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Jah Shaka’s official Nine Night is taking place this weekend

The dub and reggae sound system pioneer died on 12th April, aged 75

Jah Shaka

Jah Shaka's official Nine Night will take place on Friday 21st April at the Great Hall, Goldsmith's University, London. 

Doors will open at 3PM with a 9PM curfew. Organisers have issued an open invite to "all ages and nations", asking those in attendance to "wear a splash of gold".

The event pays respect to the legendary reggae and dub sound system operator, also known as Zulu Warrior, who died on 12th April 2023, aged 75. Following the news, tributes poured in from a host of musical names, including The Bug, Disorda, and Gilles Peterson.

Born in Clarendon Parish, Jamaica — home to the likes of Toots Hibbert and Barrington Levy — Shaka was part of the Windrush generation, relocating to the UK as a child in the late-1950s. Growing up in London, he became involved in sound system culture and during the 1970s cut his teeth under local sound system operator Freddie Cloudburst. He then started his own Jah Shaka Sound System. 

Gaining widespread recognition for a combination of spirituality, high energy tunes, big sound, and a huge personality, by the 1990s he'd appeared in movies (Babylon, complete with rig, in a scene he directed) and worked with luminaries such as King Tubby. His own label Jah Shaka Music has hosted the likes of Max Romeo, Johnny Clarke, Twinkle Brothers, Dread & Fred, Gregory Isaacs, Horace Andy, The Disciples, and Mad Professor. His son, Malachi, also produced for the imprint.

Contemporary systems such as Iration Steppas, Zion Train, Aba Shanti, and Channel One cite Shaka as an authority, with dance acts like Basement Jaxx and Congo Natty also holding a torch to his work. Meanwhile, Shaka's impact on punk and post punk is well-documented, with John Lydon, The Slits and Public Image Ltd. among those who were influenced by him.