The Downtown Dalton Summer Music Series will feature the smooth Island sounds of Zion, Barry J. Brown and M’Pres tonight with Live Music starting at 7:30 PM at Burr Park. The Summer Music Series is brought to you by BB&T Bank, BB&T Insurance Services, Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Downtown Dalton Development Authority, Creative Arts Guild and the Community Foundation of NWGA. As always the Summer Music Series is a FREE event!
Headlining tonight’s concert will be Zion, originally from rural Dominica West Indies and currently living in Evansville Indiana. Zion will also be a featured performer on the NextEra Energy Main Stage at this year’s Folk Festival on Sept. 15.
With a voice and style reminiscent of classic reggae, Zion fuses roots music and spoken word to spread a message of love, hope, unity, and peace. Born in a small village with a population of 1,288, Zion was shaped at an early age by experiences that taught him perseverance, endurance, and spiritual empowerment. He learned to play the guitar as a teenager and was drawn to the meaning and joy of reggae music. “I never really chose to do music—it was just inside of me. Once I learned to play the guitar, it was a natural thing,” he recalls.
Since emigrating to the United States when he was 18, Zion’s music has spread from the Caribbean to the southern and Midwestern states. He has performed at the Texas Summer Music Conference and The Hip Hop Action Summit Network and has received a “Best New Artist Award” from Thompson’s Productions. In 2009, the company invited him to perform a tour with Joseph Israel and Ziggy Marley in Hawaii. Zion caught the attention of the producers of New York’s premiere outdoor reggae festival “Irie Jamboree” in 2005—and was invited back in 2006. He was the sole roots artist invited by Dance hall legend, Bounty Killer, to perform at the New York launch of “Saddle to the East” in 2006. That same year Zion formed a band called Zion and The Lion Roots Band.
Zion has opened for a number of national and international artists including The Wailers Band and Mighty Diamonds in 2012, Luciano and Junior Reid in 2014, Ras Shiloh in 2015, and Warrior King in 2016. In addition to performing with Ziggy Marley, he has also recorded songs at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong Studio in Jamaica. For more info, visit Zion on Facebook and at www.zionreggaemusic.com. Check out some of Zion’s music here.
Barry J. Brown was born in southern Indiana where he spent most of his youth. At 18 he left home for Ball State University. Soon he enrolled in a school program to join a mission trip to Mt Olivet Boys home in the Blue Mountains in Mandeville, Jamaica. As he spent more and more time there with International Orphanage Relief and in other third world countries , he fell in love with the spirituality of the culture and the people of the islands, especially the music. It had been some time since he had played Piano and French Horn in his youth , but upon his return to America he bought a Djembe hand drum and began his musical journey once more. Over the next few years while working in sales and traveling the nation 51 weeks a year, Barry bought his first guitar, a classical, inspired by both the island style and world music artist Jesse Cook, and taught himself to play by ear each night in every hotel room he stayed in across America.
After leaving the road and moving to Texas, he joined a signed band named Kontageon. Things did not last long for the band , and soon a friend would take his own life. While attending the funeral, Barry met a mutual friend named David Davis who performed an original song for their departed friend, Andy Paternoster, that inspired Barry to form an acoustic and electric duo together called Meet Me Halfway. They performed 50’s 60’s & 70’s music at many shows over the next few years in Evansville, IN. They played private events, weddings, and most every bar and restaurant around. During this time Barry met Zion at a show and they became friends. Eventually they started to play shows together around town, later creating an original song that was recorded live on television in an Artist Spotlight segment. Love brought Barry to eventually move south to Dalton, Georgia where he currently plays hand percussion with a large band incorporating jazz funk rock and more in Forever Sonic. He plays guitar and Reggae with Zion, guitar and Latin music with Cris Bravo, and also records hip hop instrumentation with artists Hysrosphere and Messy the Man. He also played a short while in Blackbird Revival. Dalton is his home now where he lives with his love Azarely, his two animals, Neo and Lenora, and where he continues his musical journey performing locally. Barry is influenced and inspired by various artists, every day life, the struggle, hard times, love, happiness, and those close to him.
You can follow Barry on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/indianajohann/.
The DDDA will be selling beer and water in the park. No outside alcohol is permitted in the park. Outside food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted.
Burr Park is located at 101 S. Hamilton St. Dalton, Georgia.
See you Downtown!