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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1997
Tony Johnson, 56, founder and producer of Reggae Sunsplash, the Jamaican music festival. Praised for introducing international audiences to reggae, Johnson was a native of Jamaica educated at UCLA. He founded Reggae Sunsplash in his homeland in 1978. Seven years later, he began touring a five-hour version of the five-day annual festival to cities around the world. The tours usually began in Los Angeles at the Greek Amphitheater.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By August Brown
Vybz Kartel, the popular Jamaican dancehall artist, has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in the murder of an associate, according to the BBC .  The 38-year-old singer, born Adidja Palmer, is one of the biggest stars in Jamaican music. American audiences know him from his vocals on Major Lazer's club hit "Pon De Floor," which Beyoncé sampled for "Run the World (Girls). " Palmer and three other men were sentenced after being convicted of the 2011 murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams in a dispute over missing firearms.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 1994 | RICK VANDERKNYFF, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"When I was young," says Jamaican deejay U-Roy, "I didn't think I would ever live in the United States." When asked just how he came from the Kingston ghetto of his youth to an apartment complex in Santa Ana, he is a little hazy on the details. He has some music business friends in Los Angeles and, well, he just kind of settled in about five years ago. He does his best to simulate some of the comforts of home. Every morning, for instance, he drives to Newport Beach to shop for fresh fish.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 2013 | By August Brown
If any Pop & Hiss readers were wondering where your intrepid dance music writer was the last week, I'm thrilled to say that the short answer is this: a Jamaican vegan trap-music bar with a "Cool Runnings" theme and a fake beach that abuts the Berlin Wall in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. Sure, Berghain's just down the street. But for what it's worth, I'm siding with YAAM as my favorite nightclub in Berlin, which is the best nightclub city on Earth right now.  I was over there visiting an ex-patriated old friend and full-time Berliner musician.
WORLD
June 13, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Ova di wall, Ova di wall Put yuh AK ova di wall… Blood a go run Like Dunns River Fall. Blood flowing like waterfalls. Brains floating like feathers out of a torn pillow. Women submitting to the whims of neighborhood "dons." The images are typical of dancehall, a popular Jamaican music style that has sparked a furious debate over whether it merely reflects an increasingly violent society or somehow contributes to the mayhem. Some of dancehall's most popular performers, including Elephant Man, who wrote "Ova di Wall," use hyperviolent lyrics that chronicle the exploits of "badmanism," the cult of gun-toting gangs.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 1987 | ROBERT HILBURN, Compiled by Terry Atkinson
"The Harder They Come." Mango. From the excellent Perry Henzell film about exploitation in the Jamaican music world (and beyond), this 1972 sound track is one of the most influential LPs of the modern pop age. The album reflected the seductiveness and commentary of reggae with such extraordinary spirit and range that it may have done more to build an audience for reggae in this country than any other single work.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2014 | By August Brown
Vybz Kartel, the popular Jamaican dancehall artist, has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in the murder of an associate, according to the BBC .  The 38-year-old singer, born Adidja Palmer, is one of the biggest stars in Jamaican music. American audiences know him from his vocals on Major Lazer's club hit "Pon De Floor," which Beyoncé sampled for "Run the World (Girls). " Palmer and three other men were sentenced after being convicted of the 2011 murder of Clive "Lizard" Williams in a dispute over missing firearms.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 1993 | DON SNOWDEN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Three years ago, Tiger seemed destined to join the ranks of dancehall reggae's flash-in-the-pan stars. The distinctive growl and manic delivery of the Jamaican deejay, who headlines the first night of the three-day "Bob Marley Birthday Celebration" Friday at the Long Beach Arena, took Jamaican music by storm in 1986.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 20, 1989 | CRAIG LEE
The recent trend in Jamaican music has been toward hedonistic, less message-oriented "dance-hall" and "lovers rock" sounds. But in its appearance at the Music Machine on Wednesday, the group Foundation eschewed current fads, revitalizing a format that dominated reggae's formative years: the harmony trio. Backed by the tight yet supple, six-piece Creation band, Foundation live was a lot earthier and tougher than it is on record.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 1990 | DON SNOWDEN
Believe the T-shirts that read "Ska, Reggae, Rocksteady: It All Began With the Skatalites," at the Whisky on Sunday, where the Skatalites made their Los Angeles-area club debut. This was the studio band when modern Jamaican music was being fashioned in the mid-'60s, and its accomplished, hour-plus set of ska chestnuts was rapturously received by a packed house.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 2011 | By Nate Jackson, Los Angeles Times
The image of a raging fire is a constant in the world of Lee "Scratch" Perry. Even at age 75, the Jamaican originator of the reverb-laden sounds of dub music still burns a little bit out of control. In a career spanning 40 years and counting, his enduring rude boy attitude and sometimes chaotic methods have only added to his reputation as one of the most important ? if least known ? creative forces in Jamaican music. The former producer for Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Heptones, the Congos and many other seminal figures in reggae music, and collaborator with pop stars including the Clash and Paul McCartney, Perry's enigmatic life and career are now the subject of a recently released film, "The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry.
WORLD
June 13, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Ova di wall, Ova di wall Put yuh AK ova di wall… Blood a go run Like Dunns River Fall. Blood flowing like waterfalls. Brains floating like feathers out of a torn pillow. Women submitting to the whims of neighborhood "dons." The images are typical of dancehall, a popular Jamaican music style that has sparked a furious debate over whether it merely reflects an increasingly violent society or somehow contributes to the mayhem. Some of dancehall's most popular performers, including Elephant Man, who wrote "Ova di Wall," use hyperviolent lyrics that chronicle the exploits of "badmanism," the cult of gun-toting gangs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports
Alton Ellis, 70, a reggae music pioneer who popularized the laid-back rocksteady sound that came out of Jamaica in the 1960s, died Friday of cancer in a London hospital. Ellis was set to record "Get Ready -- Rock Steady" in the late 1960s when his bassist failed to show up. The keyboardist slowed down the frantic ska beat so that he could also play the bass part. The resulting rocksteady sound showcased Ellis' smooth vocals and had "soon taken over Jamaican music, with Ellis leading the charge," according to the All Music Web database.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2001 | GEOFF BOUCHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Like any other veteran of Jamaica's dance halls, singer Shaggy knows the challenging legacy of Bob Marley. The late reggae icon shone so brightly that his music still dominates and defines the genre 20 years after his death, leaving would-be successors in an artistic and commercial shadow. "For the record companies looking around, where reggae is concerned, there are no success stories today," says Shaggy, the headliner on Sunday's second day of the Bob Marley Day Festival in Long Beach.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1997
Tony Johnson, 56, founder and producer of Reggae Sunsplash, the Jamaican music festival. Praised for introducing international audiences to reggae, Johnson was a native of Jamaica educated at UCLA. He founded Reggae Sunsplash in his homeland in 1978. Seven years later, he began touring a five-hour version of the five-day annual festival to cities around the world. The tours usually began in Los Angeles at the Greek Amphitheater.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 1996 | BILL LOCEY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
The Santa Barbara County Bowl will host the mother of all reggae gigs Saturday evening when the 5 1/2-hour Reggae Sunsplash provides the soundtrack for mellow, mon. Headlining this year is not a bunch of Jamaicans, but a bunch of Californians, the San Diego-based Big Mountain, perhaps best known for its smash single a few years ago, "Baby, I Love Your Way." The Reggae Sunsplash is an annual, lengthy tour involving a revolving cast of bands adept at making the dread heads dance real slow.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports
Alton Ellis, 70, a reggae music pioneer who popularized the laid-back rocksteady sound that came out of Jamaica in the 1960s, died Friday of cancer in a London hospital. Ellis was set to record "Get Ready -- Rock Steady" in the late 1960s when his bassist failed to show up. The keyboardist slowed down the frantic ska beat so that he could also play the bass part. The resulting rocksteady sound showcased Ellis' smooth vocals and had "soon taken over Jamaican music, with Ellis leading the charge," according to the All Music Web database.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 1991 | JIM WASHBURN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"The rebel in me will touch the rebel in you," Jimmy Cliff sang at the Coach House on Monday, and the Jamaican singer's ability to touch and inspire an audience indeed seems only to grow stronger over the years. Cliff first entered a recording studio in 1962, a year before the Rolling Stones cut their first record. But, unlike the moribund, pre-programmed marketing event that Mick Jagger & Co.'
ENTERTAINMENT
June 24, 1994 | RICK VANDERKNYFF, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"When I was young," says Jamaican deejay U-Roy, "I didn't think I would ever live in the United States." When asked just how he came from the Kingston ghetto of his youth to an apartment complex in Santa Ana, he is a little hazy on the details. He has some music business friends in Los Angeles and, well, he just kind of settled in about five years ago. He does his best to simulate some of the comforts of home. Every morning, for instance, he drives to Newport Beach to shop for fresh fish.
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