DAVID HILLYARD & ROCKSTEADY 7

We are very excited to welcome this upfull sound to SNWMF25. David Hillyard & the Rocksteady 7, is an American Ska and Jazz band from New York, New York that formed in 1992. It became through a meeting of Hillyard and veteran percussionist Larry MacDonald at a Skatalites concert and reflects their common love of Ska, Reggae, Jazzz and Latin Music.

Given reggae's globally reaching influence, the Rocksteady 7 holds true to the genre's roots and the self-described "Jamaican Jazz" sound combines ska, rocksteady and reggae with extended jazz improvisation, intricate melodies, and complex harmonies. The group incorporates many diverse elements of world music with rocksteady rhythms, including ska, jazz, calypso, as well as early African and American jazz influences.

MacDonald is a living legend. He is part of the first generation of Jamaican musicians to create Ska and Reggae music in the 1950s through the 1970s. He played with Carlos Malcolm Afro-Jamaicans and on numerous classic reggae recordings such as the conga breaks on Toot and the Maytals class "Funky Kingston," as well as tracks by Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Lee Perry. In 2017, MacDonald toured with Lee "Scratch" Perry.

Tenor and soprano saxophonist David Hillyard is one of the innovators of the American ska scene and is at the forefront of the jazz and reggae scene. The talented musician-arranger-composer has been instrumental in creating and re-popularizing the sound of "Jamaican Rock n Roll" and "Ska Jazz" and has been a professional musician for over 20 years.

At 17 years old, Hillyard played with The Donkey Show, one of California's pioneering ska bands. He also played with Hepcat, which went on to become one of the biggest ska acts of the 1990s. He has also performed with ska groups like the Stubborn All-Stars, reggae artists like Cornell Campbell, Congo 'Ashanti' Roy and Johnny Osbourne, jazz artists like Roy Campbell, Jr., blues artists like Simon Chardiet, and even soul singers like Archie Bell, although he is best known for his work with the Slackers beginning in 1991. He continues to be a key member of that organization and has appeared on their ten cd releases and thousands of live gigs in the USA, Canada, Japan, Latin America and Europe.

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