The Seattle Bob Marley Tribute will take place at the King Cat Theater on Feb. 5 and 6, a two-night fest with local and international groups featuring roots reggae, hip-hop and rock, soul, funk and dance hall.
Happy Birthday, Bob Marley. Seattle’s posthumous present? Two nights of reggae music at the recently reopened King Cat Theater.
Enacting Marley’s mantra “one world, one love,” the organizers of the birthday celebration have brought together top-notch local and national reggae acts for a packed double bill Thursday and Friday, open to all ages.
Though you can often catch some rock-steady rhythms at venues around town like Nectar and Tost, this event — dubbed Reggae Consciousness — offers enough music to keep you dancing all night — literally.
Each concert starts at 8 p.m. and winds down at 3 a.m. The lineup includes local acts like Fearon, Laborer and the Freetown, as well as out-of-towners SOJA and Ossie Dellimore and the Soldiers of Justice.
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Now in its fourth year, the tribute to Marley is a showcase of reggae styles and an affirmation of Seattle’s healthy reggae scene. The groups are a diverse mix of traditional roots reggae, hip-hop and rock, soul, funk and dance hall.
Headlining Thursday’s show is Washington, D.C., collective SOJA. Stopping by on a world tour, the group has attracted a substantial fan base with their style of rock/hip-hop infused reggae.
Jamaican-born Clinton Fearon and his Boogie Brown Band will cap off Friday night’s live music. Fearon was the singer and bassist for popular 1970s and ’80s reggae band the Gladiators. Now based in Seattle, Fearon tours worldwide.
Also on the bill: Winston Jarrett and the Solid Foundation Band, Lafa Taylor and Shan Coleman (Thursday); and Ras Indio, Essential I and Jahson Ites (Friday). On Friday, DJ Rising Sun International will keep the music going late into the night.
You can also grab some Caribbean food courtesy of Belltown’s Casuelita, as well as some crafts. And in the spirit of one love, $1 from each ticket sale goes to support humanitarian-aid organization Great Shape! and People for Puget Sound.
Marley’s official birthday is Friday — he would have been 64. The reggae pioneer died in 1981 at just the age of 36, after gaining international fame with songs like “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Jamming,” “Redemption Song” and “One Love.”
Marley rose out of the Jamaica musical-street scene and would eventually become one of the first musicians to bring Jamaican music to the rest of the world. His Rastafarian beliefs infused his songs with themes of love, religion and peaceful politics — and of course, gave him his trademark dreadlocks.
Joanna Horowitz: firstname.lastname@example.org