Alpha Blondy cancels tour / Gregory Isaacs replaces him in Arcata



African reggae star Alpha Blondy , who had been scheduled to perform at the Arcata Community Center next Sunday, Feb. 24 , has canceled the remaining dates of his American tour.

An inquiry to the producers of the Ragga Muffins Festivals , a series of concerts planned for the West Coast featuring the singer from Cote d'Ivoire, brought the following e-mail:

We received word this morning that Alpha Blondy was canceling the remaining dates of his North American Tour due to severe illness which unfortunately includes his dates with us at the Ragga Muffins Festival this weekend in Long Beach on Sunday and the Tribute to the Reggae Legends Festival on Mon. in San Diego as well as the Ragga Muffins Festival in San Francisco 2/23. His management asked us to pass on the following to his fans:

"To my fans in America. I am so sorry to have to do this to you as I greatly value your appreciation for my music and the message it carries.
I would not leave you like this if it was not serious. I plan on returning to America as soon as possible to perform some music for you and
show you how truly blessed I am to have such understanding people as

~ Ragga Muffins Festival Crew

Note: The planned Arcata concert is not a Ragga Muffins event; People Productions is the producer. Jamaican singer Anthony B and German reggae star Gentleman are also booked for the show. Check back for an update on what's happening with that event.

Update: An e-mail came this morning from Carol Bruno of People Productions announcing a new headliner for the Arcata show.

Bruno writes,

We are saddened by Alpha Blondy's serious illness that has necessitated his immediate return to France and cancellations of all his west coast dates. We send him our prayers for a speedy recovery.
We have added Gregory Isaacs to the February Festival line-up in Arcata and are looking forward to a great day of music.

Let me know if you want to do an interview with Gentleman... It's a beautiful morning in Southern Humboldt.
The sun is streaming through the firs into my kitchen... Peace, Carol

above ^ the dapper Gregory Isaacs ^

Further update via Reggae Festival Guide Newsletter:

From the Desk of Michel Jovanovic of Mediacom on behalf of Alpha Blondy, written to the attention of promoters, one of which told Reggae Festival E-Guide that he was informed that Alpha Blondy was also facing a battle with malaria which can recur once the person contracts it.

Dear Promoters,

Some unfortunate circumstances have transpired with Alpha's U.S. tour. We have to announce that Alpha Blondy has to cancel his North American tour after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia, chest pains and spots on his lungs amongst other medical findings. At the start of the tour Alpha had expressed how bad he was feeling. The first show was in Honolulu on Friday, February 8th. Alpha had to cut the show a little short and profusely apologized to the audience telling them he was feeling very ill. The next day when Alpha awoke he was in such a bad state that he had to be taken to the hospital. After being seen by the hospital doctor and taking some preliminary tests he had to be admitted to a hospital stay for further testing and kept under observation. He had to cancel his peformance that Saturday evening and on Sunday. The doctors had released him on Monday telling him he should confine himself to bed rest for several days before starting to perform again. He had a show Monday evening and was able to move that to a later date on the tour. Alpha insisted on doing the show on Tuesday in Aspen (at the Belly Up) which he did although it was a shorter set. It was a great show, typical for Alpha giving us all hope that he was past his illness. When he awoke the next morning, the symptoms that hospitalized him on Saturday had returned in a severe way. He gave it until the afternoon in hopes of feeling better but unfortunately that did not happen. The decision was made for his well being to immediately return to France where his own doctors can treat his severe medical issues.

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