Guest Post by Xavier Frey
I love Tarrus Riley‘s appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk series – it is a perfect representation of the depth he presents as an artist. With only a three song setlist and a coffee shop slam poetry vibe, Tarrus is purely himself. He draws listeners near with the voice of a wise teacher and the presence of a talented public speaker. While he admits to having no formal background in this capacity, there is a seemingly divine level of comfort that he brings to the stage which begs otherwise. Standing by his side is celebrated saxophonist Dean Fraser – a man who Tarrus claims had an influence on him that was “far too wide to measure, way too much to put into words.”
In this diverse nation of immigrants, pockets of music genres are held within different areas, communities, races and religion; no other nation has a comparable level of musical diversity. Music has always been the crucial foundation for Tarrus. “Music helps shape my wisdom everyday, ever since I was too young to remember.”
As a youth growing up in Florida, Tarrus explored his Jamaican roots as he followed in his father’s footsteps, famed reggae singer Jimmy Riley. His ability to connect his Jamaican heritage to his American upbringing only enhances his legend status. America helped broaden his view of the world, a view free of barriers. “America is made up of immigrants. Interacting with them made me realize that no matter where in the world I go, we are all the same people.”
No matter where we come from or what we believe in, a beat is a beat and a feel is a feel. Our ability to perceive and connect through music shows that humans have the capacity to treat all as equal. Like you, we here at Rootfire believe in the power of reggae. We see it as a tool to connect the world through a message of compassion and equality. Tarrus embodies this message with a worldly scope.
Tarrus Riley plays the second annual Rootfire At The Park in Cocoa, FL Sunday, Nov 12. VIP passes and single day tickets are available HERE.