Austin Reggae Fest Podcast

The new Austin Reggae Festival podcast features newsmakers, musicians, activists and other forward-thinking leaders whose visions for a better future align with the magic of the three-day celebration of community that occurs every April at Auditorium Shores.

Hosted by Jillian Countey, this podcast is published every month.

Episode 5 (February 2021): The lead singer of the Suffers (the Houston-based band that performed at the 2013 Austin Reggae Festival), Kam Franklin lends her energy to this month’s podcast. Hear about her amazing musical journey, her favorite musicians, the reggae songs that she loves the most, why the H-town music scene is so strong and how her band has survived without touring during the pandemic. Franklin also talks about her grieving process over the summer as she mourned the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. This powerful and inspiring episode of the Austin Reggae Festival podcast is not to be missed!

Episode 4 (January 2021): In this episode, Jillian talks to veteran music writer Dev Sherlock about the five artists (Buju Banton, Skip Marley, Maxi Priest, Toots & the Maytals, and the Wailers) nominated for Best Reggae Album for the 2021 Grammy Awards. These two discuss whether the decisions of the Recording Academy still have impact and relevance within this genre (and within the various other section of the music industry). Recorded shortly before the holidays, this edition of the Austin Reggae Festival podcast also addresses the curious tradition of Caribbean versions of classic Christmas songs.

Episode #3 (November 2020): For the third installment of the Austin Reggae Fest podcast, we bring you a fascinating conversation about the recent passing of Toots Hibbert with jazz DJ and writer Jay Trachtenberg of KUTX. This episode covers many aspects of Toots’ music and his legacy, plus Trachtenberg reminisces about his various interactions with this reggae legend dating back to the 1970s. Gain a great sense of this genre’s past and its future by listening to this very insightful audio recording!

Episode #2 (September 2020): This month’s guest is longtime reggae industry insider Sista Irie. She has served as a producer and program host at community radio station 88.7 FM KAZI since 1989. Hear her spin the best old and new sounds “The Conscious Party” every other Sunday from 2-5 Central Standard Time. In addition to her work at KAZI, she is also one of the two founding partners of Majesty Media, an agency on a mission to celebrate and promote respect for the arts, culture and entertainment sectors. Listen to this episode of the Austin Reggae Fest podcast to hear Sista Irie’s thoughts on how the reggae scene has evolved over the last 30 years, as well as this genre’s extreme relevance to the current push for a more diverse and inclusive society.

Episode #1 (July 2020): We talk with Central Texas Food Bank Chief Development Officer Mark Jackson about the many challenges this non-profit is now facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Central Texas Food Bank is the longtime charitable beneficiary of the Austin Reggae Festival, receiving more than $1,000,000 in proceeds via ticket sales over the last decade. In this inaugural episode, Jackson also tells listeners how they can get involved with helping to provide food for the many hungry families in this region during this very difficult time.

Finally, read daily news updates about the Reggae, Dancehall and Afrobeats scenes via this section of the Austin Reggae Festival website.