Black Uhuru, Etana, Others To Thrill At Bob Marley’s Birthday Celebration
Etana’s name means “The Strong One” in Swahili
Grammy Award-winning and 5-time Grammy Award-nominated Black Uhuru, Etana, Onesty and DJ Silverback (Burial Ground Sound) have been scheduled to perform at the 75th posthumous birthday celebration of Bob Marley at Longboard Margarita Bar in Pacifica, CA!
Derrick “Duckie” Simpson the “Gong Gong Gullie” is the founder and leader for reggae’s Black Uhuru. Although going through numerous lead singers and musicians they have remained one of the most recognized and prolific reggae band for over 50 years.
The roots of Black Uhuru were formed in Kingston Jamaica’s Waterhouse district also known as “Firehouse” in the early ’60s. Though considered to be one of Jamaica’s toughest neighborhoods it’s home to several other reggae singers and musicians. It was where Duckie Simpson grew up and learned to sing from boyhood friends Winston “Pipe” Matthews and Lloyd “Bread” McDonald of the Wailing Souls and Bob Marley. He recorded four tracks with the Wailing Souls before forming his own group.
The original Uhuru’s (Swahili for freedom) were Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, Euvin “Don Carlos” Spencer and Rudolph “Garth” Dennis. They only recorded a few singles “Folk Songs”, “Time Is On Our Side”, and “Slow Coach” before separating. Don went solo and Garth joined Wailing Souls.
Black Uhuru’s long success has allowed them to become ambassadors of reggae while earning several achievements in the music industry. With 14 full-length albums, 7 instrumental dub albums, and 4 live albums they have the highest recorded sales in reggae music behind Bob Marley. The album “Red” was voted #23 on Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Albums of the 1980′s”. Aside from winning the first reggae Grammy, they have been nominated 5 times as well. They are the only reggae group to have won the Diamond Awards of Excellence in 1994.
Despite all of Black Uhuru’s change of different singers and musicians the one thing that has always remained is Derrick “Duckie” Simpson. In 2018, Black Uhuru released “As The World Turns” featuring Duckie on lead. In December 2018 “As The World Turns” was nominated for the 61ST Annual Grammy Awards.
Etana’s name means “The Strong One” in Swahili, and it’s a title she more than lives up to with her music and presence. Since debuting in 2008 with the thought-provoking single “Wrong Address,” the Jamaican-born singer has established herself as one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in reggae, blazing a new trail in a genre that has long been male-dominated.
Etana’s story begins in August Town, a treacherous but culturally rich garrison community in eastern Kingston that has produced such musical talents as Sizzla and Israel Vibration. Growing up, Etana’s home was filled with music, but it was country and western that she recalls leaving the biggest impression. “Every Sunday was country music day,” says Etana. “A lot of people in Jamaica play gospel music on a Sunday, or old rub-a-dub. In my house, it was country like Dolly Parton. Tammy Wynette was my favorite of all the artists my mom used to play.” Etana discovered her talent at the age of 6 while singing at home in the backyard for her aunt. Her charming voice beaconed and a huge audience of neighbors who gathered to here “little Shauna” sing. Etana’s backyard singing led to microphones of local sound systems playing in the neighborhood and that’s where her love of music began.
After Etana’s break away from Vp Records, as an independent artist, she continued on her trail firsts to becoming the first female artist out of Jamaica to receive the number one spot of the Reggae Billboard for the second time with her album “Reggae Forever” which was produced by her own label, Freemind Music, and released on March 8th, 2018. The Reggae Forever LP was also nominated by the Grammy committee, as one of the best Reggae albums of 2018. This nomination made Etana the first female artist from Jamaica in over twenty-one years to be nominated. The other nominees were Shaggy & Sting, Ziggy Marley, Black Uhuru, and Protoje.
In November of 2019, Etana released her eight-track EP which was a pleasant treat for her fans. Etana continues and is now in the process of creating album number six and gearing up for 2020 tour and show dates.