“I am what I am” (courtesy of Irae Divine)
“Irae Divine” (courtesy of Irae Divine)
“Sarha Indio” (courtesy of Reggae on the River)
“Ras and Queen Sparrow” (courtesy of Ras Sparrow)
Come to the Mo’oheau Park Bandstand, this Sunday, February 10, from noon to 6 p.m. for the Hawaii Reggae & Cultural Fair (HRAF). This is the fifth annual event presented by “Keep It Green Hawaii.” Before introducing the musical guests, know that admission is free and the flyer says there will be, “Cultural Food, Drink, Vendors, Organic Farmers, Keiki Activities, CPR Lessons, Hawaiian Culture, and More.” By the way, this event used to be called, “The Bob Fest” (but can’t be called that anymore for proprietary reasons).
The headlining act, Irae Divine visits us from California. Check out her original music video on YouTube called, “Is it a Crime?” The words and cartoon images are beautifully provocative! Here’s a few things to know about Irae Divine: She won a Laney College’s songwriting contest for her song, “Young Queens,” she’s been the harmony vocalist with many powerhouse reggae stars, and she has performed all over the world.
Also playing at this year’s Hawaii Reggae and Agricultural Fair (HRAF) is Mauiʼs own, Marty Dread. Dread has released a collection of hits including duets with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and you’ve probably heard him in movie soundtracks.
Our next musical guests are local favorites Ras and Queen Sparrow. Here’s a little bit of their biography. Back in 2007, they were living in the bush, in a 16x16 foot shack, no running water, one solar panel, one battery. While in the shack they recorded a song called, “The Good Seed.” A good friend heard the song and advised, “take it to the radio station.” They followed the advice and “The Good Seed” went #1 on the local radio station! Fast forward: It’s now a worldwide hit.
Another performer at this year’s HRAF is event organizer, Sahra Indio. She recently released a new CD, her third, entitled, “The Tru I.” Beyond being a wise and talented lyricist, poet, and reggae star, Indio’s a zero-waste promoter. Recently she was asked to tour schools, on the Big Island, to inspire the transition from being a wasteful society into a zero waste society. For this years event she asks you to bring your own containers for your drinking water: There will be free water at the event for refilling your bottles.
From the Big Island, musical guest Ben Kaili will perform. He’s a slack key guitarist/vocalist from Hilo. Ben started playing slack key when he was eight. He won his first slack key contest, here in Hilo, at the Civic Auditorium and went on to play with the group “Likelike.” Ben will be emceeing the concert.
Another musical guest, born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands, Maka Gallinger, finds her inspiration in every day life and the beauty that surrounds her. Her words and music have a positive and hopeful outlook and her voice is sultry which weaves perfectly into her ukulele.
Last but not least, from the Big Island, is Isa Rebel. She’ s an up-and-coming reggae singer. You might remember her popular song, “No GMO.” She’s passionate, expressive and has been graciously helping to organize and promote HRAF since 2009.
To conclude, Indio says the whole purpose of this event is, “About the food, disguising it as a reggae concert.” Also, she hopes it will be a day blessed with sunshine: She asks people to pray for that. Indio also says that HRAF needs a sponsor; “This year we found nobody,” she says. Sponsorship is vital for the perpetuity of this event. Would you like to sponsor HRAF?
For questions, call: 808-216-7372 or visit www.hawaiireggae andagriculturalfair.com.