Tribute to Bob Marley

Nesbitt Hazelman (centre) and One2Eight are ready to roots, rock, reggae in Suva this Saturday. Picture: FELIX CHAUDHARY

WHEN Maxi Priest sang on US jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour’s remake of Waiting In Vain released in 1993 and Jonathan Butler recorded his soulful version of No Woman No Cry in 2001 — they captured and reinvented classic Bob Marley tunes in ways never before imagined.

Ritenour’s addition of one of Marley’s most memorable love songs on his smooth jazz album Wes Bound, introduced the Jamaican soul rebel’s music to a whole new audience.

Since he first emerged out of Jamaica in 1962 with One Cup of Coffee, Marley’s songs have broken musical, social, economic and political barriers.

Simply put, no one artist has been able to achieve what Marley has done in his relatively short but memorable life.

Marley passed away on May 11, 1981 in Miami, Florida, after a battle with cancer.

He was 36.

This Saturday, his music will be brought back to life at O’Reilly’s Bar in Suva by One2Eight with a second show scheduled for March 15 at 8Knots in Martintar, Nadi.

William Waqanibaravi, better known as Bigwilz, said the tribute shows would showcase a range of Marley tunes — all remade One2Eight style.

“We recorded Guava Jelly — an obscure Marley song that he recorded in 1971 and decided to give it a bit of a Pacific twist — the song’s been out on the radio and the video’s out on Youtube and Facebook and we are using it to promote the two shows,” he said.

For Bigwilz, performing Marley’s music was a way to pay homage to a music icon who continues to be a huge influence on his song writing.

“His message is universal, it always appeals to everybody. No matter where you’re from or whatever you have been through — there’s a Marley song that you can relate to.

“That’s the magic in his songs. “To people who are oppressed, down-pressed or depressed — Marley’s tunes would speak directly to their heart.

“To those who had a longing or yearning for the one that they love, Marley was able to express their deepest desire.

“To those who had lost loved ones, like a mother losing a child to gang warfare — Marley was able to convey their heart-wrenching loss in a way that made even men feel the indescribable pain of maternal loss.

“And the uncanny way he was able to capture those moments and put them into song has been a huge influence on my song writing.

“When I compose a song, I like to write about issues and that is all because of Marley’s influence.” One2Eight co-founder Nesbitt Hazelman said recreating Marley’s music has been a labour of love.

“The boys have been hard at it, practising so much that it has given us the opportunity to break down his lyrics and music. And Marley’s songs talk about all the different phases of life that we go through and teaches us invaluable lessons as well.

“His music transcends all sorts of issues that we are facing in the world today.

“This world would be a better place if we aspire to some of the things that he spoke about.”

Hazelman said the two shows — O’Reilly’s Bar this Saturday and 8Knots on March 15 — should not be missed.

“We are not only paying tribute to this legendary singer and songwriter, we are also giving our band boys the opportunity to showcase their amazing talents and giving them the platform to freely express themselves.

“Everything is being done to perfection and it’s going to be an awesome show, don’t miss it.”

Tickets for One2Eight presenting natural mystic Bob Marley reggae celebration are now on sale. Contact Jone Tuiteci on 9281497.

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