Marley Fest returns on January 28th, and the Long Beach event features a stellar lineup of reggae for the sixth annual festival.
Headlining Marley Fest 2023 will be Jamaican pioneers of rocksteady and reggae, The Wailing Souls. The group first started in 1968 in Kingston, Jamaica, and although their lineup has understandably seen several changes throughout the years, the two constants are lead vocalists Winston “Pipe” Matthews and Lloyd “Bread” McDonald. The group has remained active, and in 2020 released their astonishing 20th studio album, “Back a Yard.” Fans will truly be witnessing reggae history as they perform into the evening.
The Wailing Souls will be joined by their contemporaries, The Gladiators. Both bands started in the same year, both being founded in Kingston. The Gladiators have maintained most of their signature lineup, although sadly, lead guitarist and vocalist, Albert Griffiths passed away in 2020. They have put out nearly 25 studio albums with 2009’s “Continuation being the most recent. They are most notable for 1976’s breakout “Trenchtown Mix Up” and 1978’s “Proverbial Reggae.”
Also playing Marley Fest will be The Meditations. Formed in Jamaica in 1974, the band remains active touring and releasing albums, their last being 2015’s “Jah Always Find a Way.” A reggae vocal harmony group, they also experimented with early dancehall in the ‘80s.
Fans can also expect to catch Survival, a terrific tribute to Bob Marley that is sure to gather a lot of attention. Also playing will be Roots of Mine, a reggae-infused rock band based out of Los Angeles. Rounding out the festival will be Shakamon, a solo artist out of San Clemente and Empress Akua a singer/songwriter based out of Los Angeles.
The 6th Annual Marley Fest will take place at the Gaslamp in Long Beach and the show kicks off at 5 p.m.