group Haleamano.

The concert is set for June 12 at amphitheater located at 500 S. Grand Central Parkway in downtown Las Vegas. Doors open at 2 p.m. and the event concludes at 10 p.m.

Barrington Levy is called reggae's "mellow canary," because of his strong vocals. He began his professional recording career 30 years ago with his debut track My Black Girl with his band. His first foreign release to the United States and England was A Ya We Deh followed by Collie Weed, which became a major hit. After the release of his first album in 1979, he followed with Englishman on Greensleeves, which had three hit singles and solidified him as a reggae star of the early 1980s. Since then, he's appeared on featured tracks with Snoop Doggy Dogg, Bounty Killer, Lady G, Jigsy King and Terror Fabulous and has shared the stage with Shaggy, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Doggy Dogg and U2. Levy continues to record and tour extensively throughout North America, Europe and Asia and is Jamaica's no. 1 headliner.

Drummer Sly Dunbar and bassist Robbie Shakespeare grew up in Kingston, Jamaica in the '50s. Their collaboration as Sly and Robbie made famous worldwide in 1980 after their first record, Jimmy Cliff's Follow My Heart, set them up on the musical map in Jamaica. Wanting the services of this dynamic duo, artists and producers such as Grace Jones, whose Warm Leatherette and Nightclubbing albums were produced by the pair, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Never afraid of the avant-garde, Sly and Robbie collaborated with electronic producer Bill Laswell and jazz electronics pioneer Herbie Hancock. While some of their work showcased their talents with other artists, they released their own recordings with more frequency in the '80s. Recent projects include Say, Hey, I Love You with Michael Franti and Underneath It All by No Doubt as well as remixes of Give it 2 Me by Madonna, Piece of Me by Britney Spears and Nod Your Head by Paul McCartney. They were recognized as nominees at the 2008 and 2009 Grammy Awards for Anniversary and Amazing, respectively.

The career of Marcia Griffiths spans 40 years including solo acts and duets with Bob Andy. She has toured the world with Reggae greats Bob Marley and the Wailers as well as a member of the I-Threes, with Judy Mowatt and Rita Marley ‑ an important part of the Bob Marley entourage. As a soloist, she hit the number one spot on the Jamaican charts with Electric Boogie, first recorded in 1982. In 1989, a Washington, D.C. deejay started playing it regularly. As a result, the dance the Electric Slide was created and became a phenomenon at weddings, dances and social gatherings across the nation.

As an albino, Yellowman had a rocky start in life and the music industry. Yellowman was deserted by his parents, shunned at stage shows for his appearance and told he only had three years to live. That was 1983. He turned to music for comfort and became one of the most well-known dancehall artists in the world. Aside from his own music, he has partnered with rap artists such as Run DMC, NWA, Public Enemy and Doug E. Fresh. He has more than 45 recordings and has appeared on more than 88 compilation albums

Compared to the other acts on the bill, Mystic Roots are quite young, but age says nothing about the group's talent. The Chicago-bred, San Diego-based band introduces a new sound complete with beat-boxing, smooth vocals and harmonies and energetic freestyling while still embracing the nature of roots reggae. While on the brink of the spring release of its sophomore effort, the group tours the United States full time, building a loyal fan base. In a short time, the band has a list of accomplishments such as touring for 2 years as the official band for Pato Banton, starring in a one-hour reality episode on The Learning Channel and winning the L.A. Music Award for Best Reggae/Pop Album for its release Constant Struggle, which includes the underground hit Pass the Marijuana.

Local band HaleAmanO plays reggae, rhythm and blues and roots-style music and has been together since 2005 when ukulele player PochoMon Ryan, an Oahu native, got a talented group of musicians together to spread Hawaiian and reggae music in Las Vegas. The band broke out at the 2007 Pure Aloha Festival and continues to make a name for themselves around the Las Vegas Valley.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 the day of the show. Only cash is accepted at the door for tickets on the day of the show. Children ages 5 and younger are free. All seats are general admission and available on a first-come, first served basis.

Blankets for lawn seating are permitted as well as personal bottles of water. Vendors in the Caribbean Islands Vendor Village will have Reggae- and Caribbean-style items, exhibits, food and beverages as well as other fare. Domestic and imported beers will be available. ATMs are now available on site.

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