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Live At The Linda: Featuring The Skatalites, Taj Weekes And Adowa

The Skatalites official Facebook page

Each Wednesday and Sunday evening at 8 p.m. Live At The Linda brings you some of the best musical acts to grace the stage at The Linda - WAMC's Performing Arts Studio. This week features The Skatalites with special guests Taj Weekes and Adowa from their September 2018 concert.

Credit Taj Weekes official Facebook Page

Taj Weekes and Adowa is a disciplined team of talented musicians from differing cultures with broad musical influences, led by singer-songwriter, poet, humanitarian, and activist Taj Weekes. Their name pays homage to the Battle of Adowa of 1896 which ensured sovereignty for Ethiopia and was crucial for the advancement of African Independence and pride. Taj Weekes himself is an unwavering, energetic humanitarian whose dedication extends beyond his songwriting and poetry into social activism, an activism that has culminated in his official role with the United Nations as “UNICEF Champion for Children” and his children’s charity “They Often Cry Outreach.” Outside of his humanitarian efforts, Taj is also an avid musician who has released six acclaimed albums with Adowa of what he calls “musically adventurous reggae.” His music retains humanitarian and activist undertones but there’s also a pragmatic, non-judgmental optimism that is not merely unusual in reggae but also unique. So enjoy Taj Weekes and Adowa recorded Live at The Linda on September 14, 2018.

Some would claim that the tiny island of Jamaica has probably had more of an impact on music globally than any other country or place in the world, and The Skatalites may have been the catalyst. The Skatalites are Jamaica's premier ska band since 1964 who backed artists like Bob Marley, Toots  , Alton Ellis, and Ken Boothe. Their infectious brand of bluesy, jazzy ska spread like wildfire around the island and spawned entire genres of ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, two-tone, and 3rd wave ska. Forming in 1964, the original lineup only lasted 14 months but recorded hundreds of songs in that time that would have lasting impacts on the music scene of Jamaica and beyond. Nearly two decades after drifting apart, the former members who had remained active in the Jamaican music scene heard about the resurgence of interest in their music, leading to the band’s reformation in 1983 and subsequent migration to the U.S. - beginning a healthy and impressive touring schedule that has lasted to this day.

Despite changes in personnel over the years, the band has stayed viable- recording numerous albums and performing at some of the world’s largest festivals, all while maintaining their original and infectious sound. Most of the band’s original members have passed away or are no longer active in the music realm, but we were extremely fortunate to have original member Doreen Shafer perform a few songs with the band. So enjoy The Skatalites recorded Live at The Linda on September 14, 2018.

Thanks for listening to Live at the Linda. Join us here next week at the same time for our broadcast of Willie Nile from May 2018 and Andrew Mirabile from November 2019.

We realize that the impacts of COVID-19 have been dire for working musicians and the music industry as a whole. The Linda: WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio is thrilled to let you know about “The Open for Takeout Virtual Concert Series” produced in collaboration with Chromoscope Pictures. The program features local and regional musicians playing on The Linda stage and viewable worldwide online through Youtube. The goal of this series is to bring musicians back to the stage in a safe environment and provide fans with a professionally produced concert delivered directly to your homes. Similar to some of our in-person concerts, these will be ticketed events. And similar to all in-person concerts at The Linda, we will insure the highest standard of production.

Coming up on The Open for Take-Out VCS we welcome Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones on Monday March 29, at 8 pm. You can find tickets to this show and the rest of the series at thelinda.org or keep up with us on Facebook (@thelindawamc) and Instagram (the_linda_performing_arts).

Peter Hughes is the General Manager and Programmer/Presenter for The Linda: WAMC Northeast Public Radio’s Live Performing Arts Studio. He is also the on-air host of "Live at the Linda" a twice-weekly variety music program on WAMC on-air and online that broadcasts concerts and content both recorded and live from The Linda studio in Albany NY, but also interviews and conversations with artists of all stripes.