Twelve Tribes hosts concert

By Howard Campbell
Observer senior writer

Monday, March 12, 2018

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The Twelve Tribes of Israel continued its 50th anniversary celebrations recently with a live concert at the organisation's Hope Road headquarters, featuring a diverse cast of artistes.

The show saw performances by Tarrus Riley, Luciano, Orthodox Issachar and Israel Voice. In attendance were Dr Peter Phillips, leader of the Opposition People's National Party and a former member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel; his son, Mikhail, an Opposition Member of Parliament; and Mark Golding, also an Opposition MP.

It was the fourth in a series of commemorative activities. Two evenings earlier there was another live show, with singers Bushman, Billy Mystic of Mystic Revealers, Brian Gold, Della Manley and Donovan Joseph, as well as the Binghistra group and Twelve Tribes of Israel band among the artistes who performed to a full house.

“We had members from all over the world come in for the events. It's more like a thanksgiving,” said Twelve Tribes stalwart, Sangie Davis.

He told the Jamaica Observer that members came from the United States, United Kingdom, the Caribbean and Africa for the festivities, which started with a get-together at Hope Road on February 23. Two days later, a Sharma dinner was held, again at HQ.

Davis said the African contingent included Jamaicans who have lived in Ethiopia for over 40 years.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel was founded in 1968 by Vernon “The Prophet Gad” Carrington in Trench Town. Its membership thrived during the 1970s, a period when many middle class youth, including Phillips, joined the group.

The 'Tribes' also had a formidable musical membership including Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, Judy Mowatt, Little Roy, Freddie McGregor, Still Cool and The Visionaires. Its Jah Love sound system was arguably the most popular medium of its kind up to the early 1980s.

Davis, a songwriter who co-authored Marley's Wake Up And Live and Girlie Girlie by Sophia George, has been a guiding force for the Twelve Tribes of Israel since Carrington's death in 2005. He said the next event on the golden anniversary calendar is April 21, to mark the 52nd year since Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie 1's visit to Jamaica.

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