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Reggae legend Stephen Marley to take Free Summer Concert Series stage Saturday

Free Summer Concert Series show to headline Stephen Marley and local group Acutonic on Saturday.
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If you go What: Free Summer Concert Series: Stephen Marley and Acutonic When: Gates open at 5:30 p.m., opener at 6 p.m., main act at 7 p.m. Saturday Where: Howelsen Hill Amphitheater, 845 Howelsen Parkway

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The second son of the legendary Bob Marley, Stephen Marley started his career at six years old with his siblings in The Melody Makers first single, “Children Playing in the Streets.”

And this weekend, that legendary Marley sibling will take the Free Summer Concert Series stage.

Possibly one of the biggest names in the Free Sumer Concert Series lineup as well as the quintessential reggae show of the summer, Marley will take the stage starting at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Howelsen Hill Amphitheater. The opening act will be the local reggae group Acutonic.

“It goes without saying, the Marley family was and still is leaders within the movement of reggae music from way back,” said Jerry Sorenson, longtime Acutonic member on drums and vocals.

Acutonic is composed of Jerry Sorenson on drums and vocals; Bradley Leister on bass guitar and vocals; Eric Gile on percussion, vocals and keys; Matthew Weber on guitar and vocals and Nick Lagorga on rhythm guitar.

“Sometimes you need some positivity in your life and I think reggae music fosters that,” Sorenson said. “It’s a combination of the lyrical content that has this ability to connect with the soul and heart all with a laid back feel — it’s music that can pull me out of any bad mood.”

Last summer, Acutonic opened for the Tribal Seeds Free Summer Concert Series show. Now, opening for one of the Marley brothers, Sorenson said they were speechless in excitement when given the opportunity.

“Honestly, I think he’s one of my favorites of the Marley brothers,” Sorenson said. His style is so diverse but yet he’s reminiscent of his father but also crosses those lines into hip-hop combined with reggae.”

When it comes to their influences as a band, this particular Marley brother is at the top of their list when creating the Acutonic sound of combination of progressive reggae influences, classic roots reggae, hip-hop and Motown elements.

“You can’t touch his vocal delivery,” Sorenson said. “It seems like the Marleys’ are born with that sound coming out of them, it’s inspiring and we aspire to that level of singing. He can turn on that Bob Marley sound we all know and love but at any point he can switch gears and take the music to his own sound in a different direction.”

After Ziggy Marley’s show last summer, it was marked as the biggest show of the season, Waldman expects this one to be another one of the bigger shows for this summer.

“He’s on national tour right now, and has a strong following,” said John Waldman, concert promoter from Great Knight Productions. “He has his own style and catalogue of music apart from his father and siblings. I think it will be one of the bigger shows of the summer.”

Q&A with Stephen Marley

Explore Steamboat: What is reggae music to you?

Stephen Marley: It is more than music to me. It is a way of life.

ES: When I spoke with Ziggy a few years ago, I remember him saying reggae music is more than just words or notes from musicians, it’s something that creates community, a way of life. What are your thoughts on that? Why is it that reggae music lends itself to transcending beyond the music?

SM: The vibrations and message of the music offer a positive experience that can provide inspiration in life. The community that has evolved around the music is what will transcend.

ES: How has reggae changed over the years?

SM: Like any genre, it has evolved stylistically, but the core remains the same.

ES: What do you hope listeners, whether at a live show or a recording, walk away with after hearing your music? What’s the overall message you hope transcends the music?
SM: I hope they feel uplifted and inspired.

ES: How have you developed your unique sound over the years, and how do you differentiate yourself from your father’s music, siblings and other reggae artists? What is it that sets your music apart?

SM: My music is a reflection of who I am. I do not approach it with the goal of sounding different than my father or my siblings but rather sharing a part of myself.

ES: Was it your father who inspired you to pursue music?

SM: My entire family. My mother is a wonderful singer and musician, as are my siblings.

ES: What can the audience expect from your show?

SM: I hope people can enjoy themselves and forget their worries and dance.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.


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