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spotlight on snwmf 2013 artist: windy city

Moshim nida Windy City

Roots music is a term often attributed to music springing from and identified with a particular culture.  In Jamaica, roots music generally refers to the sounds emanating from the rastafari community that is 'a voice' for those living in sufferation and longing for better.  Beginning in the 1970s, the roots of reggae music began expanding beyond Jamaica's boundaries, branching out to reach and touch people from all walks and cultures.  Perhaps there is no better evidence of that than Korea's "Windy City". 

Based in Seoul, Windy City is the brain-child of Drummer and Lead Singer Kim Ban Jang who notes "We are Korean, not Latin or Jamaican.  But we can feel some roots vibe.  That is important.  It doesn't matter if it's reggae or Latin, we pay attention to roots."  The band took its name from the record label formed by Curtis Mayfield in 1968 "because he wanted to find new artists in the ghetto" says  Kim Ban Jang.

"Moshim Nida" is a Korean term that means "I greet I with respect and love."  As Windy City's Keyboard and Melodica player Beck Junghyun explains "We sing this song to Greet each other, the audience, the place and the spirits there, hoping that we can live our life together like that."  So it's most appropriate that Windy City's latest "Full Greeting" EP begins with Moshim Nida, which fuses Korean chants and Nyahbinghi drumming that is lightly styled with acoustic guitars and a touch of melodica. 

The album version of Moshim Nida is both captivating and tantalizing with its simplistic 'heart-beat' rhythm and 'heart-felt' chants.  One might expect to hear this kind of song at a nyahbinghi bobo retreat in the hills of Jamaica.  But Moshim Nida has also managed to capture the spirit and affection of the main-stream as evidenced by this video when Windy City appeared on Korea's "Show Champion" television show last October:

Of the link between Jamaican and Korean cultures Beck Junghyun says "When I see Jamaican people having parties in their village, in their neighborhoods, I see many common things with Korean culture."   And this is reflected on the second selection on Windy City's newest EP entitled "Janchi Reggae" (Party Reggae), which features a classic 'steppers' style that is reminiscent of something you might hear from the Twinkles Brothers.  The high-energy beat is punctuated with the wailing sound of Shin Jae Won on Digeridoo.  Some haunting melodia melodies and an occasional gong are added to give this track a more distinct Eastern flavor to it. 

In 2010, Windy City further expanded their roots by traveling to Bangkok to link up with Thailand's preeminent reggae band Srirajah Rockers.  The fruits of this sojourn can be heard on the album "Bibim Windy City Meets Srirajah Rockers."  The CD contains some heavy dubs and 'fyah lighta' rhythms but, most of all, this recording contains some "Sweet Reggae Music."   

Though the music of Windy City is perhaps best described today as roots reggae, that wasn't always the case.  Their 2007 release "Countryman's Vibration" features more diverse music including some reggae in a "Silky Silky Love Song" style.  And Windy City displays all of their music talents on the debut album "Love Record."  Released in 2005, this recording displays Windy City's talents with respect to Latin music on the selection "Elnino Prodigo," a live version of which is presented here. 

Love Record also features good doses of Funk, Boogaloo and R&B which is displayed on the selection "Love Supreme."  The album also hearkens back to Kim Ban Jang's early days when he performed in the band Astoto Union that released "Sound Renovates A Structure" in 2003. 

As a band, Windy City hopes to find and share the original meaning of life through reggae music.  Together.  Anywhere that there are clean hands and pure heart.  And they've certainly succeeded in doing just that in this final video recorded on "Immortal Masterpieces" last fall.  This Korean television talent show is hosted by Lee JangHee who had the big hit "Geugeonneo (It's You)"  in 1973.  Windy City wins over the hearts of Lee JangHee and the entire audience with their updated rendition of "It's You" complete with nyahbinghi drumming and a hypnotizing melodica.  The music and audience are transcended into a rocking good time when Kim Ban Jang takes to the drum kit accompanied by Shin Jae Won on the Digeridoo.     

Moshim nida Windy City to SNWMF 2013.

Kim Ban Jang - Drum / Lead Vocal
Ra Guk San - Percusssion / Chorus / Dub effect
Beck Junghyun - Melodica / Keyboards
Shin Jae Won - Digeridoo / Percussion / Chorus
Oh Jinwoo - Guitar
Noh SunTek - Bass Guitar

Listen to the Music of Windy City

We will be working hard during the coming months to make the 20th annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival a most memorable experience for all involved. We will be periodically sending out newsletters, but do visit our web site at www.snwmf.com and check out our very active message board, or call the SNWMF Hotline: 916-777-5550.


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