Indika Reggae Band

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Indika Reggae Band is a reggae band based in Chicago, Illinois, formed in the mid-1990s. The group consists of U-Roy Muslar (lead vocals), Courtney Panton (bass/band leader), Mervyn Belisle (keyboard), Kelsey Tarver (drums) and Gerald ‘Toto’ Alfred (guitar) from the band Boukman Eksperyans. Of the current lineup, Mervyn Belisle (keyboard), of Belize, is the only remaining original member from the mid-1990s. Indika has performed at venues across the Midwestern United States, and was voted Chicago’s Best Chicago Reggae Band in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

History

Indika, founded by Samuel ‘Peter” Beaumont, formed in Chicago, Illinois, United States during the mid-1990s and featured a line-up of mostly Jamaican musicians. Originally playing in small venues throughout Chicago and the United States’ Midwest region, Indika’s original members consisted of Robert ‘Robbie’ Burchell on bass and Liston ‘Doggie’ Davis on vocals. Before the passing of Liston ‘Doggie’ Davis, Devon Brown joined Doggie for about five years together with Rasta Kelly and Bunny Jackson. The current Indika singer is U-Roy Muslar, who started singing with Indika in 2001 [1].

In 2010, the band expanded its range of artistic talent by increasing the diversity of its lineup of musicians, welcoming members from Belize and later, in 2014, a permanent guitarist from Haiti [2]. Such diverse cultural incorporations resulted in a significant popularity surge and critically acclaimed performances at larger venues in the Midwestern United States. Today, Indika has become the premier backing band in the Midwest for artists such as Bushman, Calypso Rose, Gregory Isaacs, Luciano, Leroy Smart, Marion Hall, Pressure Busspipe, Richie Spice, Richie Stephens, Spragga Benz, Warrior King, Freddie McGregor, and Wayne Wonder.

By incorporating and expanding its repertoire, Indika now includes genres such as Soca, Calypso, Punta, Reggae, Dancehall, R&B, and Jazz, and continues to attract a larger and more diverse audiences to its shows.  

Honors

Indika Reggae Band is critically acclaimed as one of the most innovative and influential reggae bands in the Midwest, having won numerous recognitions and awards, including Chicago’s Best Chicago Reggae Band in 2007 and the Martin Intercultural Music Award three years in a row. Individual band members have won a number of prestigious awards, including designations as Chicago’s Best Entertainer and Best Vocalist.


[1] https://www.heraldargus.com/arts-in-the-park-features-three-bands-on-three-nights/article_5a16ba6f-7e0a-562c-b2db-dd2c6cc716fe.html

[2] https://whatzup.com/article/1458

References[edit]

Indika Reggae Band[edit]

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