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Reggae artist to mark race riots anniversary

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Mitchell "Live Wires" Trott

With this Friday marking 39 years since the outbreak of the race riots of 1977, musician Live Wires aims to sanctify the occasion with a concert in the foyer of City Hall.

“I like to do things that have significance,” the reggae artist told The Royal Gazette.

“I am a catalyst — I try to bring people together with a community focus on unity and love.”

The 8pm show, dubbed Gombey Warrior on the Reggae Highway, is a celebration of togetherness, with a homage to the African motherland.

The entertainer also known as Mitchelle Trott was three years old when the hangings of Erskine Burrows and Larry Tacklyn ignited a storm of protests and violence that exposed the depth of Bermuda’s racial animosity.

“I am a product of ‘after integration’, but my family lived in segregation, and when we went places where they were not able to go, I was made to know that,” Mr Trott said.

“I am a Rasta man, a universal being. In my community I embrace everyone. Love and respect is for all of us to give and receive. I never really experienced too many instances of racism as a young person — I don’t like to label it as that; it’s ignorance. We all look like one another underneath, and it’s the same blood pumping in our veins.”

In discussing Bermuda’s history, Mr Trott said he settled on a concert in tribute to the hardships of the past along with the shared roots of all.

Fresh off the Jamrock Reggae Cruise, where he performed for an audience of thousands, the entertainer has gained ample exposure with the cruise using his song Reggae Highway to open.

Doors open this Friday at 7.30pm, with opening remarks from Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton — and Acting Governor Ginny Ferson lending support with Sir John Swan, the former Premier.

An afterparty follows at Devonshire Recreation Club, Zion Train International on the Reggae Highway with DJ Rassa Rella, and a surprise appearance from “an international reggae star”, Live Wires said, plus other artists from overseas.

Tickets to the 90-minute show are $75 from www.bdatix.bm, the Music Box and Bulk Express, and will be good for access at Devonshire Rec, where entry is $15 before midnight and $20 after.

Celebration of togetherness: Mitchell “Live Wires” Trott is holding a concert, marking 39 years since the outbreak of the race riots of 1977, in the foyer of City Hall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)