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David Katz by Etienne Bordet

David Katz is an author, documentary producer and DJ, born in San Francisco and long resident in London.

Katz is the author of People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee Scratch Perry, Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae, and Caribbean Lives: Jimmy Cliff. He also contributed to The Rough Guide to Reggae, A Tapestry of Jamaica, Caribbean Popular Music: An Encyclopedia, Keep On Running: The Story of Island Records, For The Record and Mashup: The Birth of Modern Culture. His writing and photographs have appeared in many international publications, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Newsweek, Mojo, Q, The Wire, XLR8R, Wax Poetics, Riddim, Sky Writings, Caribbean Beat, Fact, Vinyl Factory and Murder Dog. Katz has co-ordinated and annotated over 100 retrospective collections of Jamaican music, has released original records in the UK, France and Japan, and has co-hosted radio programmes on three continents.


Katz has produced documentaries on the music and culture of Jamaica, Brazil and the broader Caribbean for Public Radio International via Afropop Worldwide and contributed to radio and television documentaries for the BBC, Arte and Channel 4. He co-scripted the narration for Don Letts and Rick Elgood's documentary Return of the Super Ape and contributed to the feature documentaries Dub Stories, Dub Echoes, I Am The Gorgon, Les Racines du Reggae Jah Rastafari and Lee "Scratch" Perry's Vision of Paradise, among others. Katz also worked as an Associate Producer on the feature documentary The Upsetter: The Music And Genius of Lee Scratch Perry and was a music consultant on the feature film Dreaming Lhasa.

Since 2004, Katz has presented the monthly reggae vinyl night Dub Me Alwayat the Ritzy in Brixton, hosting guest selectors such as Dennis Bovell Lloydie Coxsone, Festus, Musclehead of Saxon  and Gladdy Wax, as well as MCs such as Brother Culture and Tenor Fly. As a deejay, he has supported Lee Scratch Perry, Aswad, Horace Andy and The Heptones, playing at the Notting Hill Carnival, at festivals such as Rototom, Reggae Geel, Wilkswood and Moogfest and playing at venues throughout Europe, Brazil and Japan. He has also co-hosted the annual "Reggae University" at Rototom Sunsplash since 2007, conducting panel discussions with luminaries such as Bunny Wailer, Chris Blackwell, The Skatalites, Steel Pulse Horace Andy, Fully Fullwood, Junior Marvin, Dean Fraser, Etana, Alborosie, Jah Shaka, Beenie Man, David Rodigan and Zion Train, among many others, and chaired similar events at Moogfest, Wilkswood, Reggae Geel and the Ostroda Reggae Festival in Poland.

Katz has also given presentations about Jamaican music at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, the Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, Brazil, the University of Lecce and University of Naples, as well as at arts venues in Japan. He also lectured to students at Northern Kentucky University's Cooperative Center For Study Abroad programme, and at Community Music in Whitechapel.

© Copyright Etienne Bordet

© 2021-23 by David Katz.


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