Reggae renegades

NANAIMO: Group of musicians pay tribute to those who came before during concert

Photo contributed Rasta Reuben is one of the performers paying tribute to past reggae legends during a concert at the Port Theatre. The show is hosted by comedian Ronnie Edwards.

Photo contributed Rasta Reuben is one of the performers paying tribute to past reggae legends during a concert at the Port Theatre. The show is hosted by comedian Ronnie Edwards.

Modern reggae performers pay homage to those that came before  with a tribute concert to reggae legends.

Jamaican stand-up comedian Ronnie Edwards holds together the show, which features Rasta Reuben and Selassie iPower, Fredlocks Asher, Kaysha Lee and the House of David Gang, plus more.

Fifty Years of the Wailers is set for Sept. 21 at the Port Theatre.

Edwards brings a message of pure fun to his stand-up comedy, drawing his street-wise humour from a vast number of sources. His good-natured style is clean, cerebral and cutting-edge.

More than 15 years ago, Edwards, a former railway porter and reggae musician, sold all his musical equipment to get into comedy.

His stage act is a high-energy combination of physical comedy, impressions and observations from his West Indian background, plus some music. It’s never hostile, aggressive, or mean-spirited.

A career highlight includes a spot on CBC television’s show Comics, which drew almost a million viewers.

Reuben’s musical influence was encouraged by his father who was devoted to collecting all types of music, particularly African-American music and Jamaican Caribbean music.

In his adolescent years, the music from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer and Jimmy Cliff had a profound spiritual and creative impact on his life and inspired him to turn his poetry into songs.

He started writing and composing songs with his musical brothers Fredlocks Asher and David (Uncle Dropsi) Phinn and honed his craft, beginning in high school where he studied the art of music and learned to play instruments.

His first major recognition was at the 1998 Canadian Urban Music Awards, where he won Best Reggae Album for his band Selassie iPower’s debut King of Kings. His next project, a double-disc album Reggae Planet, is set for release in October.

From learning to play piano at age six, to hearing her dad sing tunes from their native Jamaica, music has always been in Lee’s life. At 15, she began to nurture her singing talent through participation in gospel choirs.

Eventually, she toured Canada, the U.S. and France with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, received a Gemini award as part of the Sharon Riley and Faith Chorale and performed at U.S. President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

At that time, Lee was also a vocal, piano and theory teacher. She credits these experiences with helping her to embark, in summer 2009, on a solo career.

Also on the bill is Toronto’s roots reggae collective House of David Gang, featuring a new generation of artists alongside founding members King Selah and Collin “Jahlin” Edwards.

Rooted in the timeless tradition of Jamaican roots reggae from the ’70s and early ’80s, House of David Gang adds a mix of jazz, funk and afrobeat to create a global reggae orchestra. The Gang takes its name from the legendary House of David after hours on Queen Street West in Toronto, where artists from the city’s burgeoning roots, rock and reggae dancehall scene would meet to jam until sunrise.

The show at the Port Theatre runs 7-11 p.m. Tickets $30; $18/youth under 18. Please call 250-754-8550 or visit

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read