Rock / Caribbean / African
Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm
Tickets are $15 Advance / $18 Day of Show
The Caribbean Allstars are pioneers in the Bay Area reggae scene and longtime regulars at Ashkenaz. The ensemble, whose geographical roots range from Jamaica and South America to West Africa and the U.S., began joining together their musical forces and international backgrounds during the early 1970s. Out of such predecessors as Obeah and the Sons of Creation, the Caribbean Allstars were formed and became the founding fathers of Bay Area roots reggae. Although many musicians have come through the band since its founding, it has long been guided by its director, Trinidad-born drummer Hugh “Sweetfoot” Maynard. The Caribbean Allstars not only play Jamaican reggae with a traditional electric bass-drums-guitars-keyboards lineup, but also add steel drums to bring in South Caribbean calypso and soca styles of Trinidad and Tobago, producing rhythms that drive listeners to the dance floor. Over the years the band has performed with an array of talent sitting in, including Taj Mahal, Narada Michael Walden, and Carlos Santana. Santana played on their second album and introduced them as “my favorite band” at the 1987 Bay Area Music Awards (Bammies). The Allstars were featured on Ashkenaz’s 30th anniversary CD and have for many years been one of the core bands of the extended Ashkenaz world music and dance community.
Doors at 7:30 pm; show at 8:00 pm
Tickets are $17 Advance /
$20 at the Door /
Show will start with a short 5-7 minute spiritual ceremony with acoustic drumming. Followed by set by the Bay Area Steel Drum ensemble, including Jeff Narrell. Some of the Bay Area’s top Caribbean musicians will come together in a “Koudmen” for a concert to benefit Hurricane disaster relief efforts on the island of Dominica. Led by legendary Caribbean Poet and Artist, RasMo of Dominica, the group will also include guitarist Bernard George, drummer Clayton Hazel, keyboardists Bert Thomas and Dilly George, all hailing from Dominica. Joining them will be Harry Best of St. Lucia and Andrew Charles of Barbados. ‘Koudmen’ is a practice of communal cooperation that is part of Caribbean culture especially following disasters such as hurricanes. People pool their resources and take turns rebuilding and repairing individual damaged properties and other belongings. Attendees can expect to be moved and delighted by the group’s renditions of infectious ‘Zouk’ music that is indigenous to the French Kweyol speaking islands such as Dominica, St. Lucia, Martinique, Haiti, Guadeloupe, St. Martin and Cayenne. The evening will open with a set from a collective of Bay Area Caribbean steeldrum pan players including Sharon Mapp, Paul Snagg, Peter Best, Olison Baptiste and others. Come dance and support the people of Dominica, and especially the local artists who have been devastated by hurricane Maria.
A native of the Caribbean island nation St. Lucia, Harry Best has been one of the Bay Area stars of steel pan music since moving to El Sobrante, where in recent years he has taught music and led his band Shabang. Best is also a seasoned songwriter whose music has had more notoriety than his steel drum band. He has written hit songs for artists such as the late Caribbean international superstar Arrow. His lyrics are arresting, his melodies sweet, and the rhythms infectious. But ask Harry and he’ll tell you that the real secret to Shabang’s charm is their fun-loving approach to their performances.