Reggae band ‘getting goosebumps’ before 1st J'lem gig

Music has always been a part of the spiritual context of Israel, bassist from Easy Star All-Stars tells ‘Post.’

July 20, 2011 17:32
2 minute read.
Ras I Ray

Ras I Ray. (photo credit: Karolyn Coorsh )

Ras I Ray says he’s getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

The bassist and vocalist for Easy Star All-Stars is thrilled to be playing in Jerusalem on Thursday night in Sacher Park, as it will be their first time on stage in the Holy City.

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The musical collective is no stranger to Israel, having played previous shows in Tel Aviv, but Jerusalem will be something different, Ras I Ray said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post ahead of Tuesday’s Tel Aviv show with headliner Ziggy Marley.

“Everything just spreads out from there, so to be in that holy place, performing music and sending messages of one love, one heart, that’s like (being) part of something that’s been going on since ancient times,” he said. “So to be a part of that - I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.”

A member of the Easy Star All-Stars since 2003, the New Orleans-born Ras I Ray says it was when he turned to the Rastafari way of life that he became educated about the culture’s roots in Jerusalem.

“Actually knowing what it means, and what it symbolizes and then the history of the people and the place itself, that really (had) such a deep, deep impact on me as an individual,” he said, adding an awareness of that connection gives people a sense of belonging.

“You can look and see where you’re coming from so it helps to see where you’re going.”

A songwriter himself, Ras I Ray says music has always been involved in the spiritual context of Israel.

“Even when going to war they would have the musicians there blowing the horns and beating the temples, so music was always just a part of the day-to-day life, it wasn’t something on the fringes.”

The Easy Star All-Stars are a musical collective of musicians and vocalists behind tribute albums Dub Side of the Moon, Radiodread and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band. The band, which features a rotating roster of musicians and vocalists, recently released First Light, a disc of original music. The band is scheduled to fly to London on Friday to begin the UK leg of their summer tour.

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