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Reggae Summer Jam Vibe Returns to Okinawa

By: PartyMan

Date Posted: 1998-08-21

"Reggae is growing in Japan," remarks King Ryukyu Crew member, Turner citing last year's 500-person turn out for the Reggae Summer Jam and last month's 3000-person showing for the Japan Splash '98 as examples. This year, King Ryukyu Promotions brings mainland Japan artists Boogie Man, Ackee and Saltfish, and Moomin to Okinawa for a 6 hour music and dance experience at he Naha Marina on 30 Aug.

Tickets are 4,000 in advance, 4,500 at the door and may be purchased at Blue Beat (Hwy 58 near Kadena), Banana Jamaica (Hwy58 across from MCAS Futenma) and Pink Dracula (near Hambytown across from Camp Foster). Daddy P, King Ryukyu Crew patriarch, says the "sound system style" setup gives authentic Jamaican sound to the event. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the music starts at 6 p.m.. Come early and plan to stay late. The concert closes at midnight.

This event is open to all Reggae music lovers. Turner, who DJ's and handles event promotion for the Crew, comments, "There can be no (race) boundary for Reggae music. It's a good location and people can come and catch the vibes." Get to the Marina by taking Hwy 58 towards Naha. After Camp Kinser, take the street, not the bridge that immediately follows the light at the base. Take a right at the second light (at the Subaru building) and follow that street to the end. Signs will guide you the rest of the way. Parking is plentiful but you may want to ensure yourself a good spot with some good time management.

Recent releases for the big names coming, include Nagoya native, twin dance hall kings Ackee and Saltfish's "Nah Watch Nuttin," and Tokyo bred Moomin's "In my Life." Osaka Boogie Man's hit "Pachinko Man" was a monster hit in Japan last year. Joining the headliners this year will be DJ crews King Ryukyu, Guiding Star (from Nagoya) and Reggae-style rapper Sister Miyumi. This year is Daddy P's third time at as coordinator and though it requires a lot of work to put an event this size together, he says, "it's getting a little easier." This soft spoken, multitalented man has been on the seen for 8 years and provides the sound system for the event. The Crew, which Turner describes as more of a family plays at various events and is also available for hire.

Can't wait til 30 August? The popular Reggae club Banana Jamaica scheduled a pre-party party on 29 Aug starting at 11 p.m.. If you have the stamina, the party lasts until 4 a.m. and costs 1,500; which includes one drink. Though none of the headliners are scheduled, you can get a taste of the next day's party with DJ crews King Ryukyu and Guiding Star.

Banana Jamaica offers Reggae every night with artists Bar Style, Super Irie, Burning, Gri Gri, Yuki, Yo-ko, Run and many others. The club is only closed on Thursdays and is open to all.

Next on the agenda is a partly on 25 and 26 September at the Banana Jamaica. The first day will have some standards and "oldies" while the second day more focused on dance music. So depending on your preference, come to one or both. Look for more on this including prices and an event name in the near future.

Turner (a nickname he got as a child) describes the role of the King Ryukyu Crew as one of fostering Reggae spirit and music here in Okinawa. "Okinawa is ready for Reggae," he told the PartyMan in a Jamaican accent, "most people know the big names (Maxi Priest, etc) but there is an underground sound too and that is what we do." He notes that the Crew is working with other organizations in mainland Japan to provide a kind of network for the artists and the music. Establishing regular concerts and providing people to talk to in various locations around Japan is a part of this task. On Okinawa the Crew also works with the Caribbean Island Association for cultural events on and off base. Caribbean member and native of Jamaica, Marfia Thomas, says "Their sound is like home ."

Want free tickets?? Japan Update will raffle off two pair (4 tickets) to some lucky people. Get in the drawing by faxing 934 5690 or e-mailing your request in to partyman@japanupdate.com (Attention Reggae Tickets). The drawing will be held on 25 Aug. Good Luck.

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