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Caribbean Carnivale - Marijah and the Reggae Allstars bring roots rock to Lake Worth
Article by Jonathan Gunningham - New Times - March 29 - April 4, 2007

Managing South Florida's Leading Ladies
Article by Ellie Campbell - South Florida Reggae Manifest - July 2006 Volume 1 Number 4

Stint in Jamaica put the reggae in Marijah

Lake Worth singer/percussionist and her band driven by rhythm.

Being born into an Italian family in New Jersey doesn't exactly make becoming a reggae artist a strong vocational probability. But Lake Worth vocalist, percussionist and songwriter Marijah Speziale moved from the Garden State to California; then Hawaii, and then Jamaica - the garden of reggae - before moving to South Florida.

"I grew up in Newark," says Marijah, who performs under her first name. "The cars used to go right past my house, and up South Street over the bridge to the airport there. But I lived in Jamaica for five years before moving here in 1994."

A natural singer since age 5, and a percussionist well versed in rhythms Jamaican, West African and Afro-Cuban since her teens, Marijah has become an area festival favorite over the past decade. She'll perform three times outdoors over the next two months with tier band, The Reggae All-Stars, including at February's Street Painting Festival in downtown Lake Worth. Her group includes keyboardist/vocalist Garfield Rey, bassist Richie Bar, backing vocalist Kalimba Yancey, drummer/vocalist Bradley Brown and guitarist/vocalist Rich Randazzo.

REGGAE: New Jersey-born Marijah Speziale (above) found her musical calling while
living in Jamaica.
Marijah is completing her second CD, Mystic Angel, at Randazzo's Rhythm Nation Studio. It's the follow-up to Spirit of a Woman, which featured a song, Guide Me Jah, that placed in WLRN Miami radio personality Clint O'Neil's Top 50 songs of 2000.

Marijah's Afro-Cuban and West African influences primarily surface through her main percussion instruments - the congas and djembe drum, respectively. Her Jamaican nuances, fueled by influential singers Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt, come through in her vocals and songwriting. Add American influences like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan, and you have a spirited new take on the reggae art form, even when the band covers standards like Bob Marley's Get Up, Stand Up.

See Marijah & The Reggae All-Stars from 6-10 p.m. today at the Evening On the Avenues main stage, at the Cultural Plaza on M Street (between Lake and Lucerne avenues) in downtown Lake Worth. Phone: (561) 533-7359. They'll also play from 5:30-9 p.m. on Jan. 13 at Clematis By Night, at the east end of Clematis Street at Centennial Square in downtown West Palm Beach. Phone: (561) 659-8007. On the Web:

Written by Bill Meredith - Local Music - The Palm Beach Post - Friday January 7, 2005. Photo by Suki Finnerty

For bookings, workshops, songwriting, studio work, drum lessons, painting, teaching & any further information:

Tel: 305-879-6203 Office - Debbie Allen

Cell: 561-512-3265 Marijah - Direct

Stage Plot

Marijah & the Reggae All-stars open for the Beres Hammond, Marcia Griffiths,
Maxi Priest, Frankie Paul, Calton Coffie Tour. Fort Pierce, Florida - May 2004