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RAS MICHAEL is a key element in the African and reggae music from Jamaica. He worked with artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, and Billy Paul. Ras Michael was a good friend to Bob Marley and even performed with Marley on stage at the 1978 One Love Peace Concert in Jamaica. Michael is well-known for being the first member of the Rastafari movement to host a reggae radio program in Jamaica. The Lion of Judah Time radio program first aired in 1967 on JVC.
Michael’s band is called the Sons and Daughters of Negus – their sound is infused with the heartbeat of reggae... the drums. Ras Michael and his band have performed at many prestigious festivals globally, including the Montreux Jazz Festival, Reggae on the River, Calgary Spoken Word, the Raggamuffins Festival, the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, the Monterey Bay Reggae Fest, and Reggae in the Park.
Nyabinghi means righteous vibrations stretching all the way back to the motherland. At the core of reggae music’s soul is the celebration of African roots and culture. The name Ras Michael has long been synonymous with the traditional drumming, dancing, and chanting of the Nyabinghi Rastaman, the man who answers to no man, but Jah. Michael’s music is positive, conscious, and uplifting. Listeners are treated to a spiritual experience every time he touches the stage.
Ras Michael has recorded 26 albums over the span of his career. He has received much international recognition for both his musical and spiritual contributions. In 1980, Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus received Martin’s International Award for Most Cultural Roots Band. Ras Michael is in the British Guinness Book of World Records for his contribution to roots reggae music. In 1995, he was nominated to the Jamaica Reggae Hall of Fame. In 2001, he was honored with the Raggamuffin/Bob Marley Day Festival’s Lifetime achievement award in Long Beach, California. He is a lifetime member of Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide. In 2008, Ras Michael performed at the Smithsonian Institute’s Exhibition on Rastafari in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Ras Michael contributed several artifacts to the Grammy Museum’s Bob Marley Messenger Exhibit in cooperation with Tuff Gong International and the Marley Foundation.
In addition to acting internationally as an evangelist, ambassador, and diplomat for the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahido Church, Ras Michael is also one of the founders and president of the Rastafarian International Marcus Garvey Cultural Center in Los Angeles and the Fly Away Culture Center in Kingston, Jamaica. He is a powerful teacher, speaker, lecturer, and presenter. Recently, Ras Michael spoke at the California Institute of Arts on the subject “Jamaican Music with an African Identity.” He was also featured on a documentary TV show called Reggae TV, which airs weekly on PBS.
Ras Michael continues to tour internationally and spreads his positive message by letting his love-light shine on music listeners all over the world. Wadada is the Amharic word for love and it is one of Ras Michael’s favorite words. Love is what the music of Ras Michael & the Sons and Daughters of Negus is all about.
Ras Michael says to remember this: “The whole world is a garden and all the people in it are its flowers and we all beautify this garden which is the whole wide world, with all of our different colors. Jah is Love. Wadada.”