Long acclaimed as one of reggae's preeminent vocal ensembles, Culture was formed in the 1970′s and garnered continual US and international notice for its long string of classic "roots" albums.
Originally showcasing the shining lead vocals of Joseph Hill, Culture's music is solid roots, perfectly executed and delivered with genuine emotional fervor. Joseph Hill's devotion to the traditional Rastafarian values of purity, simplicity and justice is exemplified by Culture's lyrical themes. Hill's message is clear and uplifting.
Culture's legendary Two Sevens Clash LP (Shanachie) was Reggae Album of the Year in 1977, but perhaps more importantly, the title track from the LP commented on the volatile political situation in the Kingston ghettos in 1977 (the year the "two sevens clashed"), and the country of Jamaica at large, and was received as a prediction of dire times to come for the island nation. As such, it was widely heralded as one of the most important reggae songs of the decade, if not of all time.
Culture's level of energy and creativity are consistently superlative. They have performed brilliantly to spellbound audiences at countless festivals, concerts and clubs around the US and throughout the world. Their long-time backing band provided cohesion and energy behind the sweet harmonies of Albert and Telford Nelson and Joseph's dynamic lead vocals.
Kenyatta Hill, Joseph's son, took over for his father when his father passed in 2006, in the midst of a European tour. To the amazement of promoters, fans and critics alike, Kenyatta stepped onstage and delivered electrifying performances time and again - nineteen shows in all - until the tour was complete. This was unheard of in any genre of music at any time.
Kenyatta gave of himself so totally - as his father had for so many years - that the two seemed to become one. Possessing an eerily similar voice and onstage presence, Kenyatta has carried forth the banner established by his elder from the early days onto the present day.
Appearing at the Ranny Williams Center in Kingston Jamaica for the memorial concert for his father, Kenyatta's performance with Culture was the highlight in a star studded night and garnered him the rousing support of the hard-to-please Kingston reggae audience. Kenyatta went on to front Culture in a series of performances in the US, Caribbean, Brazil, Argentina and Peru, again leaving audiences amazed and delighted.
Influenced by elements of dancehall, grounded in the roots tradition and motivated to carry on his father's work, Kenyatta set to writing - to finish songs that Joseph had started and create new music of his own. On his poignant debut single, "Daddy," (Tafari Records), backed by a masterful roster of musicians including Sly Dunbar and Dean Fraser, and produced by Lynford "Fatta" Marshall, he confronted the emotional pain and uncertainty he felt after the loss of his father.
Pass the Torch, the first full length to feature Kenyatta, was released in 2007 to longtime Culture fans and critics who have embraced the son, named for Jomo Kenyatta, the first Prime minister of Kenya. Indeed, Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill continues to share the wisdom of Joseph's conscious reggae overlaid with Kenyatta's own lively and youthful musical vision.
2011 saw the release of Live On a highly acclaimed tribute to the music of Joseph Hill and Culture with Kenyatta performing fresh renditions of some of Culture's classic compositions..
Since 2012 Kenyatta has released solo projects and collaborations on the Honest Music Label. He has toured both with Culture and on his own to promote these releases including the 10 track Riddim of Life released in 2014. Singles and accompanying videos from that release, "Afrikan" and "Jah Is My Friend", received worldwide critical acclaim. Kenyatta's most recent release, Policeman, also on Honest Music label, features Akae Beka & Puma Ptah of Thievery Corporation.
Kenyatta Hill keeps the Culture legacy alive by thrilling old and new Culture fans with the classic sounds of this legendary harmony group. On this 12th anniversary year of the passing of the torch from father to son , Kenyatta continues as lead vocalist of Culture along with original founding member Albert Walker and long time harmony singer Telford Nelson.
SNWMF is proud to present the original Culture featuring Kenyatta Hill to our stage for our 25th anniversary festival.