Entertainment

Levi sticking to his roots

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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JAMAICAN-BORN entrepreneur and musician Levi Roots is the headliner of Music & Food For Friends scheduled for Redbones Blues Cafe in New Kingston on Friday.

Enola Williams, manager of the popular eatery and live entertainment venue, said the occasion is a unique opportunity for patrons to see both sides of the British-based entertainer.

“It's a fusion of food and music. Levi Roots will be performing his music and will also be giving cooking demonstrations,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

“As a restaurant, it excites us as we are passionate about music and food... we primarily promote arts, culture and music. It works well for us to have him,” she continued.

Singers Della Manley and Keisha Patterson are also booked to perform.

Born in Clarendon, Levi Roots (given name Keith Graham) migrated to Britain at 13. He gained widespread popularity after appearing on the British television show Dragons' Den in February 2007. The show allows entrepreneurs to present their business ideas with a view to seek funding from a panel of investors. The reggae singer received 50,000 following his presentation.

Sainsbury's, one of the largest supermarket chains in Britain, bought distribution rights from Levi Roots for sale of the Reggae brand of products in its more than 600 outlets in Britain.

His Levi Roots' Reggae Cookbook was published in 2008. He also had a television cooking show and book titled Caribbean Food Made Easy. In December 2015, Levi Roots opened his first restaurant in Westfield Stratford City in London.

As an entertainer, Levi Roots made his name as an underground roots reggae singer in the 1980s and 1990s and recorded three albums. He was nominated for a Best Reggae Act MOBO Award in 1998.

Another high point of his career came in 1992 when Levi Roots performed Happy Birthday Mr President for South African President Nelson Mandela during his visit to the UK.

— Brian Bonitto

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