‘Songs for the People’

After 20 years in the music business, the greatest achievements for Grammy Award-winning reggae band Morgan Heritage are garnering the love and acceptance of the people.

“We don’t make records to win awards. We do this to make songs for the people,” said Peetah Morgan, lead singer for Morgan Heritage. “That keeps us inspired. That keeps us going.”

“The Royal Family of Reggae” is set to make its Kauai debut at the Poipu Beach Athletic Club on Sept. 9. The band will perform classics such as “Down by the River,” She’s Still Loving Me,” A Man Is Still A Man,” and songs from the Grammy Award-winning album “Strictly Roots.”

“We’re island people from Jamaica, so it’s just island love we expecting,” Morgan said. “We’re expecting that love from the island in Hawaii and sharing the love and joy of reggae music with the people.”

Performing alongside Morgan Heritage in Hawaii next week are newly-signed artist Tiana from Honolulu and Jemere Morgan, who is the son of Gramps Morgan, the band’s keyboard player and vocalist.

The last stint in Hawaii for the reggae band was a performance in Honolulu in 2014, and band members are looking forward to once again feeling the island vibes next week.

“Hawaii has a culture all its own, and it’s you being true to your islands and the whole Polynesian culture,” Morgan said. “It’s that same island energy that we get from any other island in the world, whether it’s in the Indian Ocean, Caribbean or any other place in the world. It’s that island essence that we have as island people. That’s what Hawaii and the people of Hawaii have.”

Morgan Heritage is made up of five siblings, who grew up watching their father, Denroy Morgan, do music. Denroy, known for his 1981 hit record “I’ll Do Anything For You,” was instrumental with the band’s formation.

“We were highly influenced by music from a young age,” Peetah said. “Our father saw the talent in us and saw each one gravitating to our respected instruments.”

The Morgans dropped their first album in 1994 and started with eight members. By 1997, the band shrunk to five and released the album, “Protector of Jah.”

“This is what we know. This is who we are,” Peetah said. “We have become the music that we play. Everything about Morgan Heritage is the culture, is the essence of the islands, is the essence of Rastafari, the essence of unity amongst humanity.”

For the Morgans, reggae is more than music. It is life, culture, spiritual and social inspiration.

“It brings all nations of people together, all cultures,” Peetah said. “It’s a world music. It’s a music that caters to the essence of humanity. When you hear it, you feel love moving through you. The essence of the music is love and unity.”

Tickets for Morgan Heritage – Kauai are $35 and $40 the day of the show. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show opens at 8 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at http://www.bampproject.com/.


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