Time for ‘The Now Generation’

Known for his energetic and uplifting reggae music, artist Pato Banton’s has touched people through his songs. 

It’s an honor the England native doesn’t take for granted.

“Music, personally reggae music, has inspired and educated me over the years and it has allowed me to travel the world and inspire other people,” said Banton, who will perform with his band, “The Now Generation” Sunday at The Courtyard Marriott. “Firstly, as a black child growing up in England, which was a very racist environment, reggae music allowed me to have some self-worth. It taught me about where I came from. It taught me about my history and God.”

Originally born under the name Patrick Murray in London, Banton discovered his musical talent working as a door man for his stepfather, who hosted parties for the local community and was a DJ. As a teenager, Banton began to use his stepfather’s sound system and practiced his talents on the microphone.  

His stepfather gave him the nickname “Pato” in honor of the Jamaican night owl, which howls “patoo, patoo.” As he continued to practice, Banton received offers from different sound systems and became the No.1 emcee in Birmingham. He formed “The Now Generation” when he moved to California seven years ago with the help of his friend Antoinette. 

“I met Antoinette who is my keyboard player and she told me she was a big fan and that she would really love to play music for me one day,” said Banton. “She suggested that she would like to help me create that band and find musicians. She helped bring the band together.”

The concert starts at 8:30 p.m, but doors will open at 4 p.m.

“We’re so excited,” said Katherine Brocklehurst, a concert organizer. “You know the island loves reggae and we feel really honored that he’s coming to Kauai.”

The festivities will open with performances from ukulele players, Violet Asuncion, and Sashamon Makai Spiller-Reiff at 6 p.m, and will conclude at 10 p.m. 

Tickets are $35 and may be purchased at Papayas, Hawaiian Music Kiosk, Kauai Music & Sound, Progressive Expressions, and at www.popokimusic.com.

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