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Jamaican Roots Revivalist Jah9's Spiritual, Playful Sides

Audiences will soon have the chance to witness two of Jamaica's best-kept secrets: Jah9 and Subtonic Kru. With the guidance of the legendary Beres Hammond, Jah9's debut record "New Name" lit a fire in Jamaica's neb-reggae scene. Jah9 has been bringing her "jazz on dub" sound to reggae festivals all over the world. Jamaica's award-winning Subtonic Kru will be warming up the stage, then backing Jah9 as she sets the stage ablaze.

Jah9 and Dubtonic Kru are coming to Infinity Music Hall in Hartford on Thursday, July 30, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $19 to $34 and can be reserved online at

Born Janine Cunningham, Jah9 spent her first eight-and-a-half years in Falmouth, Trelawny, on the rural western edge of Jamaica. It was an idyllic place, where everyone knew everyone else, and where the daughter of Baptist minister first found her singing voice, at home and in the church choir. But everything changed when her father took a job at chaplain at a high school in Kingston and the family settled in a house on the school grounds.

The catalyst was a group of rastafarian friends she made on campus while gathering by the fire to steam and reason. Suddenly, the nickname of Jah9, which she'd adopted while still a little girl in Trelawny, made perfect sense.

Dubtonic is a mixture of two words, "DUB," relating to the heavy drum and bass aspect of reggae music and "TONIC", referring to medicine. Founding members of Dubtonic Kru, "Jubba" and "Stone," a dynamic drum and bass duo, who over the years contributed to the development of modern roots reggae, with their unique sound and approach that intertwines Jubba's mesmerizing reggae/jazz fusion drumming and Stone's groovy yet pulsating bass lines.