Toots for Raggamuffin Reggae Festival in NZ
GRAMMY-nominated reggae pioneer Toots and the Maytals is the only Jamaican reggae act listed on the line-up of the popular Raggamuffin Reggae Festival in New Zealand.
This event, scheduled for February 1-2 in Rotorua (three-hour drive from Auckland, five from Wellington), has, in the past, hosted local reggae acts such as Shaggy and Sean Paul.
Toots and the Maytals, one of the biggest touring reggae acts, joins the slate of international reggae artistes on the roster for this festival.
From a Jamaican perspective, the most familiar of the other performers is Italian reggae artiste Alborosie, who many recognise from his hit duet Jah Blessings recorded with Etana . Another somewhat familiar face is that of Ali Campbell, the former front man for the British reggae group UB40.
This year, the headliner for the popular Kiwi festival is Grammy-winning hip hop artiste Lauryn Hill, who is no stranger to Jamaica having performed here on a couple of occasions, recorded a duet with reggae king Bob Marley (Turn You Lights Down Low) and has five children from Marley's son, Rohan.
The rest of the line-up is occupied by a slew of reggae bands and artistes from the US west coast, the islands of the Pacific as well a native New Zealand reggae acts.
According to the festival's website, there are over 100 reggae bands in New Zealand and among those taking to the Raggamuffin stage are Brownhill, the nine-piece reggae outfit from Wellington. They are joined by fellow Kiwis Tomorrow People, The Black Seeds and Herbs.
Darky Roots represents Brisbane Australia, while Katchafire and Rebelution are among the acts from California in the United States.