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Glen DaCosta plans Jamaica Reggae Fantasy Experience

Published:Sunday | March 2, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

Fresh from collecting a Jamaica Reggae Industry Association (JaRIA) award during Reggae Month as part of the iconic reggae band of the 1970s, Zap Pow, internationally acclaimed saxophonist Glen DaCosta is getting ready to begin another episode in his extensive musical journey.

DaCosta has drafted plans for a project called the Jamaica Reggae Fantasy Experience (JFRE) which he aims to get off the ground during the summer in Ocho Rios, St Ann.

"It's really a project to bring tourists, mainly, to Jamaica to let them meet and greet with icons like myself, people who have been legendary pioneers in the business, who have built this reggae legacy over the years," DaCosta explained to Entertainment Avenue.

Once there, the visitor will have the opportunity to do a video, featuring a song, poem or just a greeting to family or friends, all done to a reggae rhythm, hence the title of the event.

"Then we take them on cultural tours to Bob Marley Museum, Dunn's River Falls and Coyaba. We will also put on a 'Glen DaCosta Tribute to Bob Marley' show which would be just Bob Marley music and my music."

The primary reason for the tribute section of the event is to revive a reggae music industry which is basically dying through lack of creativity, explained DaCosta.

"It has been dying for quite a while because there are too many repetitious rhythms. Everybody playing on the same rhythm, from a rhythm come out and make an impression everybody gone on it. Producers producing album with one rhythm, it's really robbery and I'm not afraid to say so, 'cause it's really cheating the people out of what they deserve. To pay for an album with one rhythm, that's piracy."

"We need to generate that sort of innovative creativeness into the music to make it really stand out as it was meant to from the beginning," he added.

DaCosta said reggae music was created for the sole purpose of speaking out for the disenfranchised, the voiceless and the downtrodden.

"And that's why it really captivated the world and I would like to bring back that novelty into it by giving credence to what it really should be. That is really why I'm putting this project together."

DaCosta is hoping to draw the interest of the tourism sector as the project will generate employment especially for persons in the industry.

The musician was part of Zap Pow during the '70s when the band rose to prominence with hits such as Mystic Mood, The Last War and Sweet Loving Love and albums such as Zap Pow Now.


DaCosta has played for a wide array of local and international recording artistes including Marley, even before the reggae legend became renowned worldwide. He has also played for artistes such as Gladys Knight, Lou Rawles, Alpha Blondy, Burning Spear and Bunny Wailer.

His work, not just on the saxophone, but on vocals and others instruments, can be found on scores of records done over several decades of involvement in music.

The JaRIA award recognised the band for its contribution to Jamaican music and comes 45 years after the group was formed. Over the years, the band has collected several local awards including the much-acclaimed El Suzie Awards which was popular in the '70s.

"We contributed a legacy that I think will be timeless as far as Jamaican music is concerned," said DaCosta.

"We were not like the normal group. Everybody was doing reggae, we were doing fusion because we recorded from inspiration."