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Raggamuffin 2009


Sat 7 Feb 2009, 10:00am

Where: Rotorua International Stadium, Devon St West, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty


Following the overwhelming success of the first inaugural reggae festival Raggamuffin, fans will be delighted to hear it's happening all over again with Raggamuffin 2009 announced today. Ziggy Marley, Ali Campbell, Eddy Grant, Shaggy, Arrested Development and Inner Circle will join Kiwi bands Kora, Unity Pacific and Three Houses Down.

Raggamuffin played a sold out show to more than 30,000 ecstatic fans in February this year, emphatically proving that reggae is alive and well in Aotearoa! Next year's event offers another musical feast of the world's best reggae artists, with a healthy dose of funk, dub, hip hop and soul. It will be the first ever visit to New Zealand by both Eddy Grant.

Headlining Raggamuffin 2009 is reggae icon, Bob Marley's eldest son ZIGGY MARLEY. Known from a young age with his siblings in the Melody Makers, Ziggy enjoyed two decades of successful touring, recording and acclaim, netting three Grammy Awards.

EDDY GRANT has been a hugely influential artist across four decades. His first #1 record was with Baby Come Back in the late 60s courtesy of the multi-racial group The Equals. As a solo artist songs like Electric Avenue and I Don't Wanna Dance were worldwide number one pop hits, but others like Jo'hanna, a thinly veiled attack on the apartheid regime in South Africa (Johannesburg) showed his music could also be politically charged.

As lead singer with the world-renowned group UB40, ALI CAMPBELL sold over 60 million records worldwide, has toured across the globe, notched up four number 1 world-wide singles, over 40 Top 40 UK singles, released 24 albums and received an Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. A whole generation has grown up listening to Ali's infectious vocals on classics like One in Ten, Red Red Wine, Don't Break My Heart and Can't Help Falling In Love.

The ska classic Oh Carolina introduced the world to SHAGGY and hits like It Wasn't Me and Angel from his juggernaut album Hotshot consolidated him as one of Jamaica's finest musical exports - and that's saying something! He has since had 20 million album sales, 11 worldwide Top Ten singles (16 in NZ with 9 being Top Ten!), and a Grammy award. Shaggy's 2008 album Intoxication features Bonafida Girl with Rik Rok, What's Love with Akon and has this dancehall master back at his best.

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT lit up audiences everywhere as part of the first Raggamuffin event, and we knew we just had to have them back! The eight-piece band's music shook the hearts, minds and souls of fans, with gorgeous grooves like Mr Wendal, Everyday People and Tennessee. Led by the indefatigable Speech, Arrested Development sees themselves as warriors of rhythm and storytellers of dignity.

Formed in Jamaica in the late 70s, INNER CIRCLE was one of the first reggae bands to be signed by Chris Blackwell's famous Island Records which led to widespread international success. After the tragic loss of lead vocalist Jacob Miller in a car crash, the band withdrew from the scene. New success came a decade later with the gritty anthem to the FOX TV series and later the Will Smith movie Bad Boys hitting #1 all over the world, closely followed by the irresistible Sweat (A La La La La Long) which topped charts.

KORA hail from Wellington and Whakatane Aotearoa and are a five-piece band, four of which are the Kora brothers, Laughton, Francis, Stuart and Brad plus Dan McGruer. In 2006 they won a bNet Award for the release Flow and their EP Volume reached Platinum status in NZ and subsequently they were picked up by Shock Records in Australia and Shiva Records in the UK. Kora's debut self-titled album released in NZ in 2007 and the UK in 2008 shot straight to the #1 on the official NZ charts, has reached Platinum sales and is still in the top 40 after 42 weeks! The band enjoys a busy touring schedule which includes shows in Australia and the UK.

One of New Zealand's finest reggae bands, UNITY PACIFIC is lead by Tigilau Ness, father of Che Fu, long time musician, poet and committed Rastafarian. Their recent album Into the Dread and critically acclaimed 2003 album From Street to Sky, tells his story as a first-generation Pacific Islander in Aotearoa and recounts experiences drawn from his long and interesting life - before he became a Rastafarian, Ness was a member of the radical Polynesian Panthers and active in the anti-Springbok tour movement in '81. His story is also recounted through a one-hour film documentary, From Street to Sky, first shown at the NZ Film Festival in July 2008, and which further details how this humble man of Nuiean descent helped shape the relationship between Maori and peoples of the Pacific through his music and his physical actions.

Twelve-piece from Otara Auckland, THREE HOUSES DOWN developed their Pacific flavored reggae sound with horn laden harmonies and plenty of groove. Their debut album Dreadtown was released in Hawaii and the US through Pacific Hawaiian Distribution; the label that took Katchafire to the world. They won this year's People's Choice Award at the 2008 NZ Pacific Music Awards and Raggamuffin is lucky to have them hot on the back of performances in Australia, Los Angeles and Utah.

So there you have it . . . nine great bands and over ten hours of music!

Raggamuffin 2009 - Waitangi Weekend (the day after Bob Marley's Birthday), Saturday February 7, 2009 @ Rotorua International Stadium.

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