Sydney Solomon and the Imperial Majestic Band (Jamaica/Ethiopia)

Reggae

Sydney Solomon was born  in Kingston Jamaica, studied music in the United States at the Queens conservatory of music and became a member of the Rastafarian 12 Tribes of Israel movement converting to the Orthodox faith, in his twenties. He became the lead singer for the SoulJahs band and toured extensively.  During those days, Sydney also performed with many other orthodox artists including the legendary Dennis Brown, Beres Hammond, Freddie McGregor, Half-Pint, Sugar Minot, Sister Carol, Shine head, and The Abyssinians to name a few.

In September 2000, Sydney released “Shashemane on my mind”,  before his first visit to Shashemane Ethiopia. As a devout Rastafarian,  in 2001, he took the bold step to leave  New York and repatriated to Ethiopia, Africa.
Since his formal repatriation, Sydney founded the Imperial Majestic Band with some of the core 12 Tribes of Israel band members from Shashamane, and through diligent determination, built up a sizable following in Ethiopia for authentic Reggae music. Having learnt the Amharic language, Sydney’s lyrics weaved its way into the hearts of Reggae loving Ethiopians with his unique brand that incorporates traditional Ethiopian styles and melodies, with a pulsating Jamaican drum and bass.

In 2005, Sydney & the Imperial Majestic Band members then, not only performed but were the backbone of the Bob Marley 60th birthday celebration entitled AFRICA UNITE. Sydney & the band backed the notable tycoons of Reggae music such as Rita Marley, Bob Andy, Marcia Griffiths, the Tamlins, Freddlocks & shared the stage with top African artists such as Angelique Kidro, Teddy Afro & many more in the concerts that took place in Addis Ababa, Shashemane and Adama Ethiopia.

Since 2008, Sydney has toured many of the European reggae scenes including twice on the Rototom Sunsplash which is the largest reggae festival in Europe performing with legendary artists such as Ken Booth, Alpha Blondie, Bob Andy to name a few. He has also toured Italy, Slovenia, Austria, US, the Caribbean islands, Kenya, Tanzania promoting the Shashemane community development projects and a festival theme entitled “Reggae in the Rift Valley festival-The African Sunsplash festival tour” which is a musical caravan adventure that crosses Africa by road. Early 2014, Sydney and the band performed alongside Ethiopia’s most famous Mohamed Ahmed, Kuku Sebsebe, Alemayehu Eshete and the likes at the 5th annual Mestawet Acacia Jazz & World Music Festival and the Tizita Festival. He was also an opening act for Busy Signal at the biggest reggae-dancehall event of the year. In early 2015, the group also preformed on various big stages including for the second time at the biggest Taste of Addis festival held at the tropical gardens in January.

Sydney and the band have now completed the production of their latest album which features crucial conscious songs such as “Africa Arising”, “Never Colonized”, “Hear Our Voice”, “Warriors of the East” with various other collaborations to be released late 2015. This album definitely shows the vocal and Lyrical versatility of the artist and the Majestic crew. The track “Guardian of Love” features Saba Kashaye of Ethiopia while the track “ Lions in Captivity” features Mathew Tembo from Zambia and “Warriors from the East” features the no 1 reggae band from Tanzania. “Africa Arising” portrays the new image of Africa at its best inspired by the 50’s anniversary African Union motto in 2013. The title track “The Ultimate Challenge” is ingenuously intended to bring crucial Reggae from Ethiopia to a universal level – inspired by the timeless words of Emperor Haile Selassie the 1st ‘s famous speech at the United Nations back in the 1960’s, this song proves His words still holds a moving and powerful message for dealing with the problems mankind face still in this time!

 

 


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  • Address: Skeppsbron 26, 111 30 Stockholm
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