In recognition and acknowledgement of veteran Reggae artists’ careers, their creation of Reggae music, and role in music history, California Roots Festival and Rootfire are excited to announce a new collaborative project, Center Stage with Reggae Icons. Cali Roots and Rootfire are opening their platforms in service as a resource to living legendary Reggae artists.
Cali Roots, the largest Reggae music festival in the US, together with Rootfire, a cooperative label services program designed to provide interest-free loans for the production and marketing of recorded music, are committed to amplifying legendary Reggae artists via Center Stage with Reggae Icons. Through this project they will take a deep dive into the featured musicians’ catalogs and careers with artist interviews, historic performances, streaming music, recommended films and books, and hosted panel discussions. The goal of this project is to serve as a bridge through music history education, to honor legendary Reggae art and share the artists’ stories with American fans. Each Reggae artist will be illuminated through a variety of platforms such as social media, Rootfire’s Reggae Podclash, Sirius XM’s The Joint with Dan Sheehan, playlists and more. Center Stage with Reggae Icons will kick-off in September featuring Toots Hibbert of Toots and The Maytals!
Pat McKay of Sirius XM’s The Joint states, “The partnership formed by Cali Roots and Rootfire for this project exemplifies Reggae’s messages of unity. Aimed at providing an unprecedented service, and having had the privilege to observe the Cali Roots Fest and Rootfire’s revolutionary approach to business and the way Reggae is presented – this project seems a very natural step.”
The importance of launching Center Stage with Reggae Icons speaks to the current times. Since its inception, Reggae music has been deeply rooted in revolutionary protests for the rights of oppressed communities within Jamaica and a call for liberation, led by Rastafarian beliefs. In the spirit of Reggae music and the wake of the BLM movement, Cali Roots announced a pledge on social media in support of BIPOC creators. Center Stage with Reggae Icons is an activation of their pledge point, to share and acknowledge the history of reggae music that is rooted in Jamaica and to engage veteran reggae artists with the broader audiences their platforms reach.
Cali Roots and Rootfire are committed to being active, long term allies to oppressed groups, using their platforms to spread awareness, practicing anti-racism, and encouraging their community to do the same.
We pledge to:
- LISTEN to oppressed communities and what they are asking for from allies.
- RECOGNIZE the Indigenous lands we live and work upon. Engage local leaders to inform appropriate cultural protocols and inclusivity.
- ACKNOWLEDGE the history of Reggae music is rooted in Jamaica and ENGAGE Jamaican artists, creatives and leaders to guide us in the best way to share this history with our Community.
- CREATE a council of partners dedicated to discussing & implementing actionable items to bring continuing awareness & change.
- DONATE money and time to anti-oppression organizations.
- COLLABORATE with nonprofit partners who are dedicated to making changes.
- COMMUNICATE actionable ways our community can participate in creating change.
- CHOOSE to work with staff, volunteers, vendors, sponsors, and other business partners whose values and commitments align with ours.
- ENCOURAGE our community to vote for people who will stand for the policy changes needed to protect the oppressed.
- CONTINUE to ENGAGE & INCLUDE our creative community in shaping events that serve the above goals.
If you would like to participate in the Center Stage with Reggae Icons project, please email rootfire(at)rootfire(dot)net. Examples of ways you can contribute: video shout outs, written memories of seeing Toots in concert or hearing his music for the first time, a playlist of your favorite songs from Toots and The Maytals, a photo of you with the man himself…all ides are welcome. Our goal is to rally the community and honor his legacy. Thank you for being here with us.