7 April 2017
Rototom Sunsplash 2017 strengthens its longstanding connection to the music of Bob Marley and The Wailers with its latest line-up announcement on the Main Stage. 4 decades after Bob sang Africa Unite and received the 1978 UN Peace Medal from the organisation’s Senegalese Youth Ambassador, his original band is back together for the festival’s Celebrating Africa edition, to be held August 12 to 19 in Benicassim, Castellon, Spain.
Foundation The Wailers members Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett (bass), Tyrone Downie (keyboards), Junior Marvin and Donald Kinsey (guitars) reconvene to perform music that literally changed the world by inspiring African independence. Joining them on drums is Aston Barrett Junior, Familyman’s son and nephew of original drummer, the late Carlton ‘Carly’ Barrett. Also representing the next generation is backing vocalist Shema McGregor, daughter of the I Threes’ Judy Mowatt and Bob’s 12 Tribes colleague Freddie McGregor.
Live mixing engineer will be Dennis Thompson, the man responsible for the Wailers’ sound in venues and studios throughout the 70s. And, as if that wasn’t enough, second keyboardist is Noel Davey, co-creator of the Sleng Teng rhythm that popularised digital dancehall (following the early digital drum experiments of the Wailers on songs like Rainbow Country and No Woman No Cry).
In 1978 Bob Marley was presented with the UN Peace Medal for the Third World by Senegal’s Mohmmadu “Johnny” Seka. Nearly 40 years later, the Wailers Reunion will Catch A Fire as Rototom celebrates Africa – and a Natural Mystic blows through the air…