Jakoostik Music Ensemble
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Jakoostik Music Ensemble

Kingston, Saint Andrew, Jamaica | SELF

Kingston, Saint Andrew, Jamaica | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic




"Jakoostik hits all the bases"

Band: Jakoostik
Album: Jakoostik Volume 1

Jakoostik hits all the bases. An authentic band from Jamaica, Jakoostik takes Reggae classics and reinvents them to powerful AAA folk adult contemporary music. With rich guitar and beautiful vocal harmonies this band allows you to travel on an audio vacation to Jamaica that would play perfectly in a cozy coffee house in New York. Fans of Seal, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, and Jack Johnson will all come together finding a new favorite band with Jakoostik.

Track #1 Book of Rules – starting with lovely guitar that just takes you away, the velvety vocals grab you and you kick back to feel this song
Track #2 Pick Myself Up – this Peter Tosh reggae classic gets new life with the sweet vocal harmonies and soothing guitar
Track #3 Sitting in Limbo – this hit by Jimmy Cliff gets a perfect treatment here showing off the melody and lyrics that you might have missed in the original version
Track #4 Sweet and Dandy – Upbeat party song, the guitar and vocals resonate with the tropical feeling that is indeed sweet
Track #5 Sammy Dead/Hard Man Fe Dead – guitars lead you into this song and capture your imagination with the heartfelt vocals and delightful harmonies that are a trademark of this band
Track #6 A Song – Another upbeat track on the album, the vocals ring of a folksinger great. You will be singing along with the irresistible chorus before you know it
Track #7 Let Them Say- Let them say this is a song that has just the right balance of clear guitar framing the vocals letting them shine
Track #8 – Putting Up Resistance – A song in the tradition of Reggae revolution music with a new twist of creative instrumentals and impressive guitar finger work, you will find this song hard to resist.
Track #9 Wait in Vain – this Bob Marley song is arranged with catchy lead vocals, great harmonies and full guitar streams, as refreshing as a light tropical rain in Jamaica.

- June Caldwell, Bryan Farrish Promotion

"Calabash Lives On"

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

The closing Sunday evening sessions at the discontinued Calabash International Literary Festival in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth were highly anticipated. The literature of Jamaican songwriters was celebrated by the Calabash Acoustic Ensemble, guitarists Wayne Armond, Steve Golding and Seretse Small at the core. Keyboard player Ibo Cooper and guitarist/singer Billy Mystic are among those who have also been involved in the festival-ending sessions.

Calabash closed in 2010, but the ensemble's core has kept intact and now presents its debut set, Jakoostik Vol 1.

However, Golding, who was unavailable for the recording as he was on tour with Israel Vibration, was replaced by Donald Waugh.

Small said he first got involved with the Calabash Acoustic Ensemble for the 30th anniversary celebration of Blackheart Man in 2006.

"The experience was phenomenal, not so much the performance but the rehearsal. I am sitting with these guys and the discussions between them - I am playing the finest Jamaican music, we are interpreting it and I am with icons," Small said.

They did some performances outside of Calabash, notably at the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) auditorium, Redbones Blues Café in Kingston and the State House Grounds in Roseau, Dominica. "The response was good and we knew we had an audience," Small said. About six tracks were laid and "it was there, but I was not excited."

Then in mid-June Small did the Jazz For Hope project with a set of musicians preparing for the annual concert of the same name and, after that 10-hour start to finish product, thought that it could be applied to what was now known as the Jakoostik Music Ensemble.

There was a deadline, though, as Small will be going to Japan for six weeks in September, and on his return the busy Christmas season will be imminent and there is also Battle of the Bands to organise.

Golding gave the nod to being substituted, and Small, Armond and Waugh recorded Book of Rules, Pick Myself Up, Sitting in Limbo, Sweet and Dandy, Sammy Dead - What a Hard Man Fe Dead, A Song, Let Them Say, Putting up Resistance and Wait in Vain.

"Most of the arrangements were done on the spot in the studio. We did not get to do it in 10 hours as I had hoped," Small said. Part of that was the tragedy of Armond's bandmate's daughter dying during the time and Waugh not knowing all the material that the other musicians would have been familiar with, having played them at various Calabash stagings. In choosing the songs, they also did not want to duplicate songwriters.

"It took three days rather than one day," Small said.

Small has confidence in Jakoostik's commercial potential as the unit already has a market, it is relatively easy to tour with three musicians and "it is great Jamaican music". - Mel Cooke, Jamaica Gleaner

"Jazz For Life. 2010 Year of The Child Concert."

“I wish this were something we could enjoy more regularly.” A sentiment shared, it seemed, by most of the enraptured audience as the sounds of Afro-Caribbean and Latin jazz finally brought something just a little different to Dominica’s live music scene on Saturday night. The second concert of the 2010 Year of The Child charitable movement for needy and vulnerable children – this time for those affected by AIDS - took place in the State House grounds; absolutely the perfect setting for what turned out to be an evening of quite sublime entertainment.
Headlining the concert were Cuban jazz trumpeter and pianist, Arturo Sandoval, and jazz reggae saxophonist Arturo Tappin from Barbados. Also performing were the Jakoostic guitar ensemble from Jamaica, Kanick from Guadeloupe, Dominica’s Marie Claire, Free Joseph, Gilena Fountain, Jazzwalk, and Athie Martin & Friends. There were many highlights. Sandoval and his band were quite excellent in the early hours, most people could easily have listened to Jakoostic all evening, and guest appearances by event organizers Marie Claire and Nelly Stharre added a welcome drop of sugar to the musical spice. Arturo Tappin probably stole the show, however. Described as the saxiest horn man in the Caribbean, his versatility and sense of fun were indisputable. And when he rolled up his pants, jumped from the stage and played saxophone with the audience in the rain, he created a moment few would forget.
The organization behind both this event and its reggae predecessor has been incredible, and the support of major sponsors such as LIAT, BET Centric, LIME, and Dominica Brewery absolutely invaluable. Huge credit should go to Anna & Emile Raffoul, Marie Claire Giraud, Nelly Stharre, and Cornell Phillip for making it happen and for selflessly giving their time for our enjoyment as well as for some of the disadvantaged children of our nation.
- Paul Crask Freelance Writer, Caribbean Beat


Jakoostik Vol. 1



The JaKoostiK Music Ensemble formerly known as the Calabash Acoustic Ensemble consists of Wayne Armond, Seretse Small and Donald Waugh knocking out with passion and ease Jamaican Classics from the catalogues of Peter Tosh, Bob Andy, Beres Hammond, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and others all with an acoustic vibe.

Wayne Armond has made his mark on Jamaican music history as the leader of the reggae group Chalice and is a producer of note on several projects collaborating with groups from around the world and nurturing the sound of the next generation with groups like Rootz Underground and Etana.

Donald is a talented mutli-instrumentalist and music teacher who has recently toured with the mento group "The Jolly Boys". An avid session musician and producer he runs his own production out "Airplai productions".

Seretse Small is the CEO of his own music company Griot Music Limited which is a leader in the promotion of live music in Jamaica through bookings and artist development. Formerly a student of the Jamaica School of Music and having done courses at New England Conservatory and Berklee Jazz College in Boston he is the jazz improviser in the group.

The group owes its beginnings to being the featured musical act at the Calabash Literary festival where for seven years the group looked at the work of Jamaican Songwriters as literature performing them acoustically with analysis and joy.

Now the group is the Jakoostik Music Ensemble, Jamaican Music performed with an acoustic aesthetic. The group newly named has started recording an album and performing at live venues.

The first major performance was a lunch hour concert at the Bank of Jamaica auditorium and then a concert at the Jamaican live music hot spot Red Bones Blues Caf. Most recently the group performed for a very appreciative audience in Dominica for the Year of the Child 2010 Jazz Festival featuring Arturo Sandoval and Arturo Tappin where it was said that most people could easily have listened to Jakoostic all evening (Paul Crask)

Jakoostik Music Ensemble is eager to share its brand of Jamaican celebration through music because as Bob Marley said, One thing about music, when it hit you, you feel no pain

The group has just produced its first album "Jakoostik Vol. 1"