Roots Rock Reggae Fest: Christos DC - Jah Works - Dj Thomas Blondet

The artist/ producer Christos DC (aka Christopher Vrenios) was born and raised in Washington, D.C. by parents who sang opera and taught voice professionally. He takes his name from his Greek heritage, using a nickname given to him by his grandmother to represent the lineage that set the tone of his musical path.

Christos’ career began in the early 90s producing hip-hop and R&B tracks with indie artists from DC, but it was his deep appreciation for the sounds coming out of Kingston, and New York Jamaica that led him to record with legendary reggae artists Sly and Robbie as well as the Firehouse Crew. He was later recruited by Don Carlos(of Grammy winners Black Uhuru) and The Itals to tour. He spent several years on the road as a guitarist and backup vocalist, performing in the United States and abroad. During this time, he produced and recorded artists such as the legendary Augustus Pablo, Sugar Minott, Meditations, and Don Carlos (to name a few). He then went on to do session work, as well as playing guitar, bass, and even co-writing with the world-famous Thievery Corporation other groups.

In 2008, he released his first full album, "Time to Rise," which led him to create the DC-based independent record label Honest Music. His last full length album “Long Road" was released was released Earth Day 2014 and received with critical acclaim in the reggae realm and beyond.The first single and video "Just Talk To Me" features Kenyatta Hill, son of icon Joseph Hill from the trio Culture.

The summer hit of 2015, "Righteous Chant" finds him reunited with Don Carlos. The song began with a four-track instrumental that Christos played for Don while touring with him back in 1997. Don was inspired by the track right away, and agreed to record it. He added lyrics with a powerful message that stays with you from the first listen. It was placed on an album that was never officially released entitled "Offering," which featured various artists from Jamaica singing over Christos' tracks as well as his solo debut. The song had to be transferred to digital format years later. There are elements of guitars and keys from the world of analog tape; however, other parts are new, which creates a great sonic contrast. Don sings of "coming together in Love and Unity." This is illustrated in the way the song bridges music from the past and present in perfect harmony.

The song Heart Of Gold, released in the latter part of last year, has always had a special place in my musical journey,” Christos explains. "One of the first song books my brother Nick and I received was Easy Guitar: Neil Young’s Greatest Hits. WeWe were around 10 years old at the time, and I immediately learned how to play the song. Reggae has often been dubbed 'island soul,' so remaking this classic in this genre was a no-brainer. You can go to almost any bar in Jamaica and find a jukebox playing country, the blues, or classic R&B.

The latest single release Human Dignity was written as a response to
many world events that have compromised the dignity of mankind across

the globe. The rock-solid music production comes from Amsterdam's finest reggae outfit, The Skankin Monks. "Music is a gift," Christos says. " When we share it, we should consider the effect it will have on others. This is why I make honest music."

If you answered yes to this question, chances are you are already familiar with Baltimore’s own Jah Works . If you are new to the band, you are in for a musical treat of positive vibes and uncompromising roots rock reggae music.

Jah Works is a true grassroots success story that emerged from Baltimore’s reggae scene over 20 years ago. This is music made by and for lovers of real, authentic reggae music. Consistently performing hundreds of shows a year worldwide, they have forged their sound in clubs, festivals and on the sun drenched beaches of Negril. Their sound is firmly planted in the roots of Jamaican music and culture, encompassing rock steady, reggae, and elements of dancehall and dub. What Jah Works does best is introduce the novice music listener to the fullness of reggae music and culture.

Formed in 1993, the band found their identity while listening to the song “Jah Works” by the classic Jamaican vocal group The Gladiators. Lyrics like “I’m a man of prayer, none of my doings, shall ever go wrong…” and “Jah hear I when I cry” resonated with the members, and so Jah Works was moved to begin writing their own original reggae music. Starting with “Feast or Famine” in 1994, the band has recorded and released 9 albums to date. They have sold over 100,000 copies independently, and with the upcoming release of “Believe”, Jah Works is set to take their music to even higher heights.

Longtime fans know that the Jah Works sound consists of strong vocals over heavy duty original reggae riddims. After a brief hiatus, founding member and original front man, Scotty P. has returned to lead the brothers forward into new musical territory. Together with the rest of the group, they have come up with their best album to date, “Believe” which will be released in 2016. The new album brings the group's evolution full circle, with lush, horn drenched roots reggae music. Mixed by some of reggae music’s top producers, including Jim Fox (Lion & Fox) Tippy I (I Grade), Jason “Jocko” Randall (JBB), Nathan Sabanayagam (Chillhouse Studios), and Baltimore’s own Steve Wright (Wrightway), Jah Works’ latest and greatest effort will cement their standing as one of the finest reggae bands to ever come out of the United States.

Thomas Blondet

Thomas Blondet is known for his skill as both a producer and a DJ based in Washington, DC. His tracks reflect the ease with which he moves from genre to genre when he mixes sounds in his studio and his remixes successfully take on the challenge of incorporating international melodies with steady beats that his followers can dance to. Starting his career as a DJ in the 1990s dance music scene in Washington, DC, Thomas has infused just about every type of beat-oriented genre such as deep house, speed garage, drum’n’bass, hip-hop, reggae, and dub with Arab, Latin, Indian, Balkan, Kurdish and Caribbean influences. This musical aptitude has served him well both in the studio and the DJ booth as today he maintains a Sunday night residency at DC’s headquarters of everything organic, Eighteenth Street Lounge. Through his label Rhythm & Culture, Thomas Blondet has released the European Coaster EP and chilltempo Echo Chamber EP. He has since released several hand-crafted remixes of music by Balkan Beat Box, Nickodemus, Sola Rosa, Mr. Confuse and Fort Knox Five. Look out for upcoming remixes, tracks and live DJ sets by the man who never stops working and doesn’t set limits on his level of creativity.

GA $15 | Premier Plus $25

Tickets

• Full dinner and drink menu available

• The Premier Plus section is a raised area with great views and reserved seats and tables. There is a dedicated server for faster service

Who’s Going

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