Sunday, 19 November 2023

An early Ska-sgiving with Adrian Xavier & Ska Island

5pm doors, 6pm show

$15 advance or $20 day of show

All ages welcome

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About Adrian Xavier & Ska Island

Adrian Xavier & Ska Island

Over the last two years, an all-star collection of musicians from across the state have been making the long, beautiful journey to idyllic Lopez Island to explore the roots of ska, reggae, and rocksteady. "Adrian Xavier with Ska Island" is the culmination of that musical journey, with up-and-coming ska powerhouse Ska Island playing the opening set, and then serving as Adrian's backing band for a full set of his original roots reggae music. Eschewing the punk influenced two-tone and third wave ska in favor of the original Jamaican ska from the 50's, 60's and early 70's, Ska Island's opening set draws heavily on the work of the Skatalites and their peers, serving both as an insightful historical context to Adrian's timeless reggae catalog, and. as a undeniable dance sensation in it's own right. .

Adrian Xavier has stood tall as a pillar of the Seattle/northwest reggae scene for over twenty years. With 3 albums and nearly 20 album collaborations, Adrian's music is a union of positive energy with socially aware lyrics, that strive to inspire people from all walks of life. Blending solid reggae dub sounds into genre bending projects, he has created music that delivers inspiration to listeners of all tastes.

At the core of Ska Island are several ex-members of Yogoman Burning Band (circa 2016-2022) who were searching for an outlet to continue flexing their finely tuned musical chemistry after parting ways with YBB one-by-one. Johnny Toulouse (Guitar), Matt "Mash" Nash (Sax), Pat Doran (Sax), Orion Lackey (Keys), and Kevin "Zed" Zelenak (Bass & band manager) teamed up with Andy "Mr Cakes" Codrington (Trombone, band leader & musical director), a seasoned vet from BC whose bands have backed up world class touring artists in Vancouver for years. The crew began playing shows on Lopez Island under Zed's "Lopez Underground" production brand - a project bull-headedly focused on reviving the live music scene on the island in a post-pandemic world.

When original Ska Island drummer (and Lopezian) J'aime Cordova introduced the band to his long-time friend Adrian Xavier by putting together the first combined Ska Island / Adrian Xavier show for a Dia de los Muertos celebration at his house, everyone knew they had tapped into something special. An electrifying New Years Eve show came next as a few other local Lopez legends found their way into the ever-evolving collective, playing shows billed both as "Ska Island" and "Adrian Xavier" throughout the summer.

During that summer, Mr Cakes brought in Richard Brown, his go-to drummer from BC. Richard's profound depth of skill and experience with the genre immediately elevated the band to new heights. Cordova is still active within the collective on congas and hand percussion, providing crucial vocal accompaniment to Adrian's songs as well. Lopezians Hawk Arps (vibraphone) and Nick Gehling (electric guitar) round out the greater Ska Island collective, each contributing uniquely flavorful sounds to the mix.

This is a truly special set with a truly special collection of musicians. This is a can't-miss-evening for anyone who is into reggae, ska, or music in general. Good times guaranteed.


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