VAIL – The universe is Sister Carol’s classroom. She’s using her reggae songs as a tool to teach the world about peace, love and equality.”It’s educating while you entertain. We call it ‘educatement.’ Every song of mine is like a lesson plan. It has something for you to learn, something for you to identify with, and it’s always positive,” Sister Carol said.During her 25 years on the reggae circuit, Sister Carol’s most important project is expressing equality for women. She’s using her words to expand the possibilities for all females.The Rastafarian reggae star isn’t just preaching. Her personal and professional successes are a testament to the message she conveys.
She’s a wife and mother of four. She earned a degree in education at the City College of New York after emigrating from Jamaica to the United States. Her 1996 release, “Lyrically Potent,” was nominated for a Grammy. It’s one of nine albums Sister Carol has cut in a music genre that men widely dominate. “Ever since I was a child growing up in Jamaica, I wondered why there is such an imbalance in our world. People have a way of saying that this is a man’s world and everything is about the man, the man, the man. And they never really take time out to give love, honor and praise to the woman, who actually is the giver of life,” Sister Carol said.She cites religion as one institution that perpetuates this man’s-world attitude. The religious phrase “Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost” is a good example, she said, of one societal cause that limits a woman’s freedom and chance to excel.”One of the most important things in edifying the sisters is that when you do so, you edify the brothers as well. Because if you train the man, you train an individual. If you train a woman, then you’re training an entire nation,” Sister Carol said. “I want the brothers to understand that we are not male bashing. You have to understand how powerful the woman is and give her respect and give her love that she truly deserves. And when that happens, we’ll see a more balanced society.”Sister Carol creates roots and culture reggae. She’s currently working on her 10th album but taking a break to tour. Sister Carol plays 8150 in Vail Village tonight at 10.
“I am inspired by so many different things, and we try to put it in songs to express how we feel. It might be social, political, educational, emotional, we try to get it out there and put it together in a lyrical form for the people to identify with,” Sister Carol said.Sister Carol’s rootsSister Carol was born in the ghettos of Kingston and moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1973, which landed her on a path that led to movies, albums and television appearances. As an actress she’s appeared in Jonathan Demme’s films “Something Wild” and “Married to the Mob.”But reggae music has always been Sister Carol’s driving force. Her father was a studio engineer at Radio Jamaica (RJR) and was helping Studio One’s Clement “Coxsone” Dodd to establish the music scene in the 1960s. As a kid, she was inspired by the roots reggae greats, like Burning Spear, Bob Marley, the I Threes and Peter Tosh. You hear these influences in her music.
“I think what I love about reggae music most is the spiritual embodiment that it contains. It’s music that really uplifts and energizes. The synchronization of the drum and the bass is like the beating of the heart. So everyone, anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you are, you don’t have to speak the language, you can feel and you can identify with it and be a part of it. It’s that connection that I love,” Sister Carol said.Sister Carol will play some old, new and songs to come at 8150 tonight. The Yellow Wall Dub Squad is her backing band.”Tell the fans to come on out. They don’t want to miss Sister Carol. Because it’s always a positive vibration,” she said.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 618, or firstname.lastname@example.orgVail Colorado