ROGER STEFFENS: LIFE OF BOB MARLEY

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RA-artists-rogersteffens-aboutCommemorating Bob Marley’s 70th birthday, Riot Artists is proud to represent Roger Steffens’ critically-acclaimed “Life of Bob Marley”.  The live multi-media presentation has been hailed as “the definitive history of the reggae king” and “the next best thing to seeing Bob Marley live.”  Steffens, recently designated by the Jamaica Observer as one of “The Top Ten Most Influential People in Reggae,” owns the internationally-acclaimed Reggae Archives, containing the world’s largest repository of Marley memorabilia. During the evening, Steffens will screen rare and unreleased video footage and photos while recounting Marley’s legendary life story.

As a reggae poet, a political revolutionary, and a Rastafarian prophet, Bob Marley was the most important figure in 20th century music. Marley’s potent blend of music and mysticism made him the first Third World superstar and the international ambassador for Jamaican music and culture. Roger Steffens’ multimedia show, The Life of Bob Marley, provides the definitive history of Bob Marley and features the earliest known footage of Marley in rehearsal; stunning moments from unseen live concerts, filled with once-in-a-lifetime performances; a long-suppressed documentary on the assassination attempt on Marley’s life in 1976; unreleased raw footage of revealing and intimate interviews; and Marley’s final rehearsal in 1980. In between the clips, Roger Steffens recounts Bob Marley’s legendary life story, based on many hundreds of hours of interviews with his band, family and friends, and his own experiences traveling with Marley on the Survival tour in 1979.

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Commemorating Bob Marley’s 70th birthday, Riot Artists is proud to represent Roger Steffens’ critically-acclaimed “Life of Bob Marley”.  The live multi-media presentation has been hailed as “the definitive history of the reggae king” and “the next best thing to seeing Bob Marley live.”  Steffens, recently designated by the Jamaica Observer as one of “The Top Ten Most Influential People in Reggae,” owns the internationally-acclaimed Reggae Archives, containing the world’s largest repository of Marley memorabilia. During the evening, Steffens will screen rare and unreleased video footage and photos while recounting Marley’s legendary life story.

As a reggae poet, a political revolutionary, and a Rastafarian prophet, Bob Marley was the most important figure in 20th century music. Marley’s potent blend of music and mysticism made him the first Third World superstar and the international ambassador for Jamaican music and culture. Roger Steffens’ multimedia show, The Life of Bob Marley, provides the definitive history of Bob Marley and features the earliest known footage of Marley in rehearsal; stunning moments from unseen live concerts, filled with once-in-a-lifetime performances; a long-suppressed documentary on the assassination attempt on Marley’s life in 1976; unreleased raw footage of revealing and intimate interviews; and Marley’s final rehearsal in 1980. In between the clips, Roger Steffens recounts Bob Marley’s legendary life story, based on many hundreds of hours of interviews with his band, family and friends, and his own experiences traveling with Marley on the Survival tour in 1979.

ABOUT ROGER

Roger Steffens is an actor, author, archivist, lecturer, photographer, broadcaster, editor, director and producer who has been active in the field of reggae music for 35 years. As co-host of the Reggae Beat program on NPR’s L.A. outlet KCRW, Steffens’ first guest back in 1979 was Bob Marley. Over the next eight years, he interviewed hundreds of the major figures in the music there and on his cable-tv show, L.A. Reggae (1980 – 2003). In 1982 he co-founded The Beat, the award-winning, internationally distributed reggae/world beat magazine. For eight months in 2001 Steffens’ Reggae Archives were the subject of a massive two-building exhibition at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA, drawing the highest visitor approval ratings of any exhibit in the ship’s history, including their recent Titanic show. He is the author of seven books about Bob Marley and Reggae History, and for thirty years has traveled the world performing his “Life of Bob Marley” multi-media show.

He is also the co-author (with Bruce Talamon) of Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer and One Love: Life with Bob Marley and the Wailers, and author of The World of Reggae: Treasures from Roger Steffens’ Reggae Archive, as well as the ARSC-award winning Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography, co-authored with Leroy Jodie Pierson. His latest book, Roger Steffens and Peter Simon’s Reggae Scrapbook, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “one of the best coffee table books of 2007,” was awarded the Silver Medal for “Best Music Book of 2007” at the Book Expo America convention in Los Angeles, and given a full page rave review in the N.Y. Times Sunday Book Review on June 1, 2008.

As a voice-over actor, Steffens narrated the Oscar-winning documentary The Flight of the Gossamer Condor and can be heard in dozens of motion pictures, including Forrest Gump, The American President and Wag the Dog. He has produced four albums for the Peter Tosh estate, and the definitive 15 disc box-set series on the Wailers’ middle-period work, The Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers, 1967 – 1972 for JAD Records. Chairman of the Reggae Grammy Committee since its inception in 1984, he has also served as the national promotions director for reggae and African music for Island Records. His lectures on several different topics have been presented everywhere from Harvard to Universities in Jamaica, Martinique, Hawaii, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and throughout the United States. He has also spoken in Japan, Holland, France, the Experience Music Project, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Missouri History Museum, and is the first (and most frequent – nine times) speaker at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In August of 2011 he appeared at the Rototom Festival in Spain, the Sun Ska Fest in France, and the Ostroda Reggae Fest in Poland.

AREAS OF REPRESENTATION: Worldwide

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Press

MONTREAL GAZETTE
Steffens – whom Bob Marley himself personally dubbed “Ras Rojah” back in 1979 when they traveled together – chaired the Grammy Awards reggae committee for 27 years, has hosted five radio shows on NPR, including the award-winning Reggae Beat that was syndicated to over 130 stations worldwide during the 1980s. But Steffens is best known for founding The Beat magazine, his many books on Marley, including the indispensable Bob Marley and The Wailers – The Definitive Discography which he co-wrote with Leroy Jodie Pierson in 2005.

PBS
In the two decades since Bob Marley has gone, it is clear that he is without question one of the most transcendant figures of the past hundred years. The ripples of his unparalleled achievements radiate outward through the river of his music into an ocean of politics, ethics, fashion, philosophy and religion. His story is a timeless myth made manifest in this iwah, right before our disbelieving eyes.

REGGAEVILLE
If Bob Marley is reggae’s prophet, Roger Steffens is the one chiseling prophesies into stone.  As witness and participant, journalist and fan, teacher and student, Steffens, 70, has immersed himself in the world of reggae for the past 40 years.  His personal collection-turned-archive contains tens of thousands of pieces from all over the globe, and is now seeking a new home.

DUBWISE GARAGE
Many know Roger Steffens from his video lectures/tours about Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, or from his “Reggae Beat” radio show and magazine. Steffens co-hosted Reggae Beat on KCRW from 1979 until 1987, and Reggae Beat International from 1983 until 1987, which was syndicated internationally to 130 stations.  He has toured to many parts of the globe to give his lectures and multi-media presentation on the Life of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. He has also contributed to countless music anthologies as a writer and photographer.

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