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Reggae artist Mighty Joshua (Photo by Ashley White, courtesy Mighty Music LLC)
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Photo by Ashley White, courtesy Mighty Music LLC
Bob Marley has become an global inspiration for artists and fans alike. His songs span themes of charity, unity and spirituality, while promoting the work of other reggae artists and the culture behind it. To honor what would be his 72nd birthday this weekend, the Mighty Marley Celebration benefit concert will be held Saturday, Feb. 4, and proceeds will support local Richmond youth-focused organizations Girls Rock! RVA and Performing Statistics.
The evening will begin at 5 p.m. at the Hofheimer Building, with opening support from the all-girl punk band Waiting for Silence and the solo act Electra, in a showcase of local youth artists. Between sets, Richmond reggae DJ Sephtekk will be spinning reggae, roots and dub tracks throughout the night. Burning Fire will perform, and the show's headliner is Virginia-based roots and reggae singer Mighty Joshua (aka Joshua Achalam). Recipient of the 2015 Virginia Reggae Ambassador and Favorite Artist awards from the Virginia Reggae community, Mighty Joshua is steeped in the music and culture that Bob Marley helped to popularize.
During the show, an artist will create a painting as the bands play. Jon Blake (aka Crazyredbeard) is a Charlottesville-based artist, and regularly participates in live art performances. In keeping with Bob Marley’s emphasis on charity, proceeds from an auction of Blake's work created during the concert will go to the nonprofits Girls Rock! RVA and Performing Statistics. “I think it's a very profound thing,” says Blake regarding the event, “when people come together as a community to celebrate, to support one another, to reach out to the forgotten ones, the at-risk ones, the ones that society wants to ostracize and marginalize.”
Says headliner Mighty Joshua, “These are turbulent times. Through reggae music Bob's message was able to transcend race, class and color.” Uniting people through music is a commonality shared in much of the art form, and the connection of music and helping people through troubles is something Mighty Joshua emphasizes: “During difficult times, it's always good to return to the roots … and when we come together and reggae, it can be therapeutic."
The Mighty Marley Celebration will be held this Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Hofheimer Building, 2818 W. Broad St. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the music begins at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door, $10 in advance online.