Posts Tagged ‘reggae’

Reggie Brown, NBC5 Street Team This time of year in Chicago is always a bit daunting. The days are cold and grey, quickly turning to night and people are desperately searching for an escape to a sunny destination. DJ Papa G is a man on a mission to bring the warmth and essence of the islands to Chicago, uniting people through the power and positivity of reggae music. I had a chance to catch up with G at his new Sunday night residency at Sonotheque.l_7956c46b16eeed32695b11a45e558d741

Born in Ecuador  in 1974, Papa G moved to the US in 1976 at the age of 2 and was raised on the north side of Chicago. Growing up in a city with such a soulful depth of music, G was surrounded by blues, jazz and a myriad of other genres that ultimately led him to discover his love of reggae music.

It wasn’t until 1997 while working at UCSB’s campus station KCSB 91.9 FM that G decided that he would begin to share his reggae collection with the world. After an overwhelming reception from listeners, G’s following began to flourish. A few years later in 1999, G moved back to his hometown Chicago and since has been tirelessly steadfast on his duty to “Awaken the sleeping giant of reggae here”. Being no stranger to the Chicago nightlife scene, G possesses an impressive resume performing at over 30 of Chicago’s clubs and bars including The Wild hare, Exedus II, Subterranean, Funky Buddha and a slew of others, G is known as one of the premier reggae DJs in Chicago.  G has shared the stage, mixing with some of reggae’s best known artists: Junior Reid, Morgan Heritage, Beenie Man, and Third World to name a few.

l_0e4a9cc2e9494e7fb8982fcce76f64871Being a huge fan of reggae music, it’s hard to find a place where the DJ isn’t just throwing together a mix of music under the genre of reggae but actually creating an energy and vibe that even pulls wallflowers to the dance floor. Papa G’s mastery of signal flow, mixing and blending music is truly a testament to his love and dedication to reggae, his personal philosophy and lifestyle based on Rastafarian beliefs.

Whether you’re looking for that in town island escape or just simply want to immerse yourself in the essence of Jamaica, head over to Sonotheque for Reggae Sundays with Papa G.

With free cover and drinks specials like $3 Red Stripe bottles and $5 for a Red Stripe with a shot of Sailor Jerry Rum, Sonotheque is adding to the good love vibe.

Sonotheque 1444 W Chicago Ave.


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Marcus Riley, NBC5 Street Team (video)

Watch the weekly “Word On The Street” segment on 24/7 Chicago: Secrets of the City,” at 12:05 a.m., immediately following Saturday Night Live on NBC5.

Hanging Out Downtown

This week we used the beautiful backdrop of Millenium Park to shoot our segment. We were initially going to use Grant Park, but unfortunately there wasn’t much happeing that Tuesday nights (at least until the Outdoor Film Festival starts in a couple of weeks. But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

Anyway, there’s plenty of options for live music, dance lessons and much more from Wednesday on into the weekends, and most of it is sponsored by the City of Chicago, which does a fabulous job of providing free and interesting entertainment in what’s often referred to as Chicago’s front yard. Here’s a few Web sites if you’re looking for some ideas.

Mayor’s Office Of Special Events
Chicago Park District
Millenium Park Web Site
The Local Tourist Festival Guide

Wii Wars at Harry Caray’s Tavern

I hesited before including this item this week. After all, the Crosstown Classic is on the South Side. And I’m not sure about this new Harry Caray’s in Wrigleyville. I’ve been once, and quite frankly, it felt a little sterile and lacked personality. The joint they had in there before was always jumping after Cubs games, and you were always guaranteed some good entertainment when the tipsy crowd whipped itself into a frenzy — especially after a Cubs win.

But I digress. It takes time for bars to develop a personality. And every Tuesday should be fun when Harry Caray’s allows you to match your skills against a celebrity at Wii Wars. It kicked off on June 17th when visitors had a chance to play Home Run Derby with none other than Mr. Cub himself, Ernie Banks. Brian Urlacher and former Cub Ryne Sandberg will also participate this summer.

Festival Of Life

I don’t get a lot of opportunities to really experience my Caribbean roots in this city — although the odd trek to Uncle Joe’s on the south side for some jerk chicken hits the spot — so that’s why I always look forward to the yearly African Caribbean celebration in Washington Park, which kicks off on Thursday.

Not only is it a fun time during the day, with a huge amount of food and merchandise vendors, but the music is off the hook as well. This year, Beenie Man is back on Friday (check out our 2006 interview). A name that true roots reggae heads will recognize is Gregory Isaacs, who will perform Saturday. And fellas, make sure you take your lady to this one, because no one sings a love song like Gregory Isaacs (sample). And on Saturday night, another reggae legend, Junior Reid, headlines. Check the Web site for more info.

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