4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Hey, Rastaman...

"If I had sold music alone, I wouldn't have been able to survive," says Elliot Leib, who cofounded Trade Roots with Renee Romano 20 years ago.

Leib had a master's degree in African studies when he earned a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Jamaica for a year. While there, Leib and Romano (a '68 SD High grad) produced a film on Rastafarian culture. The pair came up with the idea of Trade Roots, and when they arrived in San Diego in the early '80s, they set up shop in a South Park garage. Their merchandising concept (selling Jamaican clothes, art, jewelry, and records) enabled Trade Roots to outlive two stores that sold reggae records only (Ratner's Records, Strictly Records).

Leib and Romano presented all-ages reggae shows in the '80s and early '90s. They founded the Zion High label, which has released two albums by Yami Bolo (of Jamaica) and Ras Attitude (of St. Croix).

"We always wanted to educate people about the Rastafarian movement," says Leib. What does he have to say about the current Spanish-language dance music -- reggaeton -- that has none of the spirituality of pure reggae?

"Bob Marley said this music will keep growing and growing until it finds its right and proper audience. Even though [reggaeton fans] may not have the awareness of [reggae's] Jamaican roots, original rhythms are driving this music."

"Tribute to the Roots," a show commemorating the 20th anniversary of Trade Roots, is this Saturday at Soma; Horace Andy, Cornell Campbell, Martin Campbell, Kush, and Fiyah Angels play.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Bought houses on Brookes, Upas, 8th Avenue, Georgia Street

San Diego early house flippers
Next Article

Santa Ysabel dairy land ebbs away, Jamul casino dreams

Will Dunbar Lane be blocked, the mines on Banner Grade, Julian's tentative feelings about tourists, Dogpatch U.S.A., 1989 Julian shootout, a drought in the mountains?

"If I had sold music alone, I wouldn't have been able to survive," says Elliot Leib, who cofounded Trade Roots with Renee Romano 20 years ago.

Leib had a master's degree in African studies when he earned a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Jamaica for a year. While there, Leib and Romano (a '68 SD High grad) produced a film on Rastafarian culture. The pair came up with the idea of Trade Roots, and when they arrived in San Diego in the early '80s, they set up shop in a South Park garage. Their merchandising concept (selling Jamaican clothes, art, jewelry, and records) enabled Trade Roots to outlive two stores that sold reggae records only (Ratner's Records, Strictly Records).

Leib and Romano presented all-ages reggae shows in the '80s and early '90s. They founded the Zion High label, which has released two albums by Yami Bolo (of Jamaica) and Ras Attitude (of St. Croix).

"We always wanted to educate people about the Rastafarian movement," says Leib. What does he have to say about the current Spanish-language dance music -- reggaeton -- that has none of the spirituality of pure reggae?

"Bob Marley said this music will keep growing and growing until it finds its right and proper audience. Even though [reggaeton fans] may not have the awareness of [reggae's] Jamaican roots, original rhythms are driving this music."

"Tribute to the Roots," a show commemorating the 20th anniversary of Trade Roots, is this Saturday at Soma; Horace Andy, Cornell Campbell, Martin Campbell, Kush, and Fiyah Angels play.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

EPA closer to banning leaded airplane gas

San Jose study bears on Montgomery and Brown Fields future
Next Article

San Diego County sheriff's radio goes silent

Local scanners fight encryption
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close