Luciano The Roots Reggae Legend Lands In Nairobi

luciano PHOTO|COURTESY

Jamaican reggae sensation Luciano is in Kenya ahead of 7-day musical safari in the city under the sun. 

So, who exactly is Luciano?

Luciano, real name Jepther Washington McClymont, is a singer/songwriter, musician, and producer who has reigned as the king of “conscious” reggae music for over two decades.

He was born in Davyton, Mandeville Parish, Jamaica, and grew up influenced by reggae icons such as Bob Marley and Dennis Brown.

As a young man, he was drawn to the “one love movement’s” positive message.

His stage name ‘Luciano’ was inspired by a comparison of his voice to that of opera legend Luciano Pavarotti.

Luciano collaborated with reggae ambassador Freddie McGregor on his “Big Ship Music” label in the early 1990s, resulting in a UK chart topping cover of Cheryl Lynn’s R&B hit “Shake it Up Tonight.”

As the song climbed to #1, his name spread like wildfire amongst reggae’s top producers, one of which was Phillip “Fattis” Burrell”, whom he collaborated with and released the critically acclaimed single “Moving Up” later in 1993 on the Xterminator label via VP Records. 

Chris Blackwell (founder of Island Records, known for signing artists such as Bob Marley and U2) took notice and signed Luciano to Island/Mango Records not long after.

His 1995 album, “Where There Is Life,” swept the world with a string of #1 hits including “It’s Me Again Jah,” “Lord Give Me Strength,” “Your World and Mine,” and “Who Could It Be,” catapulting him to the top of the conscious reggae music scene.

Luciano has unrivaled versatility, having dabbled in everything from dancehall to roots and culture, R&B/Disco, Blues, and even Country and Western.

His self-taught ability to play instruments such as the guitar, flute, and piano is also indicative of exceptional musicianship.

Luciano and his live show have toured extensively throughout the world since their inception, complete with high jumping, back flipping stage entrances, impromptu instrumental performances, and new song revelations.

Luciano engages with his audience like no other, spreading the message of love, lifting spirits, and energizing many fans from Japan, Africa, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, Europe, and the United States.

He has released and collaborated on over 40 albums as a recording artist.

Luciano’s career highlights include: receiving the “Key to Kansas City” in 1999; receiving an Order of Distinction in 2007 for his outstanding services representing Jamaica in the field of entertainment; leading the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Netherlands) in 2014; being named “Luciano Day” in Hartford, Connecticut in 2015; and receiving Best Reggae Album GrammyTM nominations in 2002 and 2016.

In 2018, the long-awaited album “In The Name Of Love” was released. The album was sprinkled with a taste of the Messenjah that has definitely expanded his fan base across many new territories.

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