More Tafari music

More Tafari music

Observer writer

Monday, July 13, 2020

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FANS of Judah Eskender Tafari can expect more music from the respected roots singer, who died in June from cancer.

Tom Chasteen produced his EP, Listen to The Lion, which was released in May. He told the Jamaica Observer that he recorded a cache of songs with Tafari whom he knew for over 20 years.

“There will be another EP released with more cover tunes and also, at some point, some straightforward reggae material. Thankfully, we were blessed to do quite lot of recording together so there is more music to come,” said Chasteen

Tafari lived in Southern California for several years and had hundreds of fans there including Chasteen, proprietor of the Dub Club in Los Angeles where the artiste was a regular performer.

Chasteen said Tafari “was the best kind of artiste — a real one. His strong, melodic voice always carried a vibe and a message; working with him is one of the highlights of my life”.

He chose most of the seven songs for Tafari to cover on Listen to The Lion, which was released by Tuff Gong International. Guitarist Mark Lightcap accompanied Tafari on The Mighty Diamonds' I Need A Roof and ( What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding, made popular by Irish singer Elvis Costello.

Born Ronald Merrills, Judah Eskender Tafari was a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. His music career started in 1978 at Studio One where he recorded songs like Jah Light and Rastafari Tell You.

He migrated to the United States in the mid-1980s and worked with several producers in that country and Europe.

“He was popular in Los Angeles where he lived, of course, performing weekly at the Dub Club as well as special events around town. But he also travelled overseas, performing in Israel in recent years and recording with many European producers. He had the roots style that so many modern producers are looking for,” said Chasteen.

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