Alberta reggae band has unlikely start

Tasman Jude will be playing at The Shatford Centre on Nov.7 as they tour with their new album, Green.

Alberta reggae band has unlikely start

Many great musical moments are born through improvisation, though not many bands can boast their origin was improvised on stage.

Al Peterson and Caleb “Bravehart” Hart had been to each other’s shows, but had never played live together until one night at an open mic. The two invented songs out of thin air to an overwhelmingly positive reception.

The two are now founding members of Tasman Jude, an Alberta-based reggae group out of Grand Prairie, that will be playing The Shatford Centre on Nov. 7.

He said the band’s origin was anything but pre-planned.

“One day we just got up on this open mic stage and we had no idea what we were going to do,” said Hart, vocalist and percussionist for Tasman Jude.

The two improvised three songs that night. Suddenly,  they were surrounded by college students asking where they could find the band’s music.

“That launched our career,” Hart said.

Hart made a Facebook page that very night, culminating in 100 likes in two days. The first teaser track the band released online had the same instant success, shooting to No. 2 on the Canadian reggae charts for independent music website Reverbnation, with the track being played 5,000 times.

Hart was born in Alberta, but moved to the Caribbean when he was just two months old, spending his formative years in Trinidad and Tobago, living there until he was 19.

The small size of the Grand Prairie music scene had little to do with the vibrance of the  community, Hart said.

“We owe all of our success to Grand Prairie. They have supported us relentlessly through the last 21 months,” Hart said. “The music scene is not too shabby. There are numerous live venues. More than your average place, per capita.”

The band’s success in such a small market is as unexpected as their formation, said Hart.

“Nobody really expected a positive reggae band to come out of a money-based, oilfield town,” Hart said.

The band has acquired a few more members since the impromptu jam and is touring its latest release Green, the first instalment of a three-album series.

The next instalments of the concept album collection will be Gold and Red, making up the three colours of reggae.

Each colour represents different emotion and a different sound Hart said. Green will be the raw, roots-y addition, with Gold swaying to an island, steel drum sound reminiscent of Hart’s childhood in Trinidad and Tobago and Red will strive for a bigger arena-rock reggae style.

A dollar from every sale of Green will go to the organization Tree Canada which plants trees across the country.

For more information contact The Elite at 250-492-3051.