Stephen Marley & Matisyahu: Strength to Strength Tour
Express LIVE — Columbus, OH
Tuesday, June 12, 2018; Doors open at 6:00 PM
$27.00 Advance / $30.00 Day of Show
General Admission — All Ages
This show is indoors
Bob Marley's second son, Stephen Marley, first appeared on record in 1979, when he was only six years old. With his brother Ziggy, the young Stephen recorded the single «Children Playing in the Streets,» a charity single with the profits going to the United Nations to aid its efforts during the International Year of the Child. The single would also mark the beginnings of the Ziggy-fronted Melody Makers, a band that included Stephen's other siblings. Stephen played a supportive role in the Melody Ma...kers from the beginning as guitarist, singer, and occasional songwriter.
To satisfy his creative interests outside the group, Stephen decided to become familiar with the music industry from behind the scenes. Production work began in 1996 with Stephen contributing ideas to albums by his brothers Damian and Julian. Remixing the Fugees the same year was the first public display of Stephen's love of hip-hop and R&B. Work with Eve, Krayzie Bone, and Erykah Badu would follow along with a new role as «executive producer» of the Bob Marley remix compilation Chant Down Babylon, released in 1999. The album drew criticism from reggae purists who thought Stephen's mixing of hip-hop and his father's music was blasphemy, but the album's success encouraged the young producer.
In 2001, his production work for brother Damian's Halfway Tree helped win the Grammy for Best Reggae Album, while Stephen's version of «Master Blaster» landed on the Stevie Wonder tribute Conception the same year. Work began on a debut solo album, but the 2002 formation of production house/promotion firm Ghetto Youths International with brother Ziggy kept Stephen from finishing it. Work on brother Damian's successful 2005 album Welcome to Jamrock pushed his debut all the way back to 2007. It was March of that year when Mind Control finally landed. An acoustic version of the album, simply titled Mind Control Acoustic, was distributed exclusively online in 2008 with the physical CD following in 2009. In late 2010, the “Jah Army” single announced the coming of his album Revelation, Pt. 1: The Root of Life, his roots-oriented 2011 release. Revelation, Pt. 2: The Fruit of Life followed in 2016 as a more electric and hip-hop-oriented release. The album featured guests like Rick Ross, Waka Flocka, Wyclef, and Rakim.
When Matisyahu emerged in 2004 with his debut album, Shake Off the Dust...Arise, his musical persona seemed a novelty to some. Here was a Hasidic Jew — dressed in a black suit with a broad-brimmed black hat worn over a yarmulke, and sporting a full, untrimmed beard — who nevertheless performed toasting raps about the glories of traditional Judaism over reggae beats in a dancehall style directly from Jamaica. Moreover, he punctuated his performances with stage diving. It may have seemed like a joke at first, but Matisyahu was serious about his craft, and his diverse style soon garnered Grammy nominations, gold record certifications, and a broad audience.
Matisyahu was born Matthew Miller on June 30, 1979, in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Miller initially rebelled against his traditional Jewish upbringing, considering himself a Deadhead and a hippie by his early teens. But at the age of 14, during a camping trip in Colorado, he reconciled himself to Judaism and visited Israel shortly thereafter. He dropped out of high school and traveled the country to attend Phish concerts. Back at home again, he agreed to let his parents send him to a wilderness school in Bend, Oregon, where he became enamored of reggae and hip-hop, and began rapping at open-mike competitions. Later, meeting a Lubavitch rabbi, he became interested in the strict Lubavitch Hasidic sect of Judaism and renamed himself Matisyahu.
Continuing to perform, Matisyahu assembled a backing band consisting of guitarist Aaron Dugan, bassist Josh Werner, and drummer Jonah David. The group recorded Shake Off the Dust...Arise, which was released by JDub Records in 2004. While touring in support of the album, Matisyahu recorded one of his February 2005 concerts and released the material as Live at Stubb's, which was issued in April courtesy of Or Music before getting picked up for national distribution by Epic Records. Epic reissued it on August 23, 2005, as Matisyahu toured around the country and prepared a second studio album with producer Bill Laswell. The final product, Youth, appeared in March 2006 and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Reggae Album. A simultaneously released dub version of the album was made available to mail-order customers.
Light marked the singer's third LP upon its release in August 2009. Two years later, Live at Stubb's, Vol. 2 would appear, this time with a companion DVD release. In late 2011, the singer posted a picture with a shaved head and payes cut with the caption, «No more Chassidic reggae superstar.» As such, his 2012 effort Spark Seeker was more secular pop, and was produced by Kool Kojak, who had previously worked with Kesha and Nicki Minaj. In 2014, Matisyahu released his fifth LP, Akeda. The tracks had been written while on tour and then recorded at Studio G with producer Stu Brooks. After a tour that included a stop in Jerusalem, Matisyahu returned to the studio for Release the Bound, a digital EP released in 2016. The collection included collaborations with Stu Brooks, the Polish Ambassador, and Salt Cathedral. In 2017, he issued the singles «Step Out Into the Light» and «Back to the Old.» Don’t miss Stephen Marley and Matisyahu at EXPRESS LIVE! on June 12th!
Official Website: stephenmarleymusic.com/
Tickets on sale online at ticketmaster.com. Charge by phone at 800-745-3000. For more information, visit promowestlive.com.