By Reneé Ruwe
The Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock, NY hosted the Upstate Reggae 28th Anniversary Tribute to One Love on Saturday February 4, 2012. The celebration of Bob Marley’s birthday was hosted by Leah Boss of Upstate Reggae.
The event was focused on Bob Marley’s Birthday Celebration. The Marley family granted Boss her license gratis to promote her Reggae shows in honor of their father Bob Marley. Boss is planning a family Reunion with all of Bob Marley’s children to be held in the near future in Woodstock.
The event coincided with the unfortunate closing of Boss’ iconic shop Free Spirit of Woodstock. Boss had been in business for 29 years and had become the epicenter for the Hudson Valley Reggae Community. She began her career promoting Reggae shows in Woodstock on Wednesday nights at the legendary Joyous Lake lounge. She also started a Tuesday evening Reggae Night at Gully’s on the Newburgh waterfront, which drew a crowd of hundreds every week.
The Woodstock Tribute to One Love featured the bands Royal Khaoz from the Bronx, and The Big Takeover from New Paltz. As always, it featured catered Jamaican Cuisine along with DJ Dance entertainment.
The Big Takeover is a high energy sextet, with an upbeat, groove-oriented style of interpreting the Jamaican tradition of Ska and Reggae music, featuring Nee Nee Rushie on lead vocals. Royal Khaoz formed just over a year ago and has already accomplished what has taken some well-seasoned musicians decades to do. They have even shared stage with The Wailers, the original band that backed Bob Marley. The bands performed to a packed house with lots of dancing and good energy all around.
Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley was born February 6, l945 and died May 11, l981. His father Norval Sinclair Marley was a white Jamaican of English descent and a captain in the royal marines. His mother Cedella Booker was Afro-Jamaican. He was the first Jamaican artist to achieve international superstardom, introducing the music of his native land around the world.
In recognition of his courageous attempt to bridge Jamaica’s cavernous political divide, Marley received the United Nations’ Medal of Peace on June 6, 1978. In 1981, Bob Marley was awarded Jamaica’s third highest honor, the Order of Merit, for his contribution to his country’s culture. The legend of Bob Marley and The Wailers lives even after his death, and his music remains as vital as ever.