Music

The truth is out there

Jah Kings look to the heavens for reggae inspiration

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Alexander Kofi, a former Olympic-caliber high hurdler, counselor for troubled youth, ordained Melchizedek priest, and leader of the band Jah Kings, said he has experienced multiple encounters with aliens. More specifically, he has met those related to the Pleiades, an open star cluster dominated by hot blue and luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years.

The first encounter he described was in Gary, Indiana, where he said he'd gaze up at the Pleiades cluster on cloudless dark nights and imagine "clicking my ruby heels like Dorothy [from the 'Wizard of Oz']. I've always had a strong affinity for my Egyptian and Ethiopian family long before our telescopes were up." He continued, these encounters made him feel "blessed we're not alone."

Kofi, a resident of Crestone, Colorado, said he discovered while walking in the forest with his daughter, what he calls the "Jah frequency," which he will infuse into his 8 p.m. concert Friday (March 16), at the KTAOS Solar Center, 9 State Road 150, north of El Prado. As they were coming out of the forest, into an area he described as "corn and soil," he said he called out the name Pleiades a few times, and then "the whole sky lit up." He continued, "I turned to my daughter and said, 'You saw that, right? You are my witness.'"

Coincidentally, his drummer at the time told him that his songs were dark and encouraged him to write something with hope.The forest encounter inspired a new direction in both his music and life and profoundly impacted the view of his universe. Much of the music they will be performing in Taos is inspired by that directional shift.

Kofi said concerts are an opportunity for a "mutual baptism of all … the electromagnetic pulse of love and light. We do concerts in powerful places [like Taos] because it's amplified and spreads all over the planet … We call it a collective Messiah shift, like a bunch of Christmas lights going off."

Kofi explained the name of his group is "ancient, and goes back to Jah or Yah the short form of Yahweh, the name of God in Hebrew."

He continued describing the music his band plays as "roots reggae, spiritual reggae," and it is, above all, "about honoring your culture." The six members of Jah Kings, who have been together as a band for 20 years and in this lineup for four years, are Kofi on drums, lead vocals, and guitar; Tony E. on percussion; David Swain on bass; David Steele on lead guitar; Isaline Washington as backup vocals; and Hunter Bogush on keyboards.

Kofi is a Renaissance man with a penchant for bettering himself physically and spiritually.

He said when he was asked for an autograph after an athletic event from young men and women, he, in turn, would ask them for their autograph as an exchange. Later, he pursued a calling to help juveniles in his community who were in trouble.

About his current musical vocation, he said, "I've lived many lives … the music itself is alive. It has its own service quality; it is our moment to fill this vacuum of negativity with love … Music is medicine." He names his musical influences as The Wailers (Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer), Curtis Mayfield, Earth Wind and Fire, Wes Montgomery, Third World, and The Abbysinians.

KTAOS Marketing Director Alex Simeti said he was "looking forward to hearing the band. They haven't played in Taos since 2013." Simeti, who is a former resident of New York City and Long Island, said his mission as the marketing director is "to build local and regional bands and really bring them up in the process." He added, "There is a lot of talent in the area that gets overlooked; we are here to help them get a following … It's about community for the cause of music … It's all about the camaraderie of community."

The Jah Kings' sound is warm and rich, with funk, jazz, and Native American influences. Their funky roots are evident in the reggae echoes of Bob Marley. The band has opened for and performed with numerous other bands: the Four Tops, Journey, Foreigner, Bobby Womack, the Itals, Yellowman, Culture, Eekamouse, Everton Blender, and Neville Duncan of the Ethiopians. Kofi said the band has played a few times before in Taos, and it was "absolutely beautiful." He continued, folks attending the concert in Taos should be prepared to "dance the night away and go home tired."

Tickets are $10 at the door and at holdmyticket.com/event/304912. For more information, call the venue at (575) 758-5826 or visit ktao.com.

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