Matisyahu to perform at Smith Center

Reggae music evokes images of dreadlocked Rastafarians – not long beards and curled locks. The stereotype-defying Hasidic Jewish reggae artist Matisyahu will bring his unique sound and atypical reggae image to the Smith Center on April 9.

WRGW and the Student Activities Center will sponsor the concert, which station manager Steve Roche said would be the biggest that WRGW has ever sponsored.

“We’ve been looking to have a concert of this scale for a while, and Matisyahu jumped out at us because of his rising popularity,” Roche said.

Tickets are available for $16 for the first 1,500 students. After that, the price jumps to $25.50, which Roche said is still less expensive than the artist’s typical ticket price.

“(Matisyahu) is not on tour a lot, and the last time he was here was over Christmas break, so a lot of people couldn’t go,” Roche said. “We think it’s a great opportunity.”

The concert will take place the day after Program Board’s annual Spring Fling concert, for which a performer has not yet been announced.

Matisyahu, born Matthew Miller, became a Hasidic Jew while studying at New York’s New School. He describes his sound on his latest CD, Youth, as a cross between Bob Marley and Schlomo Carlebach on his Web site.

“It’s a great way to get the word out about Jewish and Israeli music to college students who wouldn’t otherwise know, care or hear about it,” said senior Marci Fiedler, a member of the a cappella group Shiluv, which performs Jewish songs. “Matisyahu is not your average religious Jewish singer.”

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