Press Release

For Immediate Distribution

 

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae

Rolls out across Canada starting Friday, July 24

Montreal, July 13, 2009 — The soulful and rhythmic sounds of Rocksteady will soon be heard across Canada thanks to the exceptional reception Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae received at its world premiere in Montreal last week to universal critical and audience acclaim. On Friday, July 24, 2009 the feature opens in Toronto at the Carlton Theatre and in Vancouver at the Granville Theatre. In the following weeks the film will also open in Ottawa, Saskatoon, Edmonton and other cities.

 

Around 125,000 people came to see the stars of the film perform at an outdoor tribute concert at the Montreal International Jazz Festival 30th anniversary celebrations on July 7, 2009, which the Festival billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime” event and the music critics acclaimed as “the concert of the year,” and ”the top festival concerts of all time.”

 

The documentary tells the story of the Rocksteady era (1966-69), considered by music experts to be the golden age of Jamaican music. A blend of ska, soul and R&B, Rocksteady developed the buoyant rhythms, prominent bass line, beautiful vocals and socially conscious lyrics that became Reggae. Forty years after Rocksteady’s peak, the documentary filmmakers brought the remaining great Rocksteady singers and musicians together to record an album of their greatest hits, to perform live at a reunion concert and to tell their stories - all of it captured in this stunning film.

 

The singers featured in Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae are Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths and Dawn Penn; Hopeton Lewis, Stranger Cole, Derrick Morgan, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles and U-Roy. Among the musicians are Ernest Ranglin, Sly Dunbar, Jackie Jackson, Gladstone Anderson, Hux Brown, Bongo Herman and Scully Simms. A special guest star in the film is Rita Marley, who along with, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths made up the I-Threes, Bob Marley’s backup singers during his rapid rise to stardom. These artists reunite to take audiences on a trip through time with such legendary hits as Rivers of Babylon, The Tide Is High, No,No,No (You Don’t Love Me) and Stop That Train.

 

The feature was produced by Muse Entertainment of Canada and HesseGreutert Films of Switzerland and directed by Stascha Bader. It is distributed to theatres in Canada by Filmswelike of Toronto.

 

To hear a sample of Rocksteady music, to see the film’s trailer or to read biographies of the artists, please go to Rocksteady’s brand new website www.rocksteadyrootsofreggae.com.

 

The CD of Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae is available from the label Moll Selecta around the world with liner notes written by the internationally renowned Chuck Foster who writes the Reggae Update column for Beat Magazine and is the author of Roots Rock Reggae: An Oral History of Reggae Music from Ska to Dancehall (Billboard Books). He also hosts Reggae Central on KPFK-LA. 

 

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Media Information:

Anisha Rangi, Muse Entertainment, arangi@muse.ca, 514-866-6873

Virginia Kelly, info@vkpr.ca (416) 466-9799