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Jamaica's Kris Kelli headlines weekend 2007 Reggae Festival

Date Posted: 2007-04-26

The hypnotic sounds of reggae will be all over the Okinawa stage Saturday night as virtually every Japanese musical reggae group jumps in for the 2007 Japan Reggae Festival.

No fewer than 18 Japanese groups will team with Kris Kelli, a 22-year-old Jamaican whose music stretches well beyond the reggae sounds that propelled her to initial stardom. She came into the reggae music arena in 2003, studying all facets of writing, singing and producing. Her debut album, My World, was released one year ago in Japan after working 18 months on the 15 tracks. Lovers Rock, dancehall, reggae and soul all blend in Kris’ musical world.

Japan Reggae Festival 2007 Okinawa, sponsored by DoCoMo and supported by Tower Records, takes place on the seaside stage of Ginowan City’s Open Air Theater near the Okinawa Convention Center starting at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are ¥6,000, while tickets purchased Saturday run ¥6,500. Preschool age children are admitted free. Tickets are on sale at Tower Records in Naha,

Appearing at this seventh annual open air festival concert are Kiko, Shonanno Kaza, Jumbo Maatch, Takafin, Boxer Kid from MJR Turner, Chenon, Nassuko Cucumber, Papa B, Fireball, Pushim, Home Grown, Munehiro, Make Feel Irie, Richie G, Ryo the Skywalker, U-Don and Platy.

With its origins in Caribbean and African music, American rhythm and blues, and Jamaican ska, reggae first began attracting a worldwide following with the music of Bob Marley. The musical genre began getting regular radio airplay in the early 1960’s. The Rastafari movement influenced the reggae music in the 1970’s and 1980’s, as lyrics expanded to include sexuality, broad social issues, faith and love.

Reggae’s unique form, which heavily uses drums, bass guitars and keyboards, lets virtually any song be adapted to reggae style. Saxophones, trumpets and trombones are used to play introductions and counter-melodies.

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