Kobo Town

Kobo Town, founded in 2004, blends Canadian and Caribbean cultures through the contemporary reimagining of calypso music. Founder, Drew Gonsalves, grew up in Trinidad and moved to Ottawa when he was 13 with his Québécois mother. Caught between two worlds, Gonsalves turned to music and poetry, eventually creating Kobo Town with fellow Trini expats and members from his former band, Outcry.

Kobo Town is named after a neighbourhood in Port-of-Spain, the capital of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and the birthplace of calypso music. Kobo Town is inspired primarily by calypso, and its ability to combine elements of storytelling with up-beat, tropical tunes. Kobo Town released their first album Independence in 2007 followed by Jumbie in the Jukebox in 2013. Jumbie in the Jukebox, predominantly recorded in Belize, was nominated for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize recognizing the year’s best Canadian album

Jumbie is a type of spirit (good or evil) told in some Caribbean folklore to frighten children to keep out of harm—our closest equivalent would be the boogie man. The album envisions a jukebox inhabited by a jumbie projecting sounds inspired by West -Indian music. Kobo Town tells a tale in every song and the more you listen, the deeper the message integrates. Kobo Town is a band you can bring anyone and everyone to see.



Ship Point (Inner Harbour)
Thu. June 23rd 16:00 - 22:00
Victoria's 23rd Annual Ska & Reggae Festival FREE Night 2
Kobo Town, The Capital Collective, La Real del Sonido, Rude City Riot @ Ship Point (Inner Harbour)
All ages, FREE, Doors @ 4pm

We're ringing in Night 2 of Victoria's 23rd Annual Ska & Reggae Festival with one of the most musically diverse bills of the whole festival – and if you're familiar with what we do, you know that's saying a lot! Headlining this monster free show is calypso/ska champions KOBO TOWN. For nearly two decades Kobo Town has built a reputation as a truly intoxicating band, blending the worlds of calypso, ska, reggae and hip-hop into a truly unique sonic-stew. With their new album “Carnival of the Ghosts” Kobo Town has pushed the boundaries of the Caribbean sound to new places, their signature (often heavily satirical) social commentary remaining at the forefront but never overwhelming the music. Lyrics to make you think and laugh and music to make you dance – it's the winning Kobo Town formula.

A Ska & Reggae Fest special, THE CAPITAL COLLECTIVE returns to the main stage for what promises to be another unforgettable coming-together of musicians from around our west coast music scene. Born out of a shared love of the ska that inspired not just our festival but our whole community, The Capital Collective is a gigantic ska orchestra that serves as a powerful example of the power and importance of musical community. When The Capital Collective never know who's going to show up on stage playing a horn or a grabbing a microphone and leading the party. Coming all the way from Bogotá, Colombia to power us with their high-powered, horn-laden Latin ska-rock is LA REAL DEL SONIDO. With an unmatched energy and relentless stage presence, La Real Del Sonido might just be your favourite band you've never heard of. Rounding things out and getting us started in style is Vancouver ska-punk rabble-rousers RUDE CITY RIOT. This powerful septet hits hard and is guaranteed to get things started off right proper. When we saw what Rude City Riot did to the crowd at our SKAlloween celebration this past October, we knew instantly they were destined to play for our festival family. With such a hard-hitting lineup, you'd be a capital-f Fool to miss this FREE party under the summer sky in the Inner Harbour. Come one, come all! And be prepared to MOVE!