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Fresh Off Performance In D.C., Puma Ptah To Wow Them In Rochester

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Puma Ptah of St. Thomas

ROCHESTER, New Hampshire — Between worldwide reggae fests in Italy and Jamaica, is a festival tomorrow August 1 at The Governor’s Inn, where eight reggae bands will entertain with more than 10 hours of music, accompanied by arts and craft vendors, Jamaican grill pits and scores of craft beer.

In collaboration with WXGR world music radio, six internationally known reggae acts will take the stage, including Kenyatta Hill, son of reggae legend Joseph Hill, and three big reggae names associated with Thievery Corporation: St. Thomas’ Puma Ptah (formerly known as Ras Puma), Sleepy Wonder, and Congo Sanchez.

Born Christopher Smith in Charlotte Amalie, Puma Ptah remembers writing lyrics from as early as elementary school.   In 2006 Ptah moved to Virginia where he joined several local bands which eventually led to him joining the renowned D.C.-based Thievery Corporation. He played reggae night at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Washington, D.C. earlier this month.

Also on deck at inn on Saturday will be Freddie Loco coming from Belgium, known worldwide for his reggae horn; The Continent — a band that has backed several international reggae artists; and Soul Rebel Project, a top reggae band from Boston that has toured with Toots and the Maytals and will play reggae standards with cutting edge caribbean guitar, accompanied by Berkley professor John Funkhouser’s explosive piano.

The weekend begins with a dancehall reggae pre-party Friday, July 31, featuring The Green Lion reggae DJ crew.

There is limited seating for those arriving early — lawn chairs or lawn blankets are recommended.

All-day tickets for the festival are $20 in advance online or $25 at the gate.

For information or tickets, call (603) 332-0107 or visit

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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