Argentina rallies round reggae

Saturday, March 19, 2016

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South America has been one of dancehall/reggae’s emerging markets in the last decade. Fans like musician/producer Hernan Sforzini have a lot to do with that.


Sforzini has also promoted shows by Groundation, Andrew Tosh, Israel Vibration and SOJA in his native Argentina. Last week, he played percussion with Steel Pulse at Groove, a venue in the country’s capital.


Sforzini has known the British band since 2005. They contributed a song to his HEMP! Tribute Reggae to The Beatles
Vol II compilation album two years ago.


He performed with them last year at the Vorterix Reggae Festival in Argentina.


"It’s a great honour to play with such a band. I learn to play percussion in reggae music looking and listening at them and now to play with them is a dream; I admire and ‘raspect’ them a lot," Sforzini told the Jamaica Observer.


Steel Pulse also filmed footage for their documentary Dreadtown while in Argentina. The film is a detailed history of the Grammy-winning band which formed in the Handsworth area of London in the mid-1970s.


Sforzini is from Lanus, a city just outside of Buenos Aires. He has been listening to Jamaican music since he was 12 years old.


While Latin music is by far the most popular sound on radio and clubs in Argentina, dancehall/reggae has grown among Argentinian youth.


"Since 2004, the reggae has grown. Record companies invest promoting (homegrown) reggae bands and many new bands surge," Sforzini explained. "Also, many international bands come since 2004. Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata, Cordoba, Rosario and San Luis develop many reggae fans."


Argentina is one of the South American countries where Jamaican artistes perform regularly. Chile, Colombia and Brazil hold major reggae festivals annually, attracting thousands of fans.


— Howard Campbell

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