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Minneapolis Reggae Band History

In 1975 there was the first Reggae band named Simba.

Simba
was together for more than two years.
members included Neil Guevara (leader & guitar), his wife, Dee Anderson
(vocals), Hasan Omari (vocals, percussion), Ben Hill (drums) Michael
Benjamin (keyboard & vocals), Tony Paul (congas, percussion, vocals), and
there were two different base players during that period. I am afraid that I
don't remember the first base player who was from St. Lewis Park. I'll
research my archives to see if I can remember his name. The second bassist
was Mike Rivard, currently a videographer in Minneapolis.

I believe Peter Nelson may have started the band with Neil but , Peter had Shangoya going and Tony Paul was still with Simba.
Sherman was around at some of our gigs but he didn't play with the band in then they got a new singer RAS
Bongo Jeri from that period.

If you check out the TV show that TJ Western made in 1976, you'll see the members
I've described. The show was produced in the fall of 1976. You can download
that video from: www.tjwestern.com

or this link Download 15 minute version

An interesting anecdote is that when the Wailers were in Minneapolis in May,
1976, He took them to a gig that Simba was performing at the tenth
anniversary of the Walker Art Center and they joined Simba on stage to jam!
The Wailers stayed in town for a week and He took them to a Kicks soccer game
and to a private party at a North Minneapolis apartment where no one knew
who they were. They had a good time.

When the Manager of the band Mr TJ Western tryed to book bands in the Cities back then, it was a huge challenge.
He went to the city clubs for gigs and one of the booking mangers at the
Cabooze called Simba a "pimp" music band  because the members were black.
When trying to book the band in North Minneapolis, they called it "white
boy" music. So the level of racism and ignorance was acute. He produced the
television program, "Reggae Music", in an attempt to expose people to a
music that He personally loved and to educate people about the music.

They used to get a lot bookings in the outlying areas like Albert Lee. The
people who came to hear us, loved to dance and loved the music. He eventually
promoted private parties in Veteran's halls and on river paddle boats where
Simba and Shangoya performed. Those boat parties were incredible and always
sold out.
This band broke up in 1977.

Peter Nelson and Tony Paul started a Band Called Shangoya. Members were Peter Nelson, Lloyd corner Wayne McFarland Sherman Valman, Cheryl Davison Chico Fat fingers. Lance Pollane.

1978, Lloyd left Shangoya and started a band named Macumba.Core members were, Lloyd Corner, Mick Labrola, Van Nixon.

Hasan Omari started a band named Sweet Taste of Africa. Core members were Hasan Omari, Joe Shalita, and Paul McGee, Mpambara.

Chico Fat fingers started a band called Brinks.

In 1986 Joe Shalita and Paul McGee started a band called Shalita Band.

In 1986 Wayne left Shangoya and started a band named Ipso Facto.

In 1987 Mick Labrola left Macomba, hooked up with Neil Guevara and Lance Polane and stated a band named Maroons.

In 1987 Sherman Valman and Bongo Jerie started a group named Caribous.

In 1988 Lance Polane left Maroons and started a band named Rhythm 360. Core members were Brian Alexis and Lance Polane.

In 1988 Paul McGee Started a Band Called Inertia. Core members Lynval Jackson, Paul McGee, Barry Murphy, Regge Smith and Jery Stine.

Lynval Jackson and Lance Polane started a band named World Citizens.

1989 Paul McGee hooked up with two new comers from Africa; Innocent and Onesmo, and started a band named Exodus.

1990 Genral Nicoleson, Started a band Called Roots Experience, with Victor, Jah b, Jerimi, Stevo, Jeff and techa Youth

1991 Paul left Exodus and started a band named New Beat Confidential. Core members Paul McGee, Elmer Romaine, Prince Jabba, Lonnie Farrow and Ben Kimmel.

In 1992 Jalita McFarlene Started a band called Ethical Treatment.

In 1992 Lynval Jackson started a band named International Reggae All Stars.

In 1979 - 1995 Ipriama Started a band call Women of reggae

In 1993 Ipriama also started a band called Manilla that lasted till 1996

In 1999 Paul McGee Started a Band Called Tropical Breeze.

In 1999 Bomi Started a band called Dread Street, with Techa Youth.

In 2000 Pee Wee Dread and Rali, started a band named Dread I Dread.

In 2001 New band on the scene. Ras Kwame and the Ananse Band, with past members of New Beat Confidential, Ben Kimmel and Lonnie Farrow.

In 2002 Paul McGee released a CD entitled Island Soul, and started a Band by the same name. Island Soul is one of the hottest Reggae bands in the Twin Cities.

In 2002 another new reggae band, Rye and the Rule hits the Mpls reggae band scene.

In 2004 Will Tucker from Belize started I-Roots Reggae band, Playing Reggae and soca, This is a must see band.



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