ZEN UNPLUGGED: I-TAWEHAugust 9, 2019 - The Zen, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
ZEN UNPLUGGED: I-TAWEH
Cafe The Zen & Reggae Geel Brukout are proud to present… Zen Unplugged: a series of intimate acoustic sessions. For the fourth edition we’ve invited I-Taweh. Sounds for this event by Ralph Selecta. There also will be a sound show from Nga Han alongside Kingston Echo.
Regularly check the facebook event page for additional info.
Zen Unplugged: I-Taweh
When: August 9, 2019 | Where: Cafe The Zen, Molukkenstraat 2, Amsterdam, the Netherlands | Doors: 20:00 | End: 03:00 | Tickets: €10
Donovan “I-Taweh” Cunningham was born in the hills of St. Ann, Jamaica to Rupert and Ruby Cunningham. Growing up he played music with his family and friends, but his musical career started shortly after his move from the country to Kingston in 1992, where he was given the name Danny Gitz because of his growing reputation as an outstanding guitarist. He began his first tour with High Symbol in 1994. He then went on to become the youngest member of the original Nyabhingi group Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari and extensively toured Europe with them. During those years he was also doing significant work as a band leader for the original “Dance Hall King” Sugar Minott and later became the guitarist for Everton Blender. His work with Everton Blender brought him to the U.S. in 2004 where he then became the bassist for the Yellow Wall Dub Squad, a major backing band for headlining artists in the U.S. and the opening act for the artists they were playing for.
His act was billed as “Itawe” and often referred to as the “Reggae Lion”. He quickly gained popularity as the singing bassist, and his voice was likened to that of the reggae legend Burning Spear. He has recorded for several major artists such as Sade, Capleton, Morgan Heritage, Sugar Minott, Luciano, etc. and on any given day you can hear his guitar licks playing on radio stations across the globe. After performing for many years as vocalist and musician for the MRR he established his solo career. His music is diverse and reflects his passion for Human Rights and Social Justice making him the perfect choice for the soundtrack featured in the award winning movie “African Rush/The Ultimate Ride” and the big wave surf film “THE FIND: Claiming the Nelscott Reef”.
Nga Han is a true roots revivalist born in St. Ann, in the Green Hill district of Jamaica. Inspired by stories such as Canterbury Tales, his love for writing poetry from a young age translated into songwriting. This then led to his first performance in his 6th grade talent show. Leaving the hills of Jamaica and on a mission to spread the Word, he was in the midst of the evolution of his craft. Nga Han started playing guitar and then later bass, producing dub reggae music as one half of a duo called the Dub Rishis, ethereal roots music heavily inspired by Augustus Pablo and King Tubby. After relocating to California in 2007, bass playing translated into vocals which seemed a natural progression to search deep for the expression of Jah Word, with nyabingi drumming as the backbone.
As a multi-instrumentalist, his musical foundation informs his chanting style and melodies. Returning to Jamaica in 2011, Nga Han stayed at the camp of Iya – the Rasta elder popularly known for his appearance in the intro to the cult reggae film Rockers. There he solidified his foundation and lay the groundwork for his unique, earthy style. In 2018, Nga Han’s debut album “David Stone” was released on Max Rivera’s Roots Natty Records. The album draws heavily on musical progressions from Ethiopian Orthodox liturgy, and is delivered in a liturgical, spiritual chanting style.
Kingston Echo is an Analog Dub project from Antwerp, Belgium. The producer/musician always tries to stay true to the raw, “anything can happen”-feel of vintage dub recordings. He uses strictly analog gear and all mixing is done in traditional dub style (no programming or computers involved whatsoever). This means that his recordings are far from perfect, but he does hope that he manages to capture an intuitive feel throughout. His first collaboration with singer Nga Han is the recently released single “Way Out”.