Black Uhuru at the opening of Nisville! - Nisville Jazz Festival
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Black Uhuru at the opening of Nisville!

Black Uhuru at the opening of Nisville!

Legends of reggae music on August 15 in Nis

The famous reggae band Black Uhuru from Jamaica will perform for the first time in Serbia on Thursday, August 15 at the opening of the upcoming jubilee, 30th Nišville Jazz Festival.

Formed in 1972 in Kingston, Black Uhuru have been on the stage for over 50 years and are certainly oneof the most popular recognized prolific reggae bands in the world. They are living legends of reggae music made great achievements in the music industry, including winning the first Grammy Award forthe best reggae album of 1984 called “Anthem”. For a long time, this band has maintained high rating with the highest selling reggae records since Bob Marley and the highest number of songs which other artists have sampled over the years, allowing them to become their own ambassadors of the reggae sound.

Black Uhuru’s roots were formed in Kingston’s Waterhouse district in the late 60s. That is the home of founder and leader Derik „Duckie“ Simpson along with all the other singers from the group.

Uhuru’s original Swahili for “freedom” were Duckie, Don Carlos and Garth Dennis. The first song is a cover of “Folk Song” by Curtis Mayfield.

They recorded their debut album “Love Crises” in 1977 for Prince Jamie which was later re-released as “Black Sounds of Freedom”. Errol later left the group to join the Jaycees and was replaced by singer Puma Jones.

The band most creative period came at the end of the seventies of the last century when the band starts collaborating with Sly & Robbie and develops classic Uhuru the sound of the 80s. Unique style full with

heavy drum and bass, sharp keys, dub colors, loud guitar riffs and long instrumentals

filled with swirling background effects and a distinctive “whoah oh oh” echo. In that period they signed a contract with Island Records. They started international tours and were getting a lot of attention around the world. They recorded some of their most popular albums like “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”, “Sensimelia” and “Chill Out”.

Another Waterhouse resident named Junior Reid became the new singer. Two albums were issued, “Brutal”,  nominated for Grammy and “Positive” for Ras Records. These albums included popular hits like “Dreadlocks on the Mountain” “Fit you Haffi Fit” and one of the first music videos for the famous track “Great Train Robbery”.

In the mid-90s, the original members reunited. Four albums were released “Now”, “Iron Storm”, “Mystical Truth” and “Strongg”, all nominated for a Grammy. They shot the award-winning music video for “Tip of the Iceberg” featuring rap star Ice-T and another video for “One Love” with Louie Rankin. They performed live on television for VH1 with a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Hey Joe”. After a break of a few years, in 2002 they reunited with Sly & Robbie on an international world tour and released a live album/dvd “Dubbin it Live”, followed by a major tour across Europe, South America and the United States. In 2012, they performed in the Broadway musical in Los Angeles called “Loving the Silent Tears” In 2013 a great recognition followed: Duckie received the IRVMA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017 they released a new single and music video “Jah Guide” in honor of the great Peter Tosh.

In 2018, Black Uhuru released the album “As The World Turns” after a long recording break, which was nominated for “Best Reggae Album” at the 61st Grammy Awards, and two years ago a new album called “New Day” was released. This will be followed by a concert promotion of the new album on the still-current big world tour, where this legendary band performed, in addition to new songs, almost all the greatest hits from a fruitful career that lasts more than half a century.

A set of tickets for the upcoming anniversary Nišville jazz festival is on sale at a symbolic promo price of 2,500 rsd in a limited edition.

The main program of the festival will be held from August 15 to 18 on the Niš Fortress Plateau, and tickets for Nišville 2024 can be purchased at the Indigo bookstore in Niš (Obrenovićeva 39) and at the Vulkan bookstore in Niš (TC Delta Planet – Bulevar Nemanjića 11b), Belgrade (Sremska 2) and Novi Sad (Zmaj Jovina 24).

For the audience from abroad and all places in Serbia, it is possible to buy tickets online on the festival’s official website

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