The Skatalites began performing in Jamaica in May 1964. The group was so hot that their first rehearsal became a show. So many people had lined up outside the venue, they decided to just charge admission and let everybody in! They were the top musicians on the island at the time, having come together after playing in different bands and on various recording sessions. These records were made to be played at the many competing sound systems around the island. The band became legendary, backing all the developing artists of the day, such as Toots and The Maytals, Prince Buster and "The Wailing Wailers" featuring Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. These groups were all recording on the new beat called ska, which had an infectious rhythm that was catching on like wildfire. Eventually, the beat slowed down into rocksteady, and then reggae. This wildfire spread unstoppably around the world, developing into a huge musical tree with many stylistic branches, including lovers rock, dub, dancehall/ ragga, ska-punk,, and others. Hugely popular groups, like The Police, The Clash, The Specials, The English Beat, Sublime and No Doubt, all have their roots firmly planted in the music of The Skatalites.
Since reforming after an almost 20 year hiatus in 1983, and beginning regular touring as a unit in 1989, they have not stopped thrilling audiences in every corner of the globe. Even after 48 years, and various lineup changes as members leave one stage for another, the band continues to perform and record new music in the inimitable Jamaican style, like only they can. The road has been long and hard, and sadly, seen most of the original members pass on. Often asked "when will you stop?" and "how do you keep doing it after all these years?", the answer is simple: never - It's the love of the music and the way our fans respond that keep us going Forward!
Featuring original alto sax man Lester "Ska" Sterling and vocalist Doreen Shaffer, along with the current lineup of outstanding musicians they have chosen to accompany them, the band proudly presents live the music of Jamaican Ska.
Forever indebted to the inspiration and talent of Roland Alphonso, Lloyd Brevett, Don Drummond, Jerome “jah jerry” Haynes, Lloyd Knibb, Tommy McCook, Donat “Jackie” Mittoo, John “Dizzy Johnny”Moore, and Lester Sterling, collectively known as The Skatalites.
Van Gordon Martin Band
VGMB is a collective of players from all points east and west. We strive to bring heavy Funk and Groove music to you!
Van Gordon Martin is a dynamic virtuoso of the guitar. From slapping it like a bass to playing mind bending solo's, he derives textures as diverse as his Chicago roots. From the island sounds of Reggae to gritty Soul, Blues, and R&B. VGM covers all the bases. As a youth he was a National Merritt scholar in jazz guitar. Studied for a short time at Berklee Collage of music in Boston. At age 19 he pl
ayed his first show with legendary Parliament Funkadelic keybordist and musical director Bernie Worrell.
As former Lead Guitarist and song writer for Boston based band Spiritual Rez , Van has shared stages with the likes of George Clinton and PFunk, Toots and the Maytals, Steel Pulse, Barrington Levy, and Gregory Issacs.
Now embarking on a solo career VGM has made a break out effort in "No Limit to Love". VGM is touring in support of the album with a full band and solo acoustic.
SUBATOMIC SOUND SYSTEM
Subatomic Sound System's latest release is a genre bending, political scorcher featuring Anthony B entitled "Dem Can't Stop We From Talk" recorded in Africa, NYC, and Jamaica with remixes from producers around the world. Founded at the turn of the millennium, New York City based Subatomic Sound System has built a reputation worldwide for forward thinking production, explosive shows, and breaking down barriers with conscious topics and their forward thinking adaptation of 1970’s Jamaican sound system culture and dub reggae studio techniques to a wide variety of current bass music genres, technology, and live performances. Subatomic Sound System releases have been seen topping various vinyl and digital charts in the past years spanning from dub to dubstep and everything bass heavy in between. A few of Subatomic Sound System's notable releases include their wild collaboration with Dubblestandart to produce Grammy winning dub reggae innovator Lee Scratch Perry's first dubstep tracks, eclectic collaborations with icons like filmmaker David Lynch, Prince Far-i, & UK punk pioneer Ari Up of the Slits, as well as unusual electronic projects with new school reggae torchbearers like Anthony B, Elephant Man, Jahdan Blakkamoore, and Dubblestandart. A record label, DJs, production crew, live band, and event promoters, the Subatomic Sound crew is at work in NYC on every level. Subatomic Sound System and the Subatomic Sound label are spearheaded by Emch, as producer, selector, musician, and also the host of Subatomic Sound Radio which blasted out over the years to a footprint of 11 million terrestrial listeners in the greater NYC area via KEXP's MoGlo broadcast on Radio New York, 91.5fm, and on the internet via Brooklyn Radio. Subatomic Sound System has toured throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Russia. In 2008, Emch was recruited by top ranking live dub band, Dubblestandart, to play guitar and melodica on tour worldwide with Grammy winning legend Lee Scratch Perry, reaching from capacity crowd shows at New York's Central Park to Europe's largest reggae festival, One Love in Poland.