Joseph Hill – Five Years on …

Reggae legend, Mr. Music himself, Joseph Hill of Culture, just before going onstage at S.O.B.’s in New York City. (1997?)

Joseph Hill was a true Rastaman through and through and his message was clear:  “If you want the love of Jah to shine in your heart, you’ve got to live right my brother, you’ve got to live right my sisters, the love of Jah is the symbol of life”…

Below is a short piece written by a friend of Josephs, from Canada, the writer Jim Dooley. Thanks Jim for your contribution.

Joseph Hill – Five Years On…

It is hard to believe that it has already been five years since the passing of legendary reggae artist Joseph Hill. Hill was a dynamic performer and the reggae concert circuit sorely misses what was an annual and electrifying presence.  Equally, Joseph’s absence continues to be acutely felt by family, friends, colleagues and a truly global set of admirers.  Anyone who met the charismatic lead singer, or witnessed a Culture concert, will recall a personality that was simultaneously fiery and humorous. Joseph was a person who drew on Jamaica’s rich heritage (both the good and the bad) to inform his always memorable songs.  In a sense he was an educator who explored the ways in which the past informed the present and suggested possible futures. While always firmly based in Jamaica, Hill occasionally described himself as a ‘worldian’ – a global citizen who saw beyond real and imagined borders. Luckily for us, Joseph’s memory remains alive via numerous recordings and fond memories. This rich legacy is also expanded and maintained by Hill’s son Kenyatta – who continues to record and tour (often with Culture alumni Albert Walker and Telford Nelson). The sheer vibrancy of the young Hill’s performances, and sensitive interpretations of Culture songs, demonstrates the depth and enduring quality of Joseph’s works.

Jim Dooley (August, 2011)

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7 comments on “Joseph Hill – Five Years on …”

  1. Stunning Portrait. One of the nicest shots Ive seen of the beautiful Joseph Hill.

  2. I’ll be very happy to get the current abulm of culture band

  3. I love joseph hill to the max

  4. Words cannot explain the true feelings for a magnificent artist like Joseph Hill. One of the hardest working artist in the business of reggae music. I must agree with backup singers comments during one of the online interviews, that when you have performed so many times over the years, you only get better! Joseph Hill was uplifting to see live! He gave it all on the stage as he went from one song to the another. I got a chance to see him perform at least six times in my life and every performance was great. Much respect to the band members and back up singers for your dedication. Lastly, much respect to Joseph’s son Kenyatta for carrying on your dad’s dream of bringing the love of reggae music to the masses.


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