Fidel Nadal will bring his music, message to Vashon

His sound fuses roots reggae, ragga, dance hall and other beats with powerful lyrics and grooves.

Two-time Latin Grammy nominee Fidel Nadal will play in concert at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

Nadal is an Afro-Argentine singer, songwriter and pioneer of Latin American reggae and the underground hardcore punk movement of Argentina. His signature sound fuses roots reggae, ragga, dance hall and other beats with powerful lyrics and grooves.

According to a press release, Nadal’s prolific musical career spans over 30 years and crosses cultural, musical and language barriers. He has produced more than 30 albums, authored more than 250 published songs and has collaborated with many other well-known musicians and groups worldwide. Since 2009, his official videos have racked up over 199 million views.

Never one to mince words, Nadal sings of social and political oppression and revolution but also connects with his audience through his songs of spirituality, freedom, solidarity and love.

Open Space founder David Godsey said he is thrilled to host the show at Open Space, calling Nadal a legend in South and Central America and beyond.

“Fidel has never performed on Vashon — this marks his island debut,” Godsey said. “But music similar to his is popular here — Clinton Fearon comes to mind, as does Publish the Quest … The specialness of this show is that Fidel Nadal is going to come to our little island.”

Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nadal grew up in an artistic and academic family. His earliest musical influences came from his parents’ love of soul, jazz, blues, calypso and rock.

As a teen, Nadal discovered reggae when he found a Peter Tosh album in the neighborhood record shop. He began listening to Bob Marley and other reggae music, translating lyrics into Spanish and finding his own identity in the Rastafarian movement.

He began his musical career in 1985 as co-founder and lead singer of the radically political rasta-punk band Todos Tus Muertos, named in honor of the tens of thousands killed in Argentina’s Dirty War from 1974-1983 under the dictatorship of Rafael Videla. The band — delivering a mashup of rock, reggae, ska, rap, salsa and cumbia — recorded their first album in 1988 with RCA. After being named the “Best International Group” by the leading Latin-rock magazine La Banda Elastica, TTM gained attention and began playing larger venues, opening for the Ramones in Buenos Aires in 1992 and embarking on a world tour.

By the mid-1990s, Nadal’s interest in Rastafarian philosophy deepened and he began to focus on the spiritual nature of reggae. He formed Lumumba, a roots reggae trio, with Pablo Molina and his brother, Amilcar Nadal.

In 2001, Nadal launched a solo career with a focus on reggae. He’s best known for his hit 2009 single, “International Love” which was included on the FIFA 10 Soundtrack. He’s been featured twice on the cover of Argentina’s Rolling Stone.

Nadal reunited with Todos Tus Muertos in 2016 and kicked off a Latin American tour to celebrate 32 years of the legendary band. He had previously returned to play and tour with Lumumba in 2014, releasing two new singles in 2018 and a five-track EP in 2019.

“I think the sheer volume of music from this musician is stunning, and he keeps on going,” said Godsey. “He is a true artist, driven by his message and passion.”

Doors to the show will open at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at Open Space. Tickets are $18 and $24 on the day of show, and $29 for table seats. Visit openspacevashon.com to buy them.

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