Playing bass with GraceWednesday, February 18, 2015
DURANGO, Colorado is a sleepy mining town with a population of just over 17,000. But the people there sure love reggae.
Grace 'Gracie Bassie' Kruse was born and raised in Durango. It is where she discovered Jamaican culture from the many reggae acts who passed through.
"My dad is a big reggae fan, he loves the real roots stuff," she said. "I would go to every major show; I just loved the vibe, everything about the music."
Kruse, who is in her late 20s, is bass player in singjay Anthony B's band. She joined in September and has played gigs with the fiery roots artiste in Suriname and Grenada. She has settled in Kingston, and is getting in tune with the city's bustling music scene.
"The experience I'm getting is priceless. I never wanted to be a tourist in Jamaica," she said.
Kruse recalls acts like Ziggy Marley, the Mighty Diamonds and Sister Carol passing through Durango back in the day. At 18, she took up the bass and learned how to play the instrument reggae style from Lincoln Jarrett, a producer/musician from Clarendon.
Her first big role was with the Dub Rock Band alongside Jarrett and her older brother Cuatro Kruse. They opened for reggae acts throughout Colorado including Sister Carol, the Mighty Diamonds, Junior Gong and Anthony B.
After gigging in southern California, Kruse got a call last year 'out of the blue' from Anthony B's management.
"They said they were looking for a 'bassie' and if I was interested. So, I'm here."
Influenced by bass legends Aston 'Familyman' Barrett and Robbie Shakespeare, Kruse also points to the Talking Heads' Tina Weymouth among her musical heroes.
She is looking to establish herself as an artiste/musician while in Jamaica.
"I like to sing and play bass, so I'm really pushing that," she said.
Grace 'Gracie Bassie' Kruse will perform with singjay Moeish at the General Penitentiary on February 26, and at Comfitanya's Ladies Night the following day.
-- Howard Campbell
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