Friday, December 23, 2005

Get Ready to Rocksteady

The Vail Daily News, Vail, Colorado

WEST VAIL - The Yellow Wall Dub Squad, an original authentic roots reggae band comprised of Jamaican studio session musicians, tours to the Sandbar in West Vail Tuesday for a rocksteady party.

The band was formed by the late Fazal Prendergast along with reggae ambassador Amlak Tafari. Fazal, who passed away in a tragic car accident on April 1, was an original recording sessions musician who had been recording since 1974 in Kingston, Jamaica, working at Rockers International backing the Augustus Pablo in Rockers Allstars Band - the first original Dub band ever created.

The Yellow Wall Dub Squad consists of original members Stevie Love on guitar (Jamaica) and Alton "Sandrum" Vanhorn on drums (Jamaica) along with Peter Tomlinson on keyboards (Jamaica), Donavan "Itawe" Cunningham on bass (Jamaica), Balboa Becker on trambone (USA), Garrett Kobsef on saxaphone and flute (USA) and manager Robert Oyugi (East Africa).

The band presents an eclectic mix of music from the rock steady, ska and rockers era.

Itawe, also known as Donavan "Danny Gitz" Cunningham, was born and raised in the hills of St. Ann, Jamaica, in the farming community of Prickly Pole, just a few miles from the home where Bob Marley grew in Nine Mile. He began his musical career in 1992, where he was given the name "Danny Gita" or "Danny Gitz" due to his growing reputation as an outstanding guitarist. Since then he has recorded as a sessions musician and extensively toured Europe, Australia, North America, Mexico and the Caribbean playing the bass, rhythm guitar and singing harmony for artists such as Sugar Minott, Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Gregory Isaacs, Everton Blender, Yami Bolo, Iqulah, Ini Kamoze and many more.

On any given day you can hear Itawe's guitar licks playing on the radio waves of IRIE FM all over Jamaica in taxi's, busses, clubs, schools and beaches. He has played rhythm for many major festivals and stage shows, backing every major artist, including Luciano, Tony Rebel, Warrior King, Richie Spice, Jah Mason, Junior Reid, Cocoa Tea, Beanie Man, Mikey General, Black Uhuru, Errol Dunkley, I Wayne, Kyan, Angie Angel, Queen Ifrika, Sugar Minott, Freddy Mcgregor, Fanton Mojah. "Danny Gitz" recorded with Morgan Heritage playing rhythm for their number one hit, "We feel love," as well as "She's Still Lovin' Me" and more. He has also recorded for Sugar Minott, Kyan, Capleton, Sizzla, Luciano and helped compose much of Iqulah's latest released album, "Rastafari Forever," on which the Marley brothers are featured.

Over the years Itawe has been writing, composing and laying tracks in Jamaica, Europe, and North America for his upcoming album, "Journey to Life." He recently released a single in France, "Babylon Bridge," with the popular reggae group Broussai.

For more information on the Yellow Dub Allstars show featuring Itawe, call the Sandbar at (970) 476-4314.

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