Documentary on the Roots of Reggae Tonight

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Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae, celebrates the Jamaican popular music that bridged the gap between ska and reggae (and which some aficionados prefer to either).

Stranger Cole
  • Stranger Cole

The screening’s at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Homewood.

Stascha Bader’s 2009 film documents the rocksteady era (1966-69), when musicians blended ska, soul and R&B into something different, adding new rhythms, the prominent bass and socially conscious lyrics that in their reggae incarnation would earn a world audience.

The 90-minute film includes interviews and a 2009 tribute concert, shot at the Festival de Jazz de Montreal. Many of the musicians featured are familiar to fans of ska and reggae, including Judy Mowatt, Ernest Ranglin and Sly Dunbar. Guest stars include Rita Marley.

Songs include such hits as “Rivers of Babylon,” “Stop That Train” and “The Tide is High,” the latter a rocksteady number later made famous by Blondie.

The Black History Month screening is part of Sembene: The Film & Arts Festival, named after the great Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene.

The screening begins at 5:30 p.m.; a discussion follows. The Homewood Carnegie is located at 7101 Hamilton Ave., in Homewood.

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