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Reggae jams at Coney Island boardwalk

Relaxing to music: Ishinka Hall, left, and Norma Forbes, right, find some shade at the Reggae on the Boardwalk event in Coney Island, on Aug. 14.
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These tunes have deep roots!

Reggae fans got a history lesson while they rocked to the iconic musical style at Reggae on the Boardwalk on Aug. 14. Disc jockeys spun styles including early “roots” reggae and the drum- and bass-heavy dub — but the best part was learning how they all fit together from iconic record producer Jack Scorpio, according to one fan.

“He gave so much information about some artists, music styles, and his love and passion for music,” said Norma Forbes who grew up listening to reggae in her native Jamaica. “It was a history lesson. He said a whole lot that I didn’t know about reggae.”

Columbia University radio personality Carter Van Pelt started the free, four-part event in 2010, bringing authentic “sound systems” (disc jockey collectives playing traditional Jamaican music) onto the public stage. This year concert-goers even got to sample free Caribbean beverages.

The whole day really resonated with Forbes, she said.

“It’s my roots. I grew up around music,” said Forbes. “I’ve been listening to music all my life — it’s my passion and my weakness.”

Forbes, who plans to return next month for the series’s fourth and final installment of the summer, hopes that guests will give back to the organizers to ensure more frequent events in the future.

“The vibe was good — I want to see more people,” said Forbes. “I hope that people contribute to this event because it’s free — we don’t have to pay. They do it all out of support and we have to give it all the support that we can.”

“Reggae on the Boardwalk” at the Riegelmann Boardwalk (Surf Avenue at W. 21st Street). 3–7 pm on Sept. 4. Free.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.
Updated 8:47 pm, August 17, 2016
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