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TARRUS RILEY, the son of the late, beloved ska and rocksteady star Jimmy Riley and “one of the most accomplished of the second generation of Jamaica roots reggae singers,” (Jamaica Gleaner) belts out love songs and black history lessons with equal passion. His debut album, Challenges, was produced by the great Jamaican saxophonist Dean Fraser, who joins him on this show. Fraser also produced 14 of the 15 tracks of Riley’s second record, Parables, which also featured the legendary rhythm section of Sly and Robbie. Riley followed these with 2009’s Contagious, 2012’s Mecoustic, and 2014’s Love Situation, each of which yielded more hits and continued to grow his following.
MWENSO & THE SHAKES combine African and Afro American musical traditions into an electrifying sound The New York Times calls “intense, prowling, and ebullient.” Hailing from Sierra Leone, London, South Africa, Greenwich Village, Madagascar, France, Jamaica, and Hawaii, its members now all call Harlem home.