June 20th, 21st, & 22nd, 2003Frogtown, Angels Camp, California, U.S.A.
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2003 Performers

FRI:
VALLEY STAGE:

Capleton &
Special Guest
Yami Bolo

DANCEHALL:

Stone Love

VILLAGE STAGE:

Lost At Last
Hamsa Lila

SAT:
VALLEY STAGE:

The Wailers
Barrington Levy
U-Roy
Pablo Moses
Sister Carol
Leroy Sibbles
Johnny Clarke
Mikey Dread
Fully Fullwood Band

DANCEHALL:

Stur-Gav HiFi w/
Brigadier Jerry
Mighty Crown

VILLAGE STAGE:

Shabaz
Medicine Drum
BrazilBeat Sound System

SUN:
VALLEY STAGE:

Prince Buster
Eek-A-Mouse
Pato Banton
Warrior King
Twinkle Bros w/
Della Grant

Peter Rowan
Big Mountain

VILLAGE STAGE:

Midnite
B-Side Players
Soul Majestic
Alma Melodiosa
Music Hours
Friday: 6 pm - Midnight;
Late show till 3am for 3-day ticket holders
Saturday: 11 am - Midnight;
Late show till 3am for 3-day ticket holders
Sunday: 11 am - 10 pm


      

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prince Buster - photo by Lee Abel
SNWMF 2000 - photo by Lee Abel

 

Press Pass

Prince Buster

Prince Buster, the most influential of the early ska vocalists, earned his tough name theold-fashioned way... with his fists. As a youth he took to boxing, and earned some fame that way, winning most of his fights.  Music was his second interest.  His start in the music business came in 1961, when he got a job as a security guard for Sir Coxsone Dodd's sound system.  It wasn't long before the charismatic Buster tried his hand at music; within a year he had recorded some tracks at the Starlite studios and started his own record company, Wild Bells. In 1962 Prince Buster, already a sought-after producer, released a version of The Folkes Brothers' song "Oh Carolina," and soon thereafter "Humpty Dumpty" and "Little Honey",which had greater success at the time. (After Shaggy went to Number 1 with "Oh Carolina" in 1994 Buster unsuccessfully contested the rights to the song, noting to no avail that the production and the handclaps on the original tracks were his.)

In the late '50s American R&B blasted from every available pair of speakers in Jamaica. The early '60s saw Jamaicans introduce their own flavor into the Motown grooves.  Mento and other indigenous forms mixed with African drum rhythms, in the figurative blender with English, Scottish and Irish folk melodies and jazz/Latin inspired horns. This was ska, often called Blue Beat in the beginning, after the influential record company that released much of the early material.

Prince Buster churned out over 600 songs on Blue Beat between 1962 and 1967, backed up by the top session musicians of the time--Ernest Ranglin on guitar, Val Bennett on tenor sax, Raymond Harper and Baba Brooks on trumpets, Rico Rodriguez on trombone, and Arkland Parks on drums. His sound was more uptempo than most of his contemporaries, and his lyrics were way ahead of their time, tending toward the political, with Afro-centric themes and metaphorical, at times cryptic poetry.

During the early '60s Prince Buster was one of the top singers in Jamaica, becoming increasingly popular in the UK.  Hits like "Madness", "Al Capone" and "One Step Beyond" inspired wild devotion in the mod movement in Britain. These songs stayed popular through the '70s and drove the ska revival of the '80s, re-recorded numerous times by two-tone bands.

Prince Buster had a roving sound system, which did battle with the best of 'em, and owned a record store in downtown Kingston. The success he achieved in music he repeated in business, both in Jamaica and overseas, and he toured less frequently. Today the Prince owns a gym and is actively seeking the next Heavyweight Champion of the World.

Prince Buster's influence on Jamaican is indisputable.  As a singer, producer and composer, as well as spokesman and visionary for his people, he is the heppest, the Originator of ska.

- Mara Weiss

Additional links for this artist:
Steve Barrow Bio

Listen To The Music of Prince Buster - Track List

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Copyright 1998-2003 Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, LLC / Epiphany Artists. All Rights reserved.