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Jackie Mittoo Tribute - Tonight at 9 pm Revival

Jay Funk Dawg

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Jason Wilson & House of David Gang & DJ David Dacks Mar 5 @ Revival

"Without Jackie Mittoo," says Downie passionately, "there would be no reggae. He was an integral part of the Skatalites and the whole creation of rock steady. The evolution from rock steady to reggae is Jackie Mittoo. Is him really create reggae and even the piano skank on the rock steady bassline dem, is Jackie Mittoo. I don't know if we can ever pay back Jackie Mittoo for what he did for Jamaican music." - The Jamaican Observer

"Jackie Mittoo has been credited as the most influential musician ever produced by Jamaica." - David Dacks, Exclaim! Magazine


CHAMPION IN THE ARENA: 2nd Annual Tribute to the Keyboard King of Studio One


with JASON WILSON (2009 Juno nominee for Best Reggae Recording)


plus: HOUSE OF DAVID GANG & DJ David Dacks (CIUT 89.5 FM)

Thursday, March 5th

Revival Bar (783 College St.)

8 pm doors,

$15 @ ticketweb.ca, Play de Record, Soundscapes, Slinky Music, Rotate This & Shanti Baba

$20 @ the door

Artist Links:




After hugely enjoying this tribute's first edition last year at Lula Lounge as part of the Small World Jazz Series, NuFunk Concerts is honoured to present this year's tribute to the "champion in the arena", the legendary reggae/souljazz keyboardist, songwriter and musical director JACKIE MITTOO -- whose 61st birthday would have been March 3 and whose widow & daughter will take the stage for this special night.

Mittoo was one of the most influential musicians in Jamaican history, a man who was also profoundly responsible for the music of his native country taking such strong root here in Canada. Mittoo's melodies shaped hundreds of reggae hits, including Bob Marley's "Duppy Conqueror" and Freddie McGregor's "Bobby Babylon". He moved to Toronto in the late 1960s as one of the original "Jamaica to Toronto" trailblazers; proceeding to the sounds of North American artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire, the Juno Award-winning Sattalites and the reformed Skatalites. The Keyboard King of Studio One, rhythms from the studio of the legendary Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, is perhaps the seminal collection of Mittoo's work. The scope of his contribution is especially astounding considering he died at the age of 42.


One of many great musicians touched by Mittoo's genius is JASON WILSON, considered by many to be Canada's most visionary reggae artist. Wilson is indeed the Canadian torchbearer for the Jamaican soul-jazz reggae tradition, epitomized by his mentor Mittoo. Wilson's new Juno-nominated double CD, "The Peacemaker's Chauffeur", is the most ambitious reggae recording in Canadian reggae history, featuring Mittoo's last recordings and guest appearances by Ron Sexsmith, David Francey, Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown & Van Morrison musical director) and many others.

"His writing was just astounding — it just stuck out," says Brinsley Forde, leader of the legendary British dancehall reggae band ASWAD with whom Wilson has toured extensively. "It’s not trying to copy traditional reggae, it’s just completely fresh, it’s Jason — it’s the Canadian voice!â€


Another of the many Toronto reggae bands who have been touched in some ways by Mittoo's legacy is THE HOUSE OF DAVID GANG, who recently enjoyed a massively successful Bob Marley Birthday Tribute Tour in Atlantic Canada after a sold-out Toronto show at Lee's Palace on Feb 7. "The Gang" is a roots reggae collective that features veteran Jamaican-Canadian reggae vocalist King Selah, NuFunk's own Jay Cleary, and a revolving cast of Jamaican and Canadian all-star musicians, paying homage to the classic Jamaican roots reggae of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Speaking of David Dacks, we are lucky to have his incredibly rich knowledge of souljazz, dub and funk music from around the world behind the decks to round out the night. There's a good chance you may not have heard of a lot of the tunes this CIUT radio host, Eye Weekly and Exclaim writer will spin for your dancing pleasure, but there's a better chance you'll find yourself asking him, "Dude, what was THAT killer groove?!?" at least once.


This is the Mitto song that Lilly Allen used for her hit "SMILE"


here's Lilly's song so you can compare:


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