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Uncle Jonny

Uncle Jonny

By Cecelia Campbell-Livingston—-

SINCE first visiting Jamaica in the 1990s, Canadian singer Jon ‘Uncle Jonny’ Strauss says making reggae music has been his passion.

He was in Jamaica last month to launch his latest album, Get Real, at The Deck in St Andrew. For this project he worked with a team of noted Jamaican musicians, including percussionist Bongo Herman, saxophonist Dean Fraser and drummer Wilburn ‘Squidley’ Cole.

UNCLE JONNY… my songs involve positive spiritual awakening

Uncle Jonny says Get Real was inspired by personal struggles.

“Songs such as Get Real, Back Home and Stand Tall involve positive spiritual awakening. The song Confidence is also a positive message of believing in oneself, working hard and not being afraid of initial failure or temporary roadblocks,” Uncle Jonny explained.

The focus of his Jamaican visit was to reconnect with the music scene. He established links here 15 years ago when he met reggae icon Sugar Minott at a concert in Montego Bay.

Sugar Minott

“He invited me back to his studio in Kingston the next day and produced my first single, How Could You Do This. We stayed in touch for a few years after and continued to record together,” said Uncle Jonny.

Minott produced two of his four albums — the debut, Singing With The Legends and the follow-up, Kingston Class Reunion.

Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Jon Strauss was initially influenced by rock and soul music which was the sound of the Customers, a band he played in during the 1990s.

The band’s guitarist was a reggae fan and turned him on to Jamaican music.

After a slow start, he says Canadian reggae fans have warmed to his sound. He performs regularly in his home province as well as in Calgary and Ottawa.


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