Pato Banton
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Pato Banton

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band World Reggae

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Sep
23
Pato Banton @ The Wolf Creek Pass Benefit Festival

Pagosa Springs, Colorado, USA

Pagosa Springs, Colorado, USA

Sep
03
Pato Banton @ Hollydale Community Club - 10250 Field Lane

Forestville, California, USA

Forestville, California, USA

Aug
31
Pato Banton @ The Coach House

San Juan Capistrano, California, USA

San Juan Capistrano, California, USA

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Music

Press


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


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 County Register


by Pete Kristian

Pato Banton’s musical career began at an early age. His stepfather ran the V-Rocket sound system and often had parties at their house. Pato worked the door and was a lookout for these illegal house parties from the age of 9. Pato progressed like any young sound boy by setting up equipment and later selecting records. By the time he was in his late teens Pato was the number one MC in Birmingham, England.

His popularity as an MC led to him at age 19 to join a band. Pato climbed the musical ladder winning talent shows and eventually appearing on English Beat’s gold album “Special Beat Service.” His second single “Allo Tosh Got a Toshiba” reached number 3 on the independent reggae charts and opened up new doors for Pato.

In 1985 Pato recorded his first album “Mad Professor Captures Pato Banton.” The album remains a reggae classic. His follow up album “Never Give In” was also a huge success spawning classic hits “Don’t Sniff Coke” (later sampled by the Beastie Boys) and “Gwarn.” Pato continued working in the studio and touring through the late ‘90s. He remained a popular artist internationally touring everywhere from Europe, South Africa, North, South America and beyond. He worked on projects with artists such as UB 40, Sting, and with Peter Gabriel’s organization WOMAD. One of Pato’s proudest achievements was receiving a Grammy nomination for his album “Life is a Miracle” which was recorded after he broke with a major record label.

Pato Banton’s music has always brought a positive vibration. He strikes me as an artist who strives to be part of the solution and not the problem. He had already done work with disadvantaged youth and preached positivity onstage and on his recorded works but in 2000 while on tour in America Pato Banton’s career took a dramatic change. Two of his sons had been shot back in England in a drive-by shooting. His sons would both survive but Pato’s mission would change forever.

While many artists sing about changing the world how many are truly prepared to drop their successful careers and actually make that change happen? Pato went from performing to cheering crowds to performing at schools and in his local community not as a musician, though music can be a vehicle, but as an educator. Pato became a kindergarten teacher, set up music programs for youths in his hometown, set up nonprofits and worked with local police and community organizations to reduce gang violence and “get kids to stop killing each other.”

In 2005 Pato got the itch to return to music. Expecting to start over he was pleasantly surprised by sold-out shows on his first tour and a new generation that was turned on to his music. In 2006 Pato Joined forces with the California-based Mystic Roots Band touring the U.S. and recording the new uplifting album “Destination Paradise.” I’ve been listening to the album and I highly recommend it. Released this August, standout tracks include “Got to Keep Moving On,” “Heal This World,” and I’ve caught my wife singing “Reggae Party” around the house lately. The album touches on a variety of styles in reggae with a little hip hop mixed in. The songs cover politics, the environment and just having a good time.

On July 26 Pato Banton and The Mystic Roots Band appeared at the Truckee River Regional Park Amphitheater as part of the Truckee Reggae Festival. The energetic performance covered classic Pato Banton tracks as well cuts from the new album. One highlight from the show was watching Truckee local Geoff Hovorka dance onstage with Pato. I never knew Geoff could move like that. For a few minutes it was the Geoff show featuring Pato Banton.

I caught up with Pato before his show in Truckee. He has played the Truckee Amphitheater a few times but had never really spent any time in the park. We walked down to the Truckee River and sat by the banks for an interview. Pato remarked on the “beautiful” setting as we discussed reggae music, his career and work in the community.

Moonshine Ink: You were a selector and MC in the 1970s starting with your stepfather’s sound system. What were some of the tunes or artists you played?
Pato Banton: I played the Abyssinians, Israel Vibration, early Bob Marley, blue beat ska out of Jamaica, Prince Buster and Toots and the Maytals.

MI: Do you listen to reggae these days? What artists influence your sound?
PB: Local bands will give me their CD when I pass through and I really try to listen to them and give them feedback. I was blown away by a multi-cultural and multi-racial band called Dis-N-Dat out of Boston. I listen to everything – classical, jazz, Stephen Marley, Luciano, Rising Son out of California. Sol Horizon and of course Mystic Roots.

MI: There has always been “slackness” music in reggae. There are a lot of tunes currently coming out of Jamaica that talk about and sometimes glorify sex and violence. You don’t hear that as much in your music.
- Moonshine Ink


Artist: Pato Banton
Album: Destination Paradise
Track: My Opinion Pt III

It's been 8 months to the day since I posted news of Pato Banton's next album and today I received word that Destination Paradise is ready to ship. I first learned of the album when Pato mentioned it on stage at his show in San Francisco in January.


Pato Banton live in SF (photo by Molli Fire)

He told his audience that this would be his "last" album, though he didn't elaborate on what that meant. Then Pato launched into a new version of "My Opinion" which he was to be on the upcoming album, caled "My Opinion Pt III". (Listen to it in the video at the end of this post.) Tomorrow (Tuesday), Banton launches the new album plus an updated myspace page. The 12-track album, Destination Paradise, is described on Pato's website:

From the very beginning there are many great moments on this Cd. Track 1"Got To Keep Moving On" shows Pato’s young at heart vibe as he features an intro with 4 year old Jadyn Z. On track 2 I-Levi of Rising Son & cootdog of the Mystic Roots Band deliver awesome vocal performances on "Heal This World" and an unexpected collaboration with RBX (from Dr. Dre’s Camp) is candy for the ears, as he and Pato trade lines on the crucial R&B groove "Let There Be Love." Professor Einstein’s steel pan solo soars on "Special To Me," a beautiful love song which captures the vibe of the Caribbean Islands. Without a doubt Pato Banton delivers his best recordings ever on this 12 track album of original compositions that move the body and inspire the mind."

The release of "Destination Paradise" this summer will be an exciting turning point in this legendary artist’s career as he continues to tour nationally and internationally spreading the good news and uplifting the masses with a message of peace and love.

You can listen to "Got To Keep Moving On" with 4-year-old Jadyn Z right now on Pato's myspace page, as well as "Better Place" and "My Opinion Pt III" (the song in the video below).

http://www.myspace.com/patobanton

They're not kidding when they say peace and love. Plenty of reggae artists promise it, but Pato really brings it! The multiple times I've seen him perform, he had the audience introduce themselves to the people around them and basically dancing on air by the end of the show. It's truly a unique experience. Probably similar to what church should feel like - uplifting and awe-inspiring - but rarely lives up to in the tedium. (Maybe I just haven't been to the right church yet.) So, if you're interested in a reggae religious experience, Pato is where it's at!
Destination Paradise will be released Tuesday, Sept. 16 on iTunes and is available for mail order now, directly from Pato Banton's website (via Paypal):
http://www.patobanton.com/

I love what I've heard of the album thus far and Pato is one of my all-time favorite artists to support. So, you better believe I'm going to buy this album and I recommend you do too!

Here is "My Opinion Pt III" live at the SF show in January 2008:


Pato Banton Live In SF - "My Opinion 3"

Oh my Jah that song weaves to the center of my soul... To me, this feels like the darkest song Pato has ever played. I was almost in tears that night!
For more about the show, see my previous post. - Molli Fire


Artist: Pato Banton
Pato Banton is currently on tour with Eek-A-Mouse, entertaining multi-generation crowds of reggae fans with his uplifting stage antics. He's one of my favorite artists to see live because he never stops smiling and bounces around the stage with such joy. From what I have seen and heard of Pato's music and presence, he is carrying the torch that Bob Marley was forced to abandon when he died. Pato's live performances are so similar to Bob Marley's - both seem humble and appreciative of the audience's attention and both seem to be possessed by the music as they are performing it. They cry out with anguish and sing in celebration. It's truly a beautiful thing to witness. When I was basking in Pato Banton's glow at The Independent in SF on Sunday night, he revealed something that is both good news and bad news at the same time. Pato said that he had recorded a new version of his long-time hit, "My Opinion." This would be the third and final version to be recorded and it would be included on what he called "my last album." I can't imagine why he calls it that, but it will be a very, very sad day on planet earth when Pato Banton stops recording and stops touring. He said the album will be titled Destination Paradise and the re-written song would be called "My Opinion Part 3".
Now, when I saw him perform in SF last year, his performance of "My Opinion" was about 20 minutes long with interludes and choruses that had me enchanted the whole way through. The song is so gentle and so emotional, I don't know whether to burst into a smile or tears. This past Sunday night, however, he saved "My Opinion" for last, just before giving up the stage for Eek-A-Mouse, so he kept it short, only about 5 minutes. But this time, it was "My Opinion Part 3" a sneak preview for his adoring fans. I was too in awe to get my camera out for the beginning (I was still reeling at the thought of Pato putting out a final album, ever), but that's ok, because I wouldn't want to reveal the entire song anyway. Out of respect for one of my favorite artists of all time, I want to share with you an excerpt of "My Opinion Part 3" performed live on Sunday night. This footage is missing the entire first verse, so don't bother trying to "leak" it or anything. Most of all, I want to share this video with you because it's a nice example of how you can actually see the creative spirit coursing through his entire body. The man can barely keep his feet on the ground - his soul is so uplifting, he almost floats away!

Link to Video: http://mog.com/mollifire/blog/137562 - Molli Fire


Discography

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
Positive Vibrations - 2007

Photos

Bio

Pato Banton: The Truth Revealed

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 that Roberto Angotti, (a popular Radio DJ and pioneer of British Reggae, who hosted a show called The Reggae Revolution on LA’s top alternative rock station KROQ) was invited to the UK by UB40