Skatalites bring ska sound to Center stage in Grass Valley
KNOW & GO
WHO: The Center for the Arts presents
WHAT: The Skatalities, with opening act Monkey
WHEN: 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 12
WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley, CA
TICKETS: $20 members, $24 non-member (Ticket price includes $2 facility fee. Does not include applicable fee for online purchases.)
Since they first performed in Jamaica back in May 1964, the Skatalites were so hot that their first rehearsal became a show.
So many people had lined up outside the venue, they decided to just charge admission and let everybody in! They were the top musicians on the island at the time, having come together after playing in different bands and on various recording sessions. These records were made to be played at the many competing sound systems around the island. The band became legendary, backing all the developing artists of the day, such as Toots and The Maytals, Prince Buster and “The Wailing Wailers” featuring Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
These groups were all recording on the new beat called ska, which had an infectious rhythm that was catching on like wildfire. Eventually, the beat slowed down into rocksteady, and then reggae. This wildfire spread unstoppably around the world, developing into a huge musical tree with many stylistic branches, including lovers rock, dub, dancehall/ ragga, ska-punk,, and others. Hugely popular groups, like The Police, The Clash, The Specials, The English Beat, Sublime and No Doubt, all have their roots firmly planted in the music of The Skatalites.
“…Skatalites were essential in popularizing their genre, which included elements of R&B, jazz, calypso and Cuban music. The band’s best known songs included “Guns of Navarone” and “Eastern Standard Time,” both of which helped to lay the groundwork for the emergence of rocksteady and reggae.” – Rolling Stone
On Wednesday, they’ll bring their sound to the stage at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley for an 8 p.m. show, with limited theater seating due to the dance concert.
Since reforming after an almost 20 year hiatus in 1983, and beginning regular touring as a unit in 1989, they have not stopped thrilling audiences in every corner of the globe. Even after 50 years, and various lineup changes as members leave one stage for another, the band continues to perform and record new music in the inimitable Jamaican style, like only they can.
Featuring original alto sax man Lester “Ska” Sterling and vocalist Doreen Shaffer, along with the current lineup of outstanding musicians they have chosen to accompany them, the band proudly presents live the music of Jamaican Ska.
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