A message of peace, love and freedom

David “Ziggy” Marley is bringing his message of peace, love and freedom to Telluride. KOTO-FM, Telluride’s community radio station, hosts the reggae-pop star in Town Park this Sunday, July 8.

Ziggy, the eldest child of reggae legend Bob Marley, learned music at the feet of his father and has not only carried forward the tremendous legacy, but also created his own, thriving career. His music grows from the roots of reggae but branches out into rock, pop, and hip-hop, giving his successful recordings a fresh, contemporary appeal.

On his newest release, Wild and Free, Ziggy’s core beliefs find musical expression. Producer Don Was has this to say:

“The thing that makes this new album special is that Ziggy has embraced the more traditional and familiar textures and rhythms of reggae, while further defining the unique artistic vision that sets him apart. His quest to find his own voice within the framework of tradition is the real story of the album.”

Ziggy’s first hit with his siblings (The Melody Makers), “Tomorrow People” from Conscious Party, let the world know that the son of Bob Marley intended to not only follow in his father’s footsteps, but to forge a path of his own. All of Ziggy’s music is infused with a certain joy and a message of hope and love. It is not a perfect world, he acknowledges in “Welcome to the World” an ode to his youngest child, but if you stand up for who you are, happiness can be found. It is uplifting and utterly refreshing to be reminded that being true to one’s self is the surest way to enlightenment. And pinned to a reggae beat, the combination is joyous.

The Jamaican music form popularized by reggae stars Jimmy Cliff and the elder Marley in the 1960s, was born from ska and rocksteady and is characterized by what is known as the skank. The rhythm accents the second and fourth beat in each bar, with a percussive emphasis on the third beat. Throw in the melodic bass lines and you have the syncopated, yet fluid groove that is reggae music. And if all this music geek talk has left you shaking your head, no matter. This is great music to make you move your body.

Ziggy has also made his mark as an activist, supporting not only the legalization of marijuana, but his own URGE (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment), a non-profit organization that benefits efforts in Jamaica, Ethiopia and other developing nations. The charity’s missions range from building new schools to operating health clinics to supporting charities like Mary’s Child, a center for abused and neglected girls.

Tickets for Ziggy Marley are available at www.koto.org, Wizard Entertainment or at KOTO, which is located at 207 N. Pine Street. The venue opens at 3 p.m. Denver’s Beats Antique (electro-acoustic, heavy bass, belly dancing and roots music) perform at 4 p.m. and KOTO’s own DJ Soulatomic will spin before Ziggy takes the stage at 6 p.m.

Proceeds from this concert support non-underwritten, non-commercial, free format radio in Telluride. To volunteer for the concert, please go to www.koto.org

For more information call Special Events coordinator, Janice Zink at 728-8100.

And here’s one of my favorite Ziggy Marley songs:

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