Avon announces international musician Hempress Sativa and Pato Banton & The Now Generation co-headlining Avon’s newest live music and creative endeavor, Heart & Soul Festival on Saturday, September 17th at 4:00 p.m. in Harry A. Nottingham Park. Heart & Soul Festival is a festival of artisans and live music bringing surprise and delight in a uniquely Avon style!
The newest edition to Avon’s special event lineup brings true meaning to the Heart of the Valley with community centric inspiring artisan activations and unforgettable live performances featuring Hempress Sativa and Pato Banton & The Now Generation. “We are honored to launch Heart & Soul Festival with truly amazing and highly regarded international musicians,” stated Avon Culture, Arts and Special Events Manager Danita Dempsey.
Inimitably, Hempress Sativa is rightly regarded as a prolific Singer/Songwriter to nascent from her Generation of ‘Conscious Roots” purveyors. An anomalous talent, whose expressive writing skills with sharpened delivery commands the attention of her audience in each performance; with an uncanny ability to keep all listening as if in a trance, absorbing her every word, every rhyme.
Her music though generally traditional of the Deep Roots, Rock Reggae genre; at times crosses boundaries and may reflect variants of Hip Hop, Afrobeat’s and R&B with the sultry serenade of (Kushite Love) exemplifying her agility as a diverse artist.
Born Kerida Johnson to Ras Tafari parents Doris Ray Ricketts and Albert ‘Ilawi Malawi’ Johnson, Legendary Selector (Originally of Jah Love Muzik), Drummer, Producer and Singer/Songwriter who would become her greatest influence.
Her father would summon almost 4 years old Sativa and older siblings to the ‘Control tower” which was a room he create to host his sound system equipment and Vinyl records. Located in the Ghetto of Mona Common, Papine, this two-bedroom board house was the meeting ground for the family and community to be entertained. Routinely, for his upcoming session he would methodically create an “Orthodox” selection which MYSTICALLY resonated with the Hearts of the masses who ventured near and far to hear Ilawi play. Known for his vast collection of conscious Orthodox Rasta material, Ilawi would skillfully place the needle on the turntable, playing a version, and confidently he would hand the Mic to the offspring who dared to go first, and it was there that Sativa would succumb to these encounters and began to develop her extraordinary talent.
“Yes, I’ve been rocking to this beat from mi Mami belly, Ilawi selecting the records Dj a Brigadier Jerry, from flash ‘it in a JahLove dance A gallop like a donkey.” Verse by Hempress Sativa, an ode to the first encounter with an intangible embrace the verse speaks to Sativa’s early exposure to music.
Birmingham, England reggae singer/toaster Pato Banton (born Patrick Murray) made his debut on the English Beat’s third album, 1982’s Special Beat Service, helping out Ranking Roger on the track “Pato and Roger a Go Talk.” Five years later, Banton returned with his debut solo release, Never Give In, which featured backing by Birmingham’s Studio Two house band and a guest appearance by Paul Shaffer; the album was enlivened by Banton’s comic vocal characterizations. An EP featuring several versions of the Never Give In track “Pato and Roger Come Again” (another duet with Ranking Roger) appeared in 1988, followed the next year by the full-length Visions of the World, which found Banton moving towards a poppier soul/reggae approach. 1990’s Wize Up! (No Compromize) contained Banton’s first American college radio hit, a cover of the Police’s “Spirits in the Material World,” as well as a duet with Steel Pulse’s David Hinds on the title track. After a dub collaboration with the Mad Professor (Mad Professor Recaptures Pato Banton) and a live album (Live and Kickin’ All Over America), Banton recorded Universal Love in 1992. It took him a while to produce brand new material afterwards; he finally resurfaced in 1994 with a version of Eddy Grant’s “Baby Come Back” performed with Robin and Ali Campbell of UB40, which hit the British charts and prompted the best-of Collections. Banton finally delivered a full album of new material in 1996 with Stay Positive. Life Is a Miracle followed in the spring of 2000.
“Heart & Soul Festival is in the beginning stages of development which we were planning for release in 2023 or 2024. However, when we were offered the opportunity to host a co-headlining performance with both Hempress Sativa and Pato Banton & The Now Generation we couldn’t pass it up,” continued Ms. Dempsey. Overtime we believe Heart & Soul Festival will become as much of a staple as Salute to the USA, Avon’s most anticipated event of the year.
For questions about Heart & Soul Festival, please visit Avon.org.