SKAMPIDA, SWEETLEAF & PARTY ON HIGH STREET at VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FEST XVIII (19yrs+) @ Distrikt
Longtime Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest friends SKAMPIDA make a triumphant return to the Festival for a high-energy party like no other. The rowdy Colombian ska troubadours have been running about the globe causing mischief and it's been too long since they've come to rile up audience. Luckily we've managed to track down and round up the ruffians for this spectacular night of unpredictable fun!
Joining Skampida for this gritty celebration are Victoria reggae favourites SweetLeaf - promising to serve up a heaping dose of horn-heavy goodness - and The Party On High Street, a whirlwind of genre-bending energy, blending up psychedelia, funk, rock and dashes of hip-hop. These three form a mighty triumvirate of party energy that sure to get your blood flowing and heart-rates up!
BOOKER T. JONES with KEITH & TEX and The New Groovement at VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FEST XVIII (All Ages/Licensed) @ Ship Point (Inner Harbour)
Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival is proud to host the legend, the titan of American soul and R&B, BOOKER T. JONES. For over half a century, Jones has been leaving his mark on American music, through his own work and collaborations with some of musics biggest and most diverse names like The Roots, Jim James and Gary Clark Jr, to name just a few. His song "Green Onions" has been a popular staple for years and is the only instrumental song included on Rolling Stone Magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time." After his unforgettable performance at Alix Goolden last year, we thought it was only fitting to bring this legend back, this time on our signature stage, in front of the majesty of the Inner Harbour sunset.
Providing direct to the legend of American music will be two titans of Jamaican music, Keith & Tex. The golden-voiced innovators of rocksteady started their journey over half a century ago and are still traveling and singing, delighting audiences around the globe with their incredible harmonies. Songs like "Stop That Train," "Don't Look Back" and "Tonight" remain some of reggae's most enduring classics, instantly recognizable and always welcome.
Joining Mr. Jones and Keith & Tex on this very special night is Victoria's own jazzy funksters, the New Groovement. The powerfully fun 11-piece is custom built to get heads nodding and rumps shaking. Their powerful horns will start the night off right, helping energize the crowd for an unforgettable evening.
Westcoast Reunion at VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FESTIVAL XVIII (19yrs+) @ Distrikt
Join us for the smoothest, sultriest night of Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest XVIII, headlined by Vancouver indie-soul sensations THE BOOM BOOMS. The Boom Booms have been long time friends of the Festival and this time they come to Distrikt to bring us their one-of-a-kind slinky, soulful grooves. There's something magical and warm about this septet's sound, something that's made them a West Coast institution. The perfect tunes to get centre your soul and shake your bones to, with a couple good friends, or huddled up close with your lover. Their Vic Ska & Reggae Fest return is not to be missed!
Teaming up with the Boom Booms for this soulful extravaganza is quickly-rising west-coast star CALEB HART & THE ROYAL YOUTHS. Through his work with Tasman Jude and now as frontman of the Royal Youths, Caleb Hart has established himself as one of Canada's premier reggae voices, roots-reggae smooth to dancehall grimy in the blink of an eye and always armed with a message of peace, love and hope. Nanaimo's BOOMSHACK is set to kick off the night with their untouchably soulful blend of jazz, hard funk and reggae. We can't wait to groove and get close with all the family for what promises to be a hot night like no other.
TARRUS RILEY with Shauit & Batuque Axe ft. Miguelito Valdes at VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FESTIVAL XVIII (All Ages/Licensed) @ Ship Point (Inner Harbour)
Tarrus Riley with Dean Fraser & Blak Soil Band
Affectionately known as “Mr. Singy Singy” for his rich, sublimely full vocals, Tarrus Riley has racked up awards around the globe, releasing a stream of albums that tap into the rich tradition of Jamaican music while always bringing something new and exciting to the mix. Internationally recognized as one of the new torch-bearers of roots reggae music, Riley's music is powered by the sun-drenched vibes and positively engaging lyrics of the best reggae. In Riley's songs there is comfort, power and strength. Songs like “Shaka Zulu Pickney,” and “Marcus Garvey” work to inspire and educate the African diaspora, while songs like “She's Royal” and “Cool Me Down” are here to cool things down for the lovers in the audience. Joining Tarrus Riley and The Blak Soil Band is legendary Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser. Through his solo work, work with acts like Sly & Robbie, Luciano and now Tarrus Riley, Fraser has established himself an incredible secret weapon in any reggae arsenal. With something for every stripe of reggae listener, the mighty Tarrus Riley with Dean Fraser and The Blak Soil Band promise to deliver one of the most engaging and uplifting sets during their Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest debut!
The one and only Innu Ragga Man, Shauit, finally makes his way to the Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival stage. Shauit is making some of the most vital and powerful reggae music in Canada right now. Singing in French, English and most importantly, his native Innu language, Shauit presents songs of love, power, hope and peace with an unyielding passion. His talent has taken him around both Canada and Europe as he spreads his message to the masses.
Batuque Axé feat. Miguelito Valdes of Buena Vista Social Club
Kicking off the festivities will be Batuque Axé, the blistering 12-piece backing band for Capoeira troupe Axé Capoeira, who will be in full force, demonstrating the beauty of the Brazilian martial art. They have lit up stages over the years with driving rhythms, beautiful melodies and captivating performances of traditional Brazilian dances and the Afro-Brazilian martial-art, Capoeira. Joining in with Batuque Axé will be legendary trumpeter Miguelito Valdes of such fabled acts as Buena Vista Social Club, Herbie Hancock and Afro-Cuban All-Stars.
To provide the beats in between your live acts on this very special night we had to call a legend from across the Strait. Tank Gyal, Vancouver's foremost authority on all tings riddmic, is coming to lay the slinkiest, sultriest, sunniest reggae grooves to keep you moving between all the amazing live music in store!
ENTANGADOS FROM CORDOBA, ARGENTINA RETURNS TO VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FEST XVIII @ Lucky Bar
Entangados as a band displays explosive energy, musical talent and humour on and off stage. But they also have the power to make almost anyone they perform for or come into contact with feel welcomed and relaxed no matter who they are. Musically the band combines ska, rock, cumbia, salsa and Balkan folk music. In 2016 Entangados closed out Victoria's 17th Annual Ska & Reggae Festival with an unforgettable performance in front of thousands who witnessed it at Ship Point Inner Harbour.
This time around the band will be playing one of the festival's smallest venues at Lucky Bar. So fans that loved them last year are advised to purchase tickets through either a Jupiter VIP Full Fest, Regular Full Fest or single passes!
Joining Entangados will be Montreal's OM Sound. The OM Sound is a tight trio merging genres of hip hop, electro, and jazz-funk to create a mesmerizing and groove-heavy sound. Their world travels serve as inspiration for their socially, environmentally, and spiritually conscious message, conveyed through soul stirring lyrics and rich soundscapes, wrapped up with in-the-pocket beats and blow-your-mind bass lines.
THE BLACK SEEDS with Tonye & Jon Middleton at VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FEST XVIII (19yrs+) @ Sugar
After one of last year's highlight performances under the stairs at Ship Point in the Inner Harbour, THE BLACK SEEDS are returning to get Sugar Nightclub rocking – a rare chance to see the dub reggae heroes up-close-and-personal!
The Black Seeds are proof that the beating heart of reggae lies with the people, from whichever nation or part of the world they call home. For nearly two decades, The Black Seeds have been putting in the work and channeling the sound of that beating heart. Formed in 1998 while guitarist/vocalist Barnaby Weir was working at Radio Active, an independent radio station in Wellington, New Zealand. Weir was one of a very small number of DJs at the station regularly spinning Jamaican-rooted music. In short time, just spinning the music wasn't enough and it was time to play it themselves. Since then, The Black Seeds have established themselves as not only one of New Zealand's most recognizable bands but as one of the faces of the global reggae movement. . Having countless shows and five – soon to be six – albums their belt, the group has mastered their dub reggae foundations, giving them the perfect canvass to splash with funk, soul, blues and straight-ahead rock and roll.
Supporting The Black Seeds is the smoky Vancouver soulstress TONYE. Since becoming the go-to voice for Vancouver's strong community of EDM producers and DJs, Tonye has been working to cement her place as a solo force to be reckoned with and if her new album "Villain" is any indication, she's already there. The album blends live instrumentation with electronic beats and elements to provide a lush rhythmic landscape for Tonye's incredible vocals to flourish.
MAD CADDIES, THE SKINTS, PERRO BRAVO, ILLVIS FRESHLY & BLACKWOOD KINGS at VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FESTIVAL XVIII (All Ages/Licensed) @ Ship Point (Inner Harbour)
This is a special one for all our family out there in the Skankster's Paradise.
Victoria BC Ska & Reggae Society favourites Mad Caddies headline a night to remember at the Inner Harbour. The band is as sharp and fun as ever, even after two decades. “It’s incredible. I really never thought we’d go for 20 years. I don’t want to sound clichéd but it’s been a long, strange trip for sure,” lead singer Chuck Robinson told the VBCSS's Blake Morneau during their last festival visit. “We’re so lucky to be able to keep doing this. We’re really thankful and grateful to the fans who still come out to have a good time.” The ongoing success of the Mad Caddies is a triumph, tempered by the specific humbleness and gratitude that comes from an understanding of and respect for the artist/fan relationship. The Mad Caddies aren't rockstar divas. They are lovers of the music, and even though they're creators, they're still fans and likely in the crowd with the rest of our Ska & Reggae family.
Joining the Caddies on this ska-spectacular are Easy Star Records champions and modern reggae warriors, The Skints. The UK quartet combines so many facets of the reggae family tree – dub, ska, two-tone, punk, dancehall, hip-hop – as to create an entirely unique, wildly unpredictable style. With dynamic male/female harmonies and grimy rapid-fire dancehall raps, the Skints paint vivid sonic portraits of hard city life in London over top of sunny dub reggae with way more heavy bottom end than they have any right to use.
Representing that sunny ska hotbed of Long Beach, California are Skunk Records trio Perro Bravo. From his work as a original member of Sublime – he's responsible for the lead vocals on the band's cover of “Scarlet Begonias,” and remained a producer for the band until its end – to his founding of the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, Happoldt has repeatedly proved his catchy, sun-soaked mettle. Formed in 2010, Perro Bravo is upholding that strong tradition of skank-friendly reggae-tinged music.
Over-stuffing an already jam-packed bill are rowdy Victoria hip-hop quartet, Illvis Freshly. With a firmly old-school vibe, couched in an aggressively bouncy EDM sound, the quartet of mischief makers has been rocking bodies and making people bounce all around British Columbia, including a highlight performance at last years Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest. With the release of last year's Illenials – a party-ready rocker of an album that features fellow Festival performer Caleb Hart – Illvis Freshly further cemented their place as one of the most unique and exciting acts to emanate from Vancouver Island in a long time.
THE BLACK SEEDS & CLINTON FEARON acoustic (Vancouver show) @ Rickshaw Theatre Vancouver BC
Sat. June 17th 8:30pm $26.50 - $29.50 advance
The Black Seeds had so much fun at their sold out Rickshaw Theatre performance last year they are coming back for a second helping this year! Once again this appearance is in support of their Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival XVIII appearance the day before in Victoria.To support The Black Seeds on this show Victoria BC Ska Society is proud to present Clinton Fearon. Clinton Fearonwas born in Jamaica and become the bassist, vocalist and lyricist for the mythic Gladiators, as well as a session musician for Coxsonne Dodd in Studio One and Lee 'Scratch' Perry's at Black Ark, two of the main producers on the island at this time. He also composed some everlasting bass lines for well-known artists like Yabby You, Jimmy Riley, Max Romeo, Junior Byles and many others.Pick up tickets asap for this one as it's expected to sell out again!
MIKE LOVE with BURNT & YELLOWSKY at VICTORIA SKA & REGGAE FESTIVAL XVIII (19yrs+) @ Sugar
A special night for all our those true reggae lovers among us. The one and only MIKE LOVE makes his Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest debut! If you haven't heard about Mike Love, now is the time to learn yourself a thing or two about one of the most important forces in the current reggae climate. In these troubled, frantic times, Love's music is a salve for humanity. Songs like “Penniless” and “I Love You” tackle societal ills and general love respectively, showing the range of Love's inspiration. This deeply inspired love for humanity and the Earth is buoyed by incredible guitar work and Mike Love's saccharinely sweet voice. The combination of positivity and top-tier musicianship has won Love fans all over the world, winning him appearances at Cali Roots, Wanderlust, the Montreal Jazz Fest and, at long last, Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest!
Joining Mike Love in this celebration of reggae are California's BURNT. For 15 years now, California's BURNT have been soldiers in the struggle to keep real roots reggae alive and well on the west coast, with an eye always forward, looking for new ways to evolve and add to the traditions of the music they love so much. With their passion for soulful melodies, bass-heavy riddims and lyrics that deal with both parties and politics, BURNT have become beloved west coast reggae favourites, exciting the reggae massive up, down and all around our beloved coast.
Kicking the night off with bang is the mighty YELLOWSKY. Hailing from the Plains Cree First Nation, Yellowsky (Born Roberto Andres Pooyak) is one of the most important First Nations rappers rocking in Canada right now. His massive, bottom end-heavy beats pay homage to the grimy city life of the most classic of hip-hop music while his elastic, malleable delivery harken to the traditions of both classic Jamaican deejaying and more modern MC styles. Where a lot of positive hip-hop starts to lose some of its edge Yellowsky is making positive music that still retains an exhilarating edge.
LA BANDA SKALAVERA MAKES THEIR CANADIAN DEBUT AT VICTORIA'S 18TH ANNUAL SKA & REGGAE FESTIVAL! (19yrs+) @ Victoria Event Centre
Victoria BC Ska Society is excited to present the Canadian debut of La Banda Skalavera from Los Angeles to Victoria's 18th Annual Ska & Reggae Festival. They are going to blow your minds!! This all Latino band play a mixture of ska core/punk, meringue, salsa, reggae and traditional folk.
La Banda Skalavera will be playing with Los Furios from Vancouver. Los Furios are a long-time fixture in Canada's ska scene and are about as old as the festival. Los Furios play a high energy brand of ska mixed with punk and reggae.
Together these bands will create fun and circle pits galore! We can't wait!!
THE SKINTS, MIKE LOVE & Mad Riddim (Vancouver show) @ Rickshaw Theatre Vancouver BC
Vancouver! We proudly present to you a huge reggae triple bill with THE SKINTS, MIKE LOVE & Mad Riddim! Fresh off their debut appearances at the Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival, The Skints and Mike Love are teaming up on the other side of the Strait to present a night of pure, unadulterated reggae goodness. This is a very special show that brings together two of the titans of modern reggae music, highlighting the yin and yang of reggae's roots. The Skints bring the grimy, gritty feel of big city living - reggae music delivered with a bite, while Mike Love comes with the breezy, lighter island vibes.
Then to top if off we have Mad Riddim who are the reggae veterans of the scene. Mad Riddim was created by Vancouver's drum and bass duo Matt Reid and Richard Brown. Together the two are the go to musicians for arranging backing bands for major artists that have come to BC over the years. For those of you that remember, Mad Riddim opened for Lee Scratch Perry in Vancouver at The Commodore in September 2016.
Come get down with us and start your summer right with one of the biggest,most important reggae shows Van City is going to see this year!