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Mourning The Passing of Jah Shaka

April 18, 2023 | Vision Newspaper |

It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of the U.K. Soundsystem veteran known to the world as Jah Shaka. He was a devout follower of the Rastafarian faith and used his Sound as the platform to inspire so many to listen to the message in the music in a career spanning over fifty years.

A Sound System operator, label owner, musician and artist in his own right Shaka developed a unique style of playing, with an arsenal of otherwise unobtainable dubplates plus deep, reverent Roots music direct from the Jamaican source. Add to that his meditative chanting of biblical psalms, wild echo, reverb and sirens it was certainly a heady mix, one that was captured so wonderfully on film by Franco Rosso in his 1980 cult classic ‘Babylon’.

As well as touring the world as a Soundman, his prolific studio output provided revered releases with the Mad Professor, Aswad, Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke and many more. Shaka’s music transcended cultural barriers and has since become the orthodox approach for Roots sounds the world over. Since the 90s The Jah Shaka Foundation has been assisting with a variety of different projects in the Accra area of Ghana, establishing important links with the local people. From Medical supplies to library books and carpentry tools, The Jah Shaka Foundation has played a vital role in the community.

Certainly, the British musical landscape would be unrecognisable without Shaka’s input and he has become a cornerstone of the Roots Reggae & Dub community and a cultural icon globally.

He will be sorely missed and our thoughts go out to his family during this time.


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