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/// ON TOUR West Michigan Celebrates a

EW MUSICIANS HAVE STOOD the test of time the way Bob Marley has. “Bob is to reggae music what

by Nick Manes | Zion Lion. PHOTO: D. AMBROSE

go to a rock and roll show you may or may not hear some of Elvis’ music … but it’s rare to go to a reggae show and not hear some of [Marley’s] music.” Bauman has been in-

volved in reggae music for more than 25 years, ever since his older brother sent him a Marley tape. “It changed my life,”

Bauman said. “The rhythm caught me first, then the message of justice and equal rights brought me in.” Bauman has been honor-


Elvis was to rock and roll,” said Kalamazoo-based reggae pro- moter David Bauman. “If you


BIRTHDAY BASH Kalamazoo State Theatre Jan. 29, Doors at 7 p.m. $16 in advance/$20 at the door All Ages Show, (269) 345-6500


ing that message of Marley’s for the last 11 years by putting on birthday tribute shows around the time of Marley’s birthday (Feb. 6). The Bob Marley Birthday Bash Tour 2011 will be making two stops in West Michigan. On Jan. 29, the tour will begin in Kalamazoo at the State Theatre, and on Feb. 18, Billy’s Lounge on Wealthy Street in Eastown will host the tour.

BIRTHDAY SHOW Billy’s Lounge, Grand Rapids Feb.18, Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9:30 p.m. $7 at the door All Ages until midnight, (616) 459-5757

Bauman describes the birthday shows as

being big parties, but is also quick to point out that reggae music – and those associated with it – go far beyond the stereotype of people with dreadlocks smoking marijuana. Bauman’s hope is that when people leave the venue after a night of dancing and great entertainment, they will remember the real reason for the party. “Maybe when they get up the next morn-

ing they will honor what Bob was all about.” In order to put on the

shows, Bauman assembles some of the best talent Midwest reggae has to offer. The show at Kalamazoo State Theatre will feature Chicago-based Dub Dis, led by noted reggae artist Devon Brown. Brown is often thought of as one of the true powerhouses of the current reggae move- ment, having been voted “Best Entertainer” in both Chicago, as well as Kansas City, Missouri. Brown has multiple

reasons to want to honor the legacy of Bob Marley on his

birthday. Growing up in Jamaica – Marley’s home country and the birthplace of reggae mu- sic and the lifestyle associated with it – Brown says, “[Marley’s music] is all we used to hear.”

Aside from growing up in Jamaica, Brown

has also opened multiple shows for Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy. “Marley was a peacemaker,” Brown says

of the reggae artist’s legacy. “There is not one show where we don’t get a request for Marley.” Brown is adamant that while one goal is to

honor the legacy and work of Bob Marley, he also aims to truly build a community. “We try to let people know he is the man,

but he’s not the only one,” Brown said. “I just want people to come out and walk away with joy and inspiration.” Aside from playing shows and paying

tribute to one of his heroes, Dub Dis is working on some new projects and plans to have a new 14 song CD out by summer 2011. Joining Devon Brown and Dub Dis on

stage at the Kalamazoo State Theatre and performing on their own at Billy’s Lounge in Grand Rapids will be acclaimed Kalamazoo based band Zion Lion.

Lead vocalist for Zion Lion, Sister Myra

Atkinson, echoes the sentiments of both Bauman and Brown. To be able to perform the songs of Bob Marley, Atkinson says, “Is like carrying a torch in his honor.” She goes on to explain the atmosphere of

a Zion Lion show. “Fans can expect [Zion Lion] to give a

high energy, memorable, touching perfor- mance of some of our originals, covers, as well as Marley’s tunes.” Aside from gathering some of the best

reggae musicians in the area, both shows will feature Caribbean/African food and craft vendors selling their goods. Bauman believes that in the end everyone,

whether they are die-hard Bob Marley fans or not, will have a great time at the shows. “As soon as that first song comes on, the dance floor is full, and it stays full.” n



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