Partners in Music
Haute Normandie France 29/30 July 2016 (Fidelaire). Great Experience. Memories
Midnite (Ben Benjamin)
The band's music follows in tradition with the roots reggae bands of 1970s Jamaica. The lyrical portions of Midnite's compositions are characterized as the "chant and call" style which gives their music a spiritually intense and an overtly Rastafari movement feel. The lyrics are centrally focused on the plights of the oppressed, the inherent faults of the current political, economic and social settings on a global scale, and the redemption available to mankind through a life dedicated to Jah.
In 2015, the band reformed around co-founder Vaughn Benjamin as Akae Beka without bassist Ron Benjamin. Ras Elyments Took Ron Benjamins Position on Bass. Suren Felton Replaced Ras L on Keys. The reasons for the reformation have been stated as due to "Life changes, convictions and revelations. Stated on the band website was "Due to a medical emergency the tour is postponed" Members of the band themselves wont even say during the recent Akae Beka Coronation Tour in November 2015. '.  Akae Beka's first performance took place in Denver, Colorado on July 17, 2015 in honor of Nelson Mandela Day.
Goree Island Dakar/Senegal 2008
Nasio Fontaine (Dominique/West Indies)
An exciting, persistent singer from Dominica whose story should inspire anyone who wants to be a recording artist.
Nasio financed his first recording, produced, financed, promoted, and distributed it himself.
A farm boy from Bagatell/Carte-Bois, in Dominica, Nasio Fontaine is the youngest of seven siblings. A one room shanty was the Fontaine's living quarters; it had no running water, electricity, or plumbing. His parents stressed education, but Nasio left school after earning a primary school certificate at 14. He loved drumming as a child and drove everybody batty by banging on anything and everything around the house and in school. He sung in church and school and won the yearly singing contests at age nine, 10 & 11 over many other talented participants. Early idols include the Mighty Sparrow, and the Merrimen of Barbados. Nasio only heard calypsos and other native sounds until his parents brought a Phillips radio home; then he started feeling soul artists like Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Sam Cooke, expanding his musical boundaries.
He moved to St. Maarten in 1981 and absorbed Reggae music, and adopted the Rastafarian lifestyle, something he didn't dare do in Dominica where the Rastafarian culture was barely tolerated and followers were often killed for wearing dread locks. He did odd jobs--working the docks and sweeping stores--saved his money and financed his first recording with the help of his brother. By 1986 he'd saved enough to record a 12- inch single entitled "Born To Be Free" b/w "Party." "Born To Be Free" became a major Carribean hit, it sold 5,000 copies in St. Marteen alone, the island's biggest selling record ever. Nasio went from island to island promoting his creation, making sure to leave records at the radio stations with the biggest antennas.
He became known as the Born-To-Be-Free-Man in St. Marteen and continued to work the docks and the grocery stores to save enough money to bankroll another recording. Nasio recorded Babylon Is Falling, a five-song EP in 1990, but shelved it for four years, releasing it only after being prompted by a friend. Nasio sweetened some of the tracks in Jamaica in 1992, and had 2,000 copies pressed. He released his next CD Reggae Power, in 1994 and went on another island-to-island promotion tour. The record became a success and Nasio garnered many awards. A single from the album "Wanna Go Home," helped by a video really blew him up. Another single "Under Attack" from Wolf Catcher kept the sales flowing and Nasio was an island sensation. His second full CD, Revolution was released April 1999, 17 years after his first recording, and the adulation for Nasio's music continues. Living in the Positive was released in 2003, with an expanded edition following in 2004 from Ras/Sanctuary. ~ Andrew Hamilton
Ouzin & Fady Melo (Caen/France)
Jampara (Amsterdam/The Netherlands)
The band started getting shape at the end of '93, Jampara and Aston ‘Familyman' Barett, the leader of the legendary Wailers, started talking about forming a new reggeaband. Soon Jampara was looking for a bass player, and was lucky to find one in the form of Robby Skipper. The Batalion as a band was born.
Originally the band existed of five people, Ras Jampara as the lead singer and solo guitar, Robby Skipper on bass guitar and as ‘chief in command', Captain Anthony rhythm guitar, Professor Moha on drums and War Watanga as the lead guitarist
Now the Batalion performs mostly with 8 to 10 musicians, with changing additions to the core of the band. The Batalions first gig was a double bill with Burning Spear at the Paradiso in Amsterdam (Netherlands) in 1995.
Jampara and the Batalion went to Jamaica to record their first album called Free like a bird. This album was released in 1999 and established the Batalion as a good, international roots reggae band and it earned them recognition and respect.
Batalion is truly fire in the wire
Marechal Mendy (Senegal)
Marq Marquis & 4Ward Band
KinG Staka ( Amsterdam)
Layba Diawara (The Netherlands)
Guimbe Tounkara (Mali
Kenny B ( Suriname/ The Netherlands
Queen Omega (Trinidad and Tobago)
Osborne was born in San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago.  After singing in calypso and soca bands, she turned to reggae, and began performing roots reggae influenced by her adoption of the Rastafarian faith. She became based in England, where she began recording in 2000, releasing her self-titled debut album in 2001, and moved on to work with the Green House Family label. Her second album, Pure Love, was released in 2003. In 2004 she performed at the Rebel Salute festival. Her third album, Away From Babylon, was released in 2004, and Destiny followed in 2005. In 2008 she performed at many reggae festivals in North America, headlining the Northwest World Music festival in Eugene, Oregon.  In 2009 she toured Brazil and France. In 2010 she recorded with Jah Sun on his Gravity EP and toured with Marcia Griffiths.
Queen Omega in Silent Session (April 2016) at Cafe the Zen / Amsterdam
Prosper Kasse (Senegal /The Netherlands)
Pape Niang (Senegal)
Pape Niang is one of the most important musicians in Senegal's vibrant music scene. Blind by birth, he has been organizing for several months "Handicapable", a project to train and support the disabled. It was launched with a concert on May 24 2013 and Pape Niang's hope is to help improve conditions for handicapped people in Senegal.
“It’s just a way of life, lived from the heart. We don’t see colour or difference, we just see one world” – (Ras Jahknow Brimbank Weekly)