Jah 9 with Mellow Mood

June 9, 2017 - 8:00pm

On Friday, June 9, the Community Center for the Performing Arts and KRVM’s Zion Train proudly welcome Jah9 to the WOW Hall along with special guests Mellow Mood,

Deeply mystical, Jah9 has emerged from a chrysalis of poetry, dub and spirit to become a powerful femiNINE energy within a universal grassroots movement of consciousness.  Inspired by the open spaces in the instrumental dub of 1970’s Jamaican roots music, Jah9 sings with a voice that belies the dimensions of her physical body, from a soul much older than its current vessel -- reminiscent of that darkly operatic wailer for truth & justice, Nina Simone.  Her philosophy is profoundly spiritual, and her style is called Jazz on Dub.

Born Janine Cunningham, Jah9 spent her first nine years in Falmouth, Trelawny, on the rural western edge of Jamaica, before moving into the city of Kingston in 1991. This country girl, used to the idyllic Falmouth where everyone knew everyone else, was suddenly struck by chaos disguised as order in Jamaica’s capital.  Highly sensitive to her surroundings, she ventured inward and found an outlet for her feelings in the words that she wrote.

Growing up in a conscious family with a preacher for a father and a social worker for a mother, Janine had always been aware of the injustices in the world.  However, it was not until she was on campus at the University of the West Indies that she would embark on a pivotal journey to find her true voice.  At UWI she would gather with a group of fellow socially conscious and Rastafari brethren by a fire to steam herbs and reason for long hours.  There her heart was opened to the teachings of Haile Selassie I, and her ears to the hypnotic bass of the heavy dub rhythms of roots reggae.  Janine eventually embraced her childhood nickname, Jah9, as she learnt the significance of the word “Jah” and the number “9”.

By 2009 Janine had become a staple on Jamaica’s underground poetry scene.  In instrumental dub she found a place where her words could live, and the songs she started to write found encouragement.  She began recording with renowned keyboardist and flautist Sheldon Bernard and her demos caught the attention of the legendary Beres Hammond, who helped to develop her recording technique.  She later teamed up with popular producer Donovan Bennett of Don Corleon Records and released her first singles in late 2010.

Her focus and determination eventually culminated in the release of Jah9’s debut album entitled New Name, a homage to her personal spiritual journey produced by Rory ‘Stone Love’ Gilligan.   Voted album of the year by AchisReggae.com, New Name has been described as, “quite simply, the superb sum of its parts: a straight cultural roots album,” by United Reggae’s Angus Taylor.

Since 2013, Jah9 has performed  with her band ‘The Dub Treatment’ at most major European and US reggae festivals.  Described as “black magic” and “possessing a chilling yet bewitching vibrato evoking a young Ella Fitzgerald and a rootsy coolness à la Erykah Badu” her dub-filled live performances elevate consciousness and invoke a spiritual reawakening.

Jah9, a certified yoga instructor trained in Kemetic, Ashtanga and Iyengar methods, has been known to compel her audiences to pause, breathe deeply and feel empowered.  She opens minds and soaks them in knowledge and positivity.  Jah9 also curates an organic rhythm-based yoga experience she calls ‘Yoga on Dub’.  In 2015, while on tour in Italy and Malta, she was intent on engaging with African refugees, sharing with them insight on the new environment they would face, natural wellness and yoga/breathing as healing therapy.

Considered a nation builder and community activist, Jah9 is heavily involved in youth development work.  She helped develop programs for at-risk youth in Kingston, worked on the creation of a “Healing of the Nation” public awareness campaign and was at the core of the creation of the nonprofit youth and arts advocacy group Manifesto JA in 2005.

Established as a formidable lyricist and revolutionary force, Jah9 now shifts her energies to unveiling a deeper, more personal deployment of her ‘Jazz on Dub’ sound touring in support of her sophomore album divinely-entitled ‘9’. 

 

MELLOW MOOD

 

Italian reggae band Mellow Mood was born in Pordenone in 2005 but officially debuted in 2009 with their first record, entitled Move!  Totally self-released, it was an unexpected success and the two singles “Only You” and “Dance Inna Babylon” got a total of more than ten million views on YouTube.

The Rototom Sunsplash named Mellow Mood best Italian reggae band, ranked third at the European level.  Two years of intensive touring and artistic growth followed.  After a slight line-up change, Mellow Mood went back into the studio to record Well Well Well, published in May 2012 by Italy’s most important independent label, La Tempesta.  Ranging from roots-reggae to rocksteady, to tribal clubbing, the album showcased the progression of Mellow Mood as they represented a new generation of reggae artists coming from all over the planet.  The tour following the album release led the band to 12 European countries, where they performed at the most important festivals like Rototom Sunsplash, Sziget Festival and Sumol Summer Festival.

The album Twinz was released in 2014. It couples the rediscovery of roots music with a deeper knowledge of the newest Jamaican sounds. 

 

Less than one year later La Tempesta published 2 The World, which is enriched by national (Forelock, Andrew I) and Jamaican collaborations (Tanya Stephens, Jah9, Hempress Sativa, Gideon & Selah).  The title aims at both underlining the international calling of the band as well as showing how the Italian scene (artists and the audience together) are now ready to find its place on the reggae global landscape.

 

 

            Tickets are $14 in advance, $16 day of show.  Doors open at 7:00 pm and showtime is 8:00.

Door Time: 
June 9, 2017 - 7:00pm
Cost: 
$14 Advance, $16 Day of Show