17 August 2018
Friday night at Rototom Sunsplash will be one of the most intense nights of this 25th edition. In charge of opening the Main Stage are Groundation, the Californian band have stirred up festival goers on numerous occasions with their unique sound, an successful mix of roots reggae and an improvisation and interaction which is almost jazzy. After a musical adventure of almost 20 years and a discography full of master works, 2018 is the year for Groundation. Following the separation of the other founding members, Marcus Urani y Ryan Newman, the original vocalist, Harrison Stafford, not without controversy, has reformed the band with eight new members. They are immersed in the recording of their new work, expected in autumn, significantly titled; ‘The Next Generation’. This concert will also serve as a proving ground for the new tunes from a critical audience and will also feature classics like ‘We free again’, ‘Building an ark’ and ‘Each one teach one’.
Along with the excitement of this first set of the night, the audience at the festival will come face to face with the legends; Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, two of the biggest influences in the history of reggae. The union of Robbie’s bass with Sly’s drums have always been ahead of their times, creating new waves of sound that propagated our from Jamaica to the rest of the world. This took forms from the roots of a style dubbed ‘flying cymbals’, the duo sat on their podium creating the ‘rockers style’, the deep sound of the incredible Black Uhuru experience, as well as the incisive and unmistakable productions of their brand Taxi. This enriched dancehall with world music touches on the one hand and influences of American black urban music on the other. They have collaborated and accompanied a huge range of artists and on stage they will be joined by three masters of the reggae voice; the legends Johnny Osbourne and Yellowman , as well as the sweet soulful charge of Bitty Mclean.
The Main Stage will close with another anticipated concert from Jimmy Cliff, one of the first global superstars of reggae. Hailing from a small village in Somerton, Jamaica, he has dedicated himself to music. Jimmy convinced Leslie Kong to start making tunes in the period of ska and got his first hit in 1969 with his self-titled album, featuring classics like ‘Many rivers to cross’, ‘Vietnam’ and ‘Wonderful world, beautiful people’. In 1972 he appeared in the film ‘The harder they come’. The soundtrack will be projected in the Reggae University this Friday, a film that brought reggae closer to millions of people in the West. The song which gave the title to the film has been his most famous hit. His recent career is also full of accolades, for example the Grammy that he won in 2012 with his album “Rebirth”. On the rest of the stages, the artistic level will be top quality. The Lion Stage will host the Jamaican Alpheus, the French Mo’Kalamity and Mediterranean Roots. The party continues in the Dub with Ashanti Selah y Kibir La Amlak, and in the Dancehall, the Americans King Addies and the bass sounds of Duke Neville with Patrick Matics and Rudy King in the Caribbean Uptempo area.