Pato Banton
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Pato Banton

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
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By Wayne Harada Entertainment Writer

Ready for more reggae? Pato Banton, Birmingham-based British superstar, is terminating a seven-year hiatus and hitting the road in September. He'll perform at 9 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Hawaiian Hut on the grounds of the Ala Moana hotel.
Banton has recorded or toured with a string of luminaries, including Sting, Peter Gabriel & WOMAD, UB40, Steel Pulse, English Beat and General Public.

His "Life Is a Miracle" album earned a Grammy nomination in 2000; during his break, Banton established a music program for United Kingdom colleges to aid underprivileged and at-risk youths.
- Honolulu Advertiser


By KELLI SKYE FADROSKI
Special to SqueezeOC.com

While MTV has provided its version of life in Laguna Beach (sex, scandal and high school), the hit show
failed to tap into the real culture of Laguna: reggae.

Home to several reggae artists since the late '70s, the beach town serves as the perfect place for performing and creating this unifying art form that originated in Jamaica.

Several venues in Laguna Beach host regular live reggae nights, making the city a hub for the vibrant
Orange County reggae scene.

A slew of O.C. radio DJs, venue promoters and artists are focused on providing locals with a wide range of reggae.

Local radio stations are leading the effort, with shows dedicated to playing the many forms of reggae –
roots reggae, ska, dancehall, dub and others.

DJ Big Jim Snidow hosts "Uptown Top Ranking" on Wednesdays on KUCI 88.9 FM. Snidow has been
hosting his radio show since 1997 and his format consists mainly of roots reggae.

"I don't want to be the Rick Dees of reggae radio," Snidow said. "I don't want to make money off of reggae. I would rather unearth stuff and support the artists."

Snidow lives and breathes reggae music and thanks his predecessor, former KUCI reggae DJ Goldie
Locks, for getting him into the scene. As Snidow's show has grown, he has started to receive reggae music from all over the world.

"I get reggae music from Greece, from Sweden and from Russia," he said. "Reggae is everywhere, even in places that you'd never think of. The scene is huge."

Reggae radio pioneer Roberto Angotti summed up reggae music this way:

"It means an upbeat, positive, spiritual fulfillment, and its humanitarian message doesn't belong to any one religion or any one set of people."


MODERN REGGAE
Angotti started out hosting a reggae show on KNAC in Long Beach and thenended up hosting "Reggae Revolution" on KROQ 106.7 FM in the late '80s. Angotti now manages reggae artists and spends a bulk of his time in Orange County. He takes pride in an entirely new generation of reggae music.

"Reggae is like a fine wine, and it just keeps getting better with age," Angotti said. "It's rewarding to see Orange County's fresh interpretation on the music, the surf and skate culture taking on reggae. The music has been passed on and turned into its own hybrid version of the original music."

THE GLOBAL VIEW
Although in past years Orange County has taken a backseat to Long Beach in terms of hosting big reggaefests, fans didn't need to cross county lines to enjoy two big music festivals recently: the ReggaeFest at theOrange County Fair and the Reggae Sunsplash at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.

The Reggae Sunsplash at Verizon featured mainstream and international reggae stars like UB40, Toots and the Maytals, Third World and Maxi Priest. The nearly sold-out ReggaeFest at the O.C. Fair featured Shaggy, Pato Banton and the Wailing Souls. International artist Pato Banton was well-received at the event.

"It was awesome and I got a standing ovation," Banton said. "I felt very much at home."

Banton has been visiting and performing in Orange County for years. He is currently recording with localreggae act Mystic Roots in a Mission Viejo studio.

"There are a lot of great venues to play in Orange County," Banton said. "It's far enough away from Los
Angeles to give people a more laid-back feeling because they're not as much in a rush."

The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano recently hosted three nights of reggae in a row and sold out eachnight. The show included local act Common Sense, and groups specializing in various types of reggae, including Hawaiian reggae.

Banton and others said they'd like to see the Orange County reggae scene grow to the point where it
supports an annual, locally-produced festival.

"I'd be very interested in doing a show that featured the local reggae and ska bands because they are so
great here," Banton said. "I see the reggae scene as a growing force but I don't see it going mainstream.
When it does go mainstream, it loses its essence, but I do see it continue to grow in Orange County."

- SqueezeOC.com


By ROBERT KINSLER

Review: Pato Banton soars at a crowd-pleasing Orange County Fair ReggaeFest ...... while top-billed Shaggy falls flat with the audience.

No matter how many times Shaggy told the crowd to "throw your hands in the air" during his hour-long set at the Pacific Amphitheatre on Sunday night, there was never the sense the less-than-capacity audience was ready to fully succumb to the dancehall reggae star.

Shaggy (whose real name is Orville Richard Burrell) brought plenty of good-time party music, blending reggae and hip-hop in equal measures with his ladies-man persona, to his headlining slot at the Orange County Fair ReggaeFest, which also featured Pato Banton and Wailing Souls.

Birmingham, England's Pato Banton has been a force on the reggae scene for almost 25 years and continues to inspire, as he proved over the course of his 10-song set.

Backed by the powerful six-member Mystic Roots Band, the talented singer/toaster sang songs geared toward having a good time, but with deeper messages centering on his religious faith, the need for world peace and the legalization of marijuana (even while discouraging the use of hard drugs during a lively "Don't Sniff Coke").

However, his hour-long appearance really captured the artistic heights of the genre during performances of "One World (Not Three),"
"Good News" and a spirited cover of Bob Marley's "Jamming" that got just about everyone dancing to the beat.

- Orange Country Register


By Jon Woodhouse

Reggae singer Pato Baton was touring the U.S. when he received the shocking news that histwo sons had been shot in a drive-by shooting in his hometown of Birmingham, England. The traumatic event led him to temporarily drop his musical career and focus instead on helping young people lead more positive lives.

“It really shook me up, it was a big wake-up call,” Banton recalls. “I was on world tour at thetime and doing workshops in prisons in Sicily, talking with young boys about their future, andin Soweto, South Africa, and in Australia with the Aborigines. I was touring the world doing all this stuff for deprived communities but not where I grew up. So I quit my career and myband, the Reggae Revolution, split up.”

Employing music as a career path to help disadvantaged kids, Banton founded a communitys tudio in Birmingham, established a music department in a local college, spearheaded a “StopThe Guns” program and ended up becoming a teacher.

“I set up a community studio first and I asked for government money so I could put music equipment in all the community centers in my city,” he explains. “Then I was invited to set up a music department in the top college in my city, and while we were developing the department, I finished teacher training. I worked in three other colleges as well and it was a huge success. After that, we set up an organization called Musical Connections to get gang kids and homeless kids back into education or some kind of work. I did that for seven years and it was very fulfilling, much more fulfilling than my music career. It was nice to see kids who were potential murderers change their lives around.

“Recently I felt I had fulfilled my goal regarding work in the community, so now I can pursue my music again, and use music to motivate and inspire people.”

And how are his kids now?
“They will always have some lead in their skin but they’re very good,” he reports.

Born Patrick Murray in Brixton, London, Banton grew up in Birmingham, where he got his musical start as an emcee in his stepfather’s V-Rocket traveling reggae disco sound system. It was with V-Rocket that Banton honed his toasting skills (the Jamaican rap style). As a young musician, he found a mentor in Rankin’ Roger of the legendary ska revival band the English Beat. Roger had judged a local talent contest, which the newly christened Pato Banton won. The name Pato refers to a type of Jamaican owl, and Banton refers to a top DJ.

Banton first came to the public’s attention during the influential ska revival movement in 1982 on the Beat’s “Special Beat Service” album, dueling with Rankin’ Roger on “Pato And Roger A Go Talk.” An appearance on UB40’s “Hip Hop Robot” on “Little Baggariddim” soon
followed.

“It was a very exciting time because up to that point, it was a very dim existence for first generation English black kids who wanted to play the music that their parents were listening to from the Caribbean,” he recalls.

“It was very hard to gain any respect because we were imitating what we were hearing, and no
one would take us seriously. But when we started to adapt it to out own style, we started getting record deals and having big crowds.”

Banton had grown up at a time when the neo-Nazi National Front was all the rage among the
local skinhead population, and the ska revival movement played a major role in easing racial
tensions.

“The ska and reggae music helped to break down barriers,” he explains. “We used to have skinheads beating us up and the next thing we knew, we were at concerts dancing with skinheads. And they loved the music. It was brilliant. We had the Two Tone stuff with black and white getting together to play music. It was a really good era for politically aware music.”

As a solo artist, Banton has worked with some of England’s finest reggae musicians. His 1990 album, “Wise Up,” included a duet with David Hinds of Steel Pulse and production by Drummie Zeb of Aswad. On his 1992 release, “Universal Love,” he again teamed with former Beat singer Rankin’ Roger.

Banton maintained a high visibility with a series of inspired teamings that have brought him chart success. A cover of Eddy Grant’s “Baby Come Back,” where he joined Robin and Ali Campbell of UB40, sold 1.5 million copies in Europe and Australasia. More recently he sang on “Burning London,” a tribute to ’80s punk rock kings the Clash, dueting with Roger on an exuberant dancehall style version of “Rock the Casbah.”

And he also scored joining forces
with Sting on a remix of “The Cowboy Song” from the “Fields of Gold” album, and a reworking of the Police hit “Spirits In The Material World.”

“It was like a dream come true,” he says of working with Sting. “I did the song ’Baby Come Back’ with UB40 and it was number one in the U.K. for four weeks. Sting’s manager had released it and he asked my producer to do a remix of Sting’s ’Cowboy Song.’ The producer asked me to do a g - Maui News


By Andrew Hartley

Although Pato Banton's been in the music industry for 26 years, he feels like a young kid starting his musical journey again. However, he admits that he has the advantage of a prolific legacy that he can pick up where he left it after a staggering personal tragedy.

"This isn't about playing music to make money, this is a mission for me. It's like a mission for spreading positive messages," said Banton. "I think people need to be hearing self-empowerment messages today, messages touching on social, family and political issues. But not just looking at them in a negative light, looking infrom a spiritual viewpoint and being positive about the different situations that are going on right now."

Banton suffered the crushing loss of two sons to a drive-by shooting a few years ago in his hometown of Birmingham,England, so he took a break from his career to work with homeless kids, those involved in crime and with no educational background to make things better in his community.

He set up a community organization that linked about 20 community centers together in the most deprived area of thecity. He raised money from the British government to put musical equipment in every community center.

Within the first year of Banton's quest to ameliorate the crime and violence in his home, the top college in the city, Matthew Boulton College, invited Banton and his team to set up a music department there.

Banton's program provided these kids a doorway into the college, and it became a huge success across the city, he became the head of the music department in the first six months, he earned his teaching qualifications and counseling skills qualifications, and he received a lifetime achievement award from the city. He then went on to work with five other colleges across the region. He taught at kindergartens, secondary schools and set up music departments in about20 different schools.

"(I) got a ton of kids back into education or into work, so the last six or seven years, for me, have been the most amazing time I've ever had in my life," said Banton.
One of Banton's favorite success stories involves a Polish exile who could barely speak English, working as a custodian at the college.
He passed his level 1 and 2 courses, went on to achieve a national diploma, became a qualified lecturer and Banton's engineer, and now works in one of the top clubs in Birmingham City as the main house engineer for live shows.

"That's just one of many, many, many people whose lives are changed. They're doing really well now, and they're giving back to the community," said Banton.

Pato Banton was born Patrick Murray. He began his career as an MC in his stepfather's V-Rocket Reggae Sound System.

He got his stage name from his stepfather. "Pato" came from a wise owl in Jamaica that stays up all night saying "Patoo, patoo," and "Banton" means heavyweight DJ.

He has recorded with Sting, UB40, Mad Professor and members of Steel Pulse.

Banton says reggae music is definitely the foundation of his music, though he really loves all styles of music. When asked what it takes to hone the vocal and lyrical skills and virtue he gets to share, he responded with: "For me it's about looking about life, writing about it, singing it, chatting it in the ways I can over the various styles of music that are available to me. I guess they say the more you try to do something, the better you become at it. So, my secret is repetition, just constantly doing what I do and growing into what I have become."

Mystic Roots Band
The band is a group of folks from California who grew up loving Banton's music, learned his music and now get to perform it with the artist himself.

Tony's on drums, Carlos is on bass, Coot Dog raps and plays keys, Shane plays keys and does some lead vocal work, Storm plays the sax and D-Rock plays lead guitar.
Roberto Angotti, the first person to bring Banton to America 20 years ago after UB40 promoted him, is back managing the humanitarian superstar.

Banton hasn't performed at the Colorado venues in four years, and he says he's pretty excited to be coming back.

Banton says his dreams and aspirations right now include "To become a better person, to keep growing spiritually, to share that growth through the music, so that I can touch people and help them become better people. And hopefully, if that passes on to enough people, then I will have made contribution to making this a better world."
- Summit Daily News


Discography

Mad Professor Captures Pato Banton - 1986
Never Give In - 1987
Visions of the World - 1989
Wize Up! (No Compromize) - 1990
Mad Professor Recaptures Pato Banton - 1990
Live & Kickin' All over America - 1991
Universal Love - 1992
Collections [Virgin] - 1995
The Best of Pato Banton - 2001
Life Is A Miracle - 2001
Live at Maritime Hall: San Francisco -2001
Go Pato - 2002
The Words of Christ - 2006
Positive Vibrations - 2007
The Words of Christ II - 2008
Destination Paradise - 2008

Photos

Bio

Pato Banton: The Truth Revealed

Grammy nominated reggae sensation Pato Banton now offers his life changing positive-laced performance in the form of a lecture. For musical performances, please visit sonicbids.com/patobatonmusic.

A Pato Banton concert is an event not to be missed and an experience not to be forgotten.
Positive Vibrations abound with a beat to keep you on your dancing feet, while Pato delivers a message that is food for the mind and soul. Many have considered his charismatic performance as live theatre where no show is alike and audience members become participants in the experience. Pato dialogues with the crowd on a range of topics including current day events and spiritual freedom while keeping the vibes upbeat and fun! The direction of the concert is totally based on the feedback Pato receives from the audience as there is no fixed set list. Many have said that the positivity
generated from the stage has changed their lives forever. Sometimes Pato invites his fans to join him in a prayer circle after the show, where some have cried while sharing their stories of contemplated suicide, isolation after losing a loved one, struggles with substance abuse and how their personal connection with Pato has given them the strength to “Stay Positive” & “Never Give In.”

The following Pato Banton story charts his rise from the most disadvantaged of circumstances in his youth, through a long and successful career as a world renowned reggae legend, back to his roots with a commitment to work for the benefit of young people in his community, and finally on a mission to spread the “Good News” & “Positive Vibrations” to the “Now Generation”.

In The Beginning

Patrick Murray was born in London in 1961, and moved to Birmingham when he was 8 years old. Pato’s stepfather (Lester Daley) was a DJ fresh from Jamaica and the house in which they lived became the weekend night spot for the local community. Pato was the lookout for these illegal parties, working on the door from the age of 9. In his early teens Pato started to gain his musical foundation on his stepfathers’ sound system called V-Rocket, from helping set up the equipment at first to later selecting the music and trying his skills on the microphone. Patrick would stay up all night entertaining the masses and was given the name Patoo by his stepfather. (The name derives from a wise night owl in Jamaica, that stays up all night, calling “patoo, patoo.”)

By the age of 16, Ranking Pato became well known around Birmingham and would get regular work from various leading sound systems across the city. Within a short space of time, Pato became the number 1 MC in Birmingham, winning the title seven years in a row. At the age of 19 while working for Sufferer Sound System, Pato was invited to join a local roots reggae band called Crucial Music. Within a year Pato became the band leader, mc, singer/songwriter and manager, taking the band on tours of the UK and Europe. Pato’s first recording was a double A sided single with Crucial Music entitled “All Night Raving & Sensimilla.” After five years, Pato’s notoriety as a British MC outgrew the popularity of the band, and he was forced to move on……..

The Early 1980’s

During the early part of his career, Pato participated in a talent show where he was proclaimed the winner by judges Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling of The English Beat. This culminated in the single, “Pato & Roger A Go talk”, which appears on the Beat’s gold selling album, Special Beat Service. Shortly thereafter Pato performed the hit songs, “Hip-Hop Lyrical Robot” and “King Step” on UB40’s Baggariddim and Little Baggariddim albums, which also featured the chart topping, “I Got You Babe” with guest artiste Chrissie Hines.

Pato’s first audition at Fashion Records impressed the producers so much that they instantly changed his name to Pato Banton. (In DJ circles a “Banton” is a heavyweight lyricist, thus in England, Pato became “The Banton”) His second single, “Allo Tosh Got a Toshiba” (recorded for Don Christie on Jamdon Records) reached number 3 in the independent reggae charts and launched a string of successful projects with Fashion Records, Greensleeves & Island Records. During this time Pato teamed up with top London MC Tippa Irie and under the guidance & management of GT Haynes they traveled around the world and recorded songs like, “Double Trouble”, “Dance Pon De Spot” and “Dem No Know Bout Pressure”.

The Mid 1980’s

Looking for an avenue to express his conscious lyrics, Pato approached Neil Frasier at Ariwa Records and recorded his first album, “Mad Professor Captures Pato Banton” which is still regarded as an all time reggae classic!

Hungry for the feel of performing live, Pato joined up with a band of Birmingham’s top local musicians called the Studio 2 Crew. After a year of rehearsals and shows around the UK and Europe, Pato went on to record his second album “Never Give In!”

It was at this time