Gomba Jahbari

Gomba Jahbari


Solid. Aggressive. Profound. Born in 1998, Puerto Rican Reggae Roots band Gomba Jahbari decided to join forces to undertake a musical project based on the simplicity of rhythm in Jamaican Roots Reggae. Their main goal: to rescue Caribbean-style music from the imbalance it suffers from nowadays.


The Courageous Warriors of Gomba Jahbari

Solid. Aggressive. Profound. These are only some of the words that describe the Puerto Rican reggae roots band Gomba Jahbari. Made up of seven talented musicians—all San Juan natives—this band began taking its first steps in 1998, when two childhood friends, Carmelo Romero (drums and lead vocals) and Miguel Lampón (guitar) decided to join forces to undertake a musical project based on the simplicity of rhythm in Jamaican roots reggae. Their main goal: to rescue Caribbean-style music from the imbalance it suffers nowadays.

Gomba Jahbari , which means “Courageous Warrior” in a South African tribal dialect, features a wealth of influences from diverse reggae bands that range from the mythical Bob Marley and Peter Tosh to groups such as ASWAD, Burning Spears and The Itals. In 2003, the band's first album, Sentémonos (Let's Sit), was independently produced and released under their own label, Gomba Music. This album features 14 tracks charged with humanistic and social lyrics. “We want to create a revolution within each person who listens to our music. People should always search for the positive side of life, but since everything we want that's good comes with a price, there is no other choice but to fight for it,” explained Alberto Nieves, guitarist.

Their musical concept obeys to keeping a pure and original roots reggae sound, but simultaneously incorporates details and sounds very actual amongst world music trends. Alas, an aggressive style with a very unusual and powerful rhythm section. It's not the mellow reggae that we are used to hearing; it's a kind of heavy roots. With constant innovation, an amalgam of details emerges within a classic reggae rhythm. This can be felt in the hypnotic melodies of the profound and repetitive notes that judiciously take over the bass partition.

Following the rhythmic base, psychedelic digital sounds and keyboard lines propose a tone that is out of the ordinary. The airs of the brass section, more than just adorning a piece, know how to inject a certain rush in the precise moment.

After the tremendous success of their debut album, Gomba Jahbari released Convicción (Conviction) in 2005. What would soon become their biggest commercial release to date, Convicción was mixed at Lion Fox Studios in Washington, DC by the legendary Jim Fox, whose credits include Israel Vibrations and Culture, among others.

Due to the overwhelming positive response to their sophomore album, whose singles "Hombre Nuevo" and "Las Tumbas" (reggae cover of a Salsa classic by Ismael Rivera) became mega radio hits, the band was ready to reach an important milestone. Gomba Jahbari formally presented Convicción in its first grand concert, which took place in March 2005 at a packed Tito Puente Amphitheater in San Juan. "This means a consecration—arriving where we've arrived and that we're here to stay. It's saying ‘Thank you' to people. What we feel is inexplicable; there are many emotions. The audience's support is incredible,” said Carmelo Romero, lead singer and drummer.

In 2006, iDentiDub, a dub version of Convicción with bonus tracks, was released, and became the first Dub album recorded by a Puerto Rican artist. It was this release that catapulted Gomba Jahbari into Central and South American markets, where today they enjoy great success.

Besides the fact that the main ingredient in Gomba Jahbari's recipe is pure reggae roots, the influence of other musical genres is evident in their sound. Humberto, bassist states that "we all came from different reggae bands and have been touched by different genres, that come from Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, go through jazz and salsa, without leaving behind reggae from legends like Bob Marley and Burning Spear."

The force and purity of Gomba Jahbari's music has been the cathalytic that has taken them overseas to showcase their art and to offset the standards that good reggae is only made by Jamaicans. They have managed to shy away from this stereotype by playing in festivals such as Bob Marley Roots Rock Reggae Festival (Wilmington, Delaware - 2004), Montreal International Reggae Festival (Montreal, Canada - 2005), Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (California - 2006), Festival Raztlan (Tijuana, Mexico - 2008), as well as several tours in USA, Perú, and Mexico. These are the experiences that have allowed these musicians to expand their vision of the world, besides helping them leave behind any possible shyness of expression of the radical ideas they feel and eventually end up on their albums.

With much effort and dedication, Gomba Jahbari has stood out successfully within the roots reggae circuit in Puerto Rico and Latin America, keeping active while being embraced by numerous fans and lovers of the genre. Summarizing, a musical proposal that exhibits a very interesting contrast between the genre of pure and classic roots reggae and the cumulus of influences that come from a rigorous study


Si Tú Me Quieres

Written By: C. Romero

Prometo cambiar, dejar atrás
lo malo que hay en mí, prometo,
prometo variar, no ser rutina de
siempre para ti, prometo ser fiel,
yo sé muy bien lo que anhelo pa' vivir.
Mi vida yo sé bien que tú sabes,
que yo quiero estar asi, contigo,
si tú me quieres mi amor,
contigo voy toda la vida,
tuyo es todo lo que tengo.

Si tú me quieres, mi amor,
yo rompo mi corazón,
deshago el tuyo, uno los dos
y hago una mezcla,
y formo uno, sólo uno...

Si tú me quieres, mi amor,
yo rompo esta novela,
dejo mi verso en el papel,
y voy directo a amarrarme a ti, pa ponerle sazón
a tu cuerpo que es candela,
candela que es tu cuerpo,
si tu me quieres, mi amor...

Y si la ternura se asienta en ti,
y te da con eso de amamantar,
sangre de tu sangre, carne de tu carne,
cría de tu vientre, cuenta conmigo,
ten a mi gente, tráelos cual vengan,
Jehová provee...

Si tú me quieres mi amor...
Si tú me adoras...


Written By: C. Romero

Hoy, hoy desperté muy tarde y te perdí
Hoy con amarga angustia pienso en tí
Hoy te busqué en mis sueños y no te vi

Hoy, hoy pagué con la vida el perder
Hoy sufre en agonía mi querer
Hoy ya no veo motives para ver

Este infierno acaba
En el momento en que yo decida
Este infierno acaba
En el momento en que tú decidas
This hell shall end up


Written By: C. Romero

Father, you know we need your blessing
In times we are all concerning
That one day everything will be ovah

Fyah upon them vultures
Curse them, oh Fatha burn
Them plenty, let them know
Yet no one can stop this

I don't think you know me
I know you don't know me
Cause I sing for the children
That need some redemption
Cause I'm a lion in a this Kingdom

I'm a lion in a Babylon
No matter what you say
No matter what you hear
No matter what you think

En La Guerra

Written By: C. Romero

Es que la guerra
Muere la gente
Y nadie gana
Mueren los niños
Y nadie gana
Mueren inocentes
Y nadie gana

Es que en la guerra
Hay mucha muerte, presente
Mueren los niños,
Mueren inocentes y nadie gana


El presidente de USA, Bush
Anda loco, cerebro roto
A los latinos manda a matar
Y está algarete, demonio vete
Un solo hombre no ha
De controlar, el planeta
Esa potencia sólo Dios la tiene,
¿Qué pretendes?

My Family

Written By: C. Romero

CHORUS (2x):
I love Mama,
my Father,
I love them.
I love my family.

And I love Jah.

For He gave to me in my journey
such a family foundation,
beautiful as love itself.
And I know that,
if Jah make I born again,
I would love to be back with them
so we can share one life forever.


I sit up and see
the past in front of me in my sorrow.
The glorious things that I remember,
that I've learned from all my stages.
I look at them both
and my chest begins to narrow.
Blind their eyes have been forever.
For the intense light them carry
the whole of my life.
I'll be grateful to that people,
that took care when I was little
and taught me how to live.


Bigger Than Bigger

Written By: C. Romero

Listen to the situation
in my Puerto Rico:
it'a go bigger than bigger.
The situation in this place
getting tuff and ruff again.
Shows that scum is growing quick,
blood and murder everywhere now
in my island Puerto Rico, where I live.

You betta care 'bout where you step,
if your timing is not the best
life can run away from you.
Missing bullets no forgive no.
Always killing 'inocentes'
right here.

When me look up all around
I see the felony and the assault
and the city getting scared.
We not even trust policeman,
some cops suffer
from corruption, you see.

Drugs and money bringing dead
in the ghettos night and day,
and the streets are turning red.
There's no order, no solution.
No one sees any conclusions on this.
And it a go.

Bigger than bigger (2x)
The crimes are getting bigger than bigger
right now in Puerto Rico.

Bigger than bigger (2x)
The crimes are getting bigger than bigger
right now in this island.

The news reports on tv.
Politicians in their seats
playing games with my Country
while we're going through the border.
Useless speeches full of shit, man, indeed.

They've been robbing all of us
since my people put them there.
most of them are criminals
that have done some nasty things
that if you knew you would
be in shock now for weeks.
Yes we know, them never care.
They just want to be in the spot,
to see what they can grab from there.
All things spin around the money,
on one cares about the problems we are in.
And it a go.

Just one day, government
was just stolen by thieves,
and since then
there's no control over here.


Live in Culebra - 2009
Road to Reggae [Vol. 1] - 2009
Rebellion - 2007
iDentiDub - 2005
Convicción - 2005
Sentémonos - 2003

Set List

Las Tumbas
Ciertas Verdades
Si tú me quieres
Nasty Broderation
Qué Locura Enamorarme de Ti
Times A Go Dread
David & Goliath