Reggae Bands in the Bay Area

reggae music bay area

Book your next event with a reputable Reggae Band by browsing photos, videos, and verified client reviews to make sure that the right band for your needs can be found.

Morgan Heritage blends traditional roots music with dancehall and R&B influences for a smooth sound that promotes tolerance, social justice and antiracism – including criticism of capitalism. Their lyrics often promote tolerance.

What is Reggae Music?

Reggae music originated in Jamaican musical styles known as ska and rocksteady, drawing influence from rhythm and blues, jazz and traditional African music genres. Reggae’s hallmark feature is offbeat staccato guitar chords known as skank with lyrics written in Jamaican patois slang sung over Jamaican patois slang lyrics. Reggae first became widely popular in America with three hits topping Billboard Hot 100 charts: Three Dog Night’s cover of The Maytones’ “Black and White”, Bob Marley & Wailers “Exodus”, and Johnny Nash “I Can See Clearly Now”.

Style characteristics of Reggae music are heavy bass sounds and simple harmonic structures. A single song may consist of only two or four repeated bass lines that create a hypnotic effect; artists like Robbie Shakespeare and Bob Marley have made use of this technique with great success, helping define its distinctive sonic identity.

Reggae music’s common themes include spirituality and sociopolitical criticism. Reggae musicians such as Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs frequently use anti-racism, anti-colonialism, and anti-capitalism messages in their lyrics; additionally this genre has long promoted marijuana use (known variously as herb, weed or sinsemilla by Rastafarians) as religious sacrament.

Reggae music can often be composed in dub form, with vocals playing only a secondary role and the drums and bass taking an active part. This arrangement enables bass lines to create their own groove with large echoes and resonant tones; famous examples are Black Uhuru’s songs or Steel Pulse’s, although it can also make for great dance music with fast tempos and syncopated beats.


KPOO Radio was one of the first stations on the west coast to air local community events and music, including reggae. Their shows addressed issues important to Black, Latino and Asian communities as well as women prisoners veterans and children – even making programs specifically for prisoner vets children veterans as well. Furthermore, this station was the first ever to play rap salsa reggae music which continues to serve the Bay Area with this genre as well as others!

Reggae music’s roots lie deep within the Rastafarian movement, which was started by Marcus Garvey who coined the term “reggae.” Rastafarianism stands on principles of social justice and equality for all and believes everyone has a responsibility to help make positive change within society and make life better for those they come into contact with.

Reggae music is widely recognized, yet many bands use different sounds to craft their unique styles. Anthony B and Blvk H3ro are two such artists renowned for creating powerful reggae-influenced live performances that have taken the music scene by storm.

Kolohe Kai is another popular reggae band in Hawaii. Combining localized ukulele music with island reggae’s rhythms and traditions to produce its signature sound. Over ten years later they remain one of Hawaii’s premier reggae artists, famed for both their talent and energy on stage.

Groundation brings reggae music to an entirely new level by infusing elements of jazz into their sound. They have performed with Israel Vibration, Black Uhuru and Joe Higgs and create memorable shows where audiences become part of the festivities.


Reggae music has long been celebrated for its lyrics that engage with social criticism, often through religious texts but sometimes also targeting government or business entities known as Babylon. Many reggae artists promote cannabis consumption (commonly referred to as herb, ganja or sinsemilla in Rastafari circles) as a spiritual path and promote it as part of Rastafari movement sacraments.

Reggae music requires a drumbeat which can vary in complexity depending on its style of music. Rockers beat is one such style which emphasizes beat three (usually played on the snare or as a rim shot) and beat one (typically played on bass drum), popularized by Sly Dunbar in Black Uhuru’s song Night Nurse by Sly Dunbar himself; although syncopations is sometimes employed.

Reggae music includes more than drums: keyboards, bass guitar, guitar and vocal harmony can also play an integral part of reggae performances. Bob Marley and the Wailers famously utilized this approach when performing reggae tunes.

Some musicians also incorporate ska, which is similar to reggae but more energetic and upbeat in pace, into their soundscape. Other styles such as dub extend the rhythm and harmony of reggae; popularized by bands like The Specials, Madness and Maytones while it was later added into disco and funk genres by artists such as Three Dog Night, Johnny Nash and the Miracles.

Singer-songwriter Hirie has an unusual way of engaging her audience at shows. She walks around, chats with fans and takes photos during performances – an effective strategy to form personal bonds with fans while cultivating brand loyalty for reggae music.


Reggae musicians frequently blend elements from other genres into their sound, adding fresh sounds. Singer Matisyahu blends Jewish themes into reggae music – known as hazzan music. This style is commonly played at religious services and festivals across North America and Israel.

Reggae music draws its musical elements from African and Caribbean cultures, most prominently the rockers beat drumbeat that emphasizes all four beats of a bar. Additionally, bass sounds that have been equalized heavily to reduce higher frequencies while amplifying lower ones create a thick, deep bass sound ideal for reggae music.

Toasting is another central component of reggae music and typically performed by DJs as spoken introductions to songs. Toasting acts as an early precursor of rap music but has more melodic content. Many reggae artists utilize tremolo in their vocals for an added tremolo effect; Horace Andy and Israel Vibration use this technique extensively.

Reggae music has seen incredible growth in America over recent years, with bands like Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid and Stick Figure being some of the many artists performing it here. Influenced by Jamaican reggae legends yet adding their own contemporary flare, these bands have quickly become major Bay Area fixtures known for their positive messages and high-energy shows.


No matter if it be ska, rocksteady or reggae music, these musicians form part of the Bay Area’s vibrant Jamaican community. Sharing a passion for music they are dedicated to keeping it alive here while giving back both locally and to their homeland – often donating proceeds from performances back into local schools, youth groups and senior centers as donations or providing educational workshops for these groups.

Reggae music can connect with audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Their lyrics are heavily influenced by Rastafari, an ideology which emphasizes spiritual awakening over materialistic pursuits. While some artists use social criticism in their music, others focus on lighter topics like love or socialization – many reggae bands even cover Motown or Atlantic soul and funk genres!

Reggae music features the bass guitar as its focal point. It forms part of the riddim (rhythm) that singers perform over, giving each artist an opportunity to add his or her unique vocal styling and sound. Reggae music provides a relaxing way to unwind after an exhausting day at work.

After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Steel Pulse released the song Hold On [4 Haiti]. This track raised money for relief efforts while encouraging people to help rebuild Haiti. They performed at several charity events throughout San Francisco where they sold autographed guitars at auction for survivors; other fundraising events include AIDS Walk Los Angeles; they’ve even participated in The AIDS Walk Los Angeles itself! Currently working on their fourth studio album release that has received rave reviews both critically and from fans alike!