A Tacoma tradition was born July 30, 2017, as thousands of happy revelers descended on the city’s resurgent South Tacoma Way for the inaugural Reggae on the Way festival.
The sold-out event, created by Danno Presents, filled two city blocks with buoyant island grooves from Common Kings, Anuhea and other main stage acts, the mouth-watering aroma of gourmet burgers, barbecue, and enough smiling faces to remind old-school Tacomans of a time when that stretch of South Tacoma Way, between 52nd and 56th streets, was the city’s premier entertainment district.
Musically, Puget Sound may best be known for grunge and garage-rock; but veteran promoter Dan Rankin has long known that there is an insatiable appetite for reggae here, too, dating back to his days of managing music acts and booking hotspot clubs and venues throughout Tacoma & Seattle, producing Art On The Ave and curating other festivals. Last year, his vision of South Tacoma’s potential gelled as he and his wife, Jessica, were renovating the Airport Tavern, an iconic neighborhood watering hole they re-opened in May 2017.
Reggae on the Way far exceeded expectations in its first and second year, but don’t expect organizers to rest on their laurels for its third run, scheduled for July 27 at 5406 South Tacoma Way. Gates open at 2 p.m., music starts at 3 p.m. and goes until 11 p.m. All ages are welcome and children 10 and under get in free (each child must be accompanied by an adult with a ticket).Find lots more details at www.dannopresents.com/e/reggae-on-the-way-w-the-green-steel-pulse-unified-highway-and-more–61955983013.
Danno Presents has released a buzz-worthy partial lineup that includes national headliners The Green, Steel Pulse, Unified Highway (Eric Rachmany of Rebelution and Amp Live), Sammy J, Anuhea, Josh Heinrichs and Spawnbreezie.
Music has been a blessing since the beginning for the humble members of The Green. It is only by looking into the past that one can fully grasp the immense accomplishments and unparalleled journey for a small group of musicians from the island of Oʻahu. Countless miles of touring and four studio albums have led them to become recognized as ambassadors of Aloha, helping represent Hawaiian people and culture to the world through their craft.
Bearing witness to the accelerating negativity of global affairs, Steel Pulse emerges with musical vengeance to halt the disarray of humanity. The bands 12thstudio production, titled “Mass Manipulation,” reflects four decades committed to bettering mankind through music. Steel Pulse continues to be revolutionary in engaging controversial topics of racial injustice and human rights on a global scale. Their musical stance and conceptualizations are as potent and relevant today as they were at the beginning of their career.
Rebelution vocalist/guitarist Eric Rachmany and renowned producer, DJ, and remixer Amp Live (formerly of Zion I) may possess different backgrounds, but they both travel the same creative road. Now, their paths – along with a myriad of musical genres riding shotgun – intersect in Unified Highway. The duo’s self-titled debut (Audible Collision/Strange Focus Records) explores this intersection via a fascinating fusion of reggae, electronic, hip-hop, alternative, and soul siphoned into unforgettable songs.
SAMMY JOHNSON – A.K.A. SAMMY J
Australian native Sammy Johnson (a.k.a Sammy J) embraces his Maori and Polynesian roots to create positive and uplifting music. Blending island reggae, soul and jazz vibes with heartfelt lyrics, Sammy’s sound is exhilarating and intoxicating. Now based in the U.S., Sammy has seemingly exploded on the market selling out venues across the west coast and Hawaii. This can be attributed to his relentless hard work and dedication to his craft.
Rylee Anuheakealaokalokelani Jenkins was born and raised in Makawao on the island of Maui. She began boarding at the prestigious Hawaiian school Kamehameha Schools from grade 7, and began acting in school plays and musical. She found a passion for video production and received multiple college scholarships for film school at Chapman University in Orange County. A self-taught guitar player, she learned of her passion for songwriting after her first big heartbreak. After a soul searching backpacking odyssey in Australia, she realized that film school wasn’t for her. Anuhea decided to pursue her newfound passion for music full time.
JOSH HEINRICHS & SKILLINJAH
Josh Heinrichs began his own reggae band, Jah Roots, in Springfield, Mo., in 2001, and formed his own record label, GanJah Records, with his wife, Kaytee. He wrote and recorded five albums with his former band, Jah Roots, and gained a loyal independent following via Myspace and a tireless touring schedule from 2005-2009. Since leaving Jah Roots in 2009 to pursue a solo career, Heinrichs has released a #1 Billboard Reggae album (“Good Vibes,” 2016) and several other Top 10 debuting albums. With all these accolades, years of touring and constantly promoting positive Reggae music through out the world, Josh’s form of Reggae music and message remain a constant driving force behind the current reggae scene, worldwide.
Spawnbreezie realized at a young age that music was not only a talent, but a passion that became his life. He has crafted a new kind of sound, combining the percussions of hip-hop, the skank of reggae and the vocals of the Island music that he calls “Island Hip Hop.” In 2002, Spawnbreezie and his family formed Le Atalua Breeze Band. In 2005, Spawn began his solo career and pursued it with great leaps of faith. In transition of leaving Le Atalua Breeze Band to becoming a solo artist, he took the word “Breeze” with him in this new journey and introduced himself as Spawnbreezie.