Black Songs of Freedom
REGGAE BAND The award-winning BASIKS are at the vanguard of Detroit's reggae scene. Mixing the sweet sound of roots reggae and sizzling ska with the soulful influence of the Motown sound, they create an authentic blend that's sure to please the reggae purist as well as the pure party animal! The Basiks combine the talents of Kamau Bashiri (keyboards/vocals), Ron Rutherford (guitar/vocals), Issa Sall (bass), Keith Gamble (tenor sax), Al Armstrong (trumpet), King Mellowman (drums/vocals), Lateef Kareem (drums) Kamau, a student of Jamaican music and culture for over three decades, lists as his musical mentors Leroy Sibbles and Sugar Minott, in whose bands he has played. He has toured with U-Roy, Sanchez and Tiger, and done session work with the late Jackie Mittoo. Kamau, a published poet, says "Reggae music is the art of life, the song of living, the language of love and pride". Ron is also a long time reggae veteran of Detroit. Self-taught in the art of the guitar, he has worked with artists such as Sugar Minott, Sammy Dread and Sister Carol as well as Leroy Sibbles and U-Roy. He is an award-winning musician and an award-winning graphic designer/illustrator whose musical mentors include Earl 'Chinna' Smith and Eric 'Bingy Bunny' Lamont. Ron's natural feel for the reggae sound stands strong and unique. Ben is a veteran of music from the age of 13. He not only plays bass, but keyboards, percussions and guitar. He is also a versatile music teacher. Having grown from gospel and R & B roots, Ben had his life expand significantly when he entered the realm of roots music. He has worked with several reggae artists such as U-Roy and Trevor Sparkes. Ben says "Being a musician is a spiritual as well as a physical endeavor". Keith is a music teacher of renown. He is band director at the Cherry Hill school of performing arts in Inkster, Mich. An accomplished musician with a jazz pedigree, he has performed with such local artists as Marcus Belgrave and Carl Carlton. His credits include Detroit's Jazz Workshop and Ypsilanti's Frog Island Jazz Festival. He played on WDIV's 'Go 4 it' campaign, and has performed with the Detroit Wind Symphony. King Mellowman is a second-generation West Indian with an extensive musical background ranging from Motown to strict island influences. A versatile musician as well as dynamic singer and reggae 'rapper', he has released several exciting CDs as a headline artist. Mellow is a well established gem in Detroit's reggae landscape. Issa hails from the continent of all creation, mother Africa. An accomplished bassist, his credits include the east coast-based Oceanic Reggae Band, Bascal Bocar's Jazz band and the salsa band of Merida Castillo Clay McMurray the 'Basiks' Legendary producer and engineer says 'It was really a fantastic experience working with such a dedicated group of guys who are so deeply rooted to Reggae Music, and their live show is simply KILLER.......