A Tribute to Reggae Legend Bob Marley at “Free Fridays” Concert Series Friday, May 30


A tribute to the reggae music of Jamaican superstar and Rastafarian spiritual leader Bob Marley will be played at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m. Marley first became noted for his band Bob Marley and the Wailers and later established a solo career that made him one of the bestselling musical artists of all time. He has sold more than 75 million records, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. His album “Legend,” a Bob Marley and the Wailers greatest hits compilation, is the bestselling reggae album of all time with 25 million copies sold worldwide. “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked it number 46 on its list of 500 greatest albums of all time. Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36.

The band Urban Renewal, which is comprised of many outstanding Gainesville musicians, will play the tribute.  The band consists of  Omi Ajamu (vocals/percussion), Dave Marsh (drums/percussion), Jon Jackson (drums/percussion), Eli Collins (bass), Dan Weeks (vocals/guitar), Omi To Salewa (vocals/percussion), Brian Stevens (trombone/percussion), Shireen Taha (alto saxophone), Paul Johnson (tenor saxophone), Howard Wapner (keyboards) and Geoff Perry (qua-tar). The qua-tar is a fretless four-string electric instrument invented by Perry and developed during his eight year tenure with the instrumental, jazz-rock group Gamalon (MCA and Amherst Records). It is essentially a fretless bass guitar with guitar gauge strings and some physical and electronic modifications, which results in a sound more akin to an electric sitar. With the addition of distortion, the qua-tar easily crosses over into the electric guitar realm. It can also be played with slide guitar technique.

The 2014 “Free Fridays” concert series is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department. The concerts will play each Friday night this year from Friday, May 2 through Friday, Oct. 24 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, which is located at 111 E. University Ave. To view the complete “Free Fridays” 2014 schedule, please visit the Cultural Affairs Division website at