Roots, rock, reggae in Moenkopi

Souls of Love and Kush County Music visit Hopiland

Souls of Love perform July 27 at Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites. Submitted photo

Souls of Love perform July 27 at Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites. Submitted photo

MOENKOPI, Ariz. - For many, the Legacy Music reggae show held July 27 brought back memories of the late 1980s when prominent reggae artists frequented the Hopi Reservation.

"As a child, I remember the unity and positivity that the music brought to Hopi. That's what Legacy Music would like to bring back here," said James Surveyor, Marketing and Special Events Manager at Moenkopi Legacy Inn and Suites (MLI).

For others, it was a night of great music, simply put. The newly established Legacy Room at MLI is northern Arizona's newest venue providing quality performances in an alcohol and drug-free environment. The Legacy Room offers all the conveniences of other venues but differs in that it is family-friendly and close to home. The size of the venue gives audiences a more personalized experience.

"I come to all the shows here and I think it's great because the concerts are positive events that bring the community members together. Everyone, from young to old, can experience that eerie feeling," said Linette Howard, spectator and winner of MLI's concert contest. Howard won a complimentary night's stay at MLI, concert tickets, a personalized meet and greet session, and a concert promo bag.

On this night, two bands provided concert goers with roots, rock, and reggae to an otherwise quiet Moenkopi community. Arizona's Kush County Music (KCM) accompanied the headlining Souls of Love to deliver the best of Polynesian and Jamaican style reggae to eager fans.

"I always enjoy coming to Hopiland. It's especially meaningful to me because it was at Hopi that I made my professional debut," explained Ilocks Walker, lead vocalist for Souls of Love. Walker, who has been in the music industry for nearly three decades, has performed alongside many reggae legends such as Ras Michael and Eek-a-Mouse. After the band's performance, he took some time to describe his love for reggae music, "Since Souls of Love is a family band, we promote family values. We believe people can have a good time without having to be vulgar. We love sharing the positivity that reggae music embraces."

Consisting of a diverse nine-member ensemble, Kush County Music delivered an outstanding performance to locals who, for the most part, are not familiar with island reggae. Although KCM is fairly new, they have worked with many reggae favorites such as Steel Pulse, Katchafire, Pato Banton, Fiji, the Common Kings and other island bands. The dynamic duo, Robert and Nicole Kent shared that although this is their first reservation show, they enjoyed the vibes and look forward to coming back. "The show was great...wonderful aloha since we got here. We could definitely feel the love and appreciation that Natives have for reggae music," said Kent.

For now, the Legacy Room sits quietly, disguised as a conference center. That is, at least until the next big show comes through.

"We have some pretty exciting things happening here in the upcoming months. We have world class shows coming through so be on the lookout," said Surveyor.

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