Park City’s Patwa Reggae Band to play Utah festival |

Park City’s Patwa Reggae Band to play Utah festival

Park City's Patwa Reggae Band will play the Utah Reggae Festival in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 13. (Photo by David Newkirk)

The 2013 Utah Reggae Festival is set for Saturday, July 13, at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.

The lineup includes The Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, the Codi Jordan Band, Natural Roots, Afro Omega, Know UR Roots, Wasnatch, Park City’s Patwa Reggae Band and Daniel Bambaata Marley, the son of Ziggy Marley and grandson of the late reggae pioneer Bob Marley.

Patwa drummer Jarryd Wark said performing in the same event with Daniel Marley is one of the highlights of his musical career.

"Any chance we get to play with guys like Daniel Bambatta Marley is a real pleasure and ultimately the prize of being able to have these types of opportunities," Wark told The Park Record. "I mean, we get to play festivals with people we look up to and try to emulate, which is a pretty awesome thing."

Saturday’s performance marks Patwa’s second Utah Reggae Festival.

Organizer Toby Martin booked the band for the event last year when it was held in Ogden.

"Toby has helped us get a couple of shows in the past," Wark said. "We really enjoy playing these shows."

Saturday’s set will last about an hour, which the drummer likes.

"We’re so used to playing three-hour shows where we play 20 to 25 songs, so something shorter is perfect for us," he said. "That way, we can hone in and pick the songs that we are excited about, and we will be playing new stuff that people haven’t heard us play before."

The Patwa Reggae Band — featuring vocalist Errol Grant, bassist Colin Higgins, keyboardist Swainson Holness, guitarist Zach Thomas and Wark — formed three years ago.

"Things just kind of happened," Wark said. "We all had a passion for the music and all enjoyed playing it.

"I don’t think we expected it to get to the point it has," he said. "We were just a bunch of guys who wanted to play some music."

After the band’s first couple of shows, people began taking notice.

"The phone kept ringing and we just kept playing and that has forced us to put things into the next gear and try to ride this thing as far as we can," Wark said. "Seriously, back in 2010, I don’t think we expected to be playing 100 shows a year."

In addition to shows in Park City, Summit County and Salt Lake, the Patwa Reggae Band has performed at festivals in Moab and northern Utah.

"I mean, we all wanted the most for the band and push it as far as we can, but we didn’t think we’d be as busy as we are," he said.

This weekend the group is booked for three shows — two on Saturday, including the Reggae Fest and one on Sunday.

"That’s where we’re at right now," Wark said. "It’s been cool, and we’ve all seen it as a great opportunity."

Still, challenges have accompanied the opportunities

"We all have full-time day jobs and that means we have to make sacrifices to make this happen, but we love it," he said.

When Wark started playing the drums, he didn’t play reggae.

"I started playing rock music in cover and garage bands and then got into metal and death metal," he said. "Then I found jazz and funk and ended up doing some dub reggae and extended jams at college."

He relocated from California to Park City and hooked up with Thomas, who, in turn, introduced Wark to the rest of the band.

"They needed a drummer and since the last thing I did was dub reggae, I felt it was perfect to keep it going," Wark said.

Park City’s Patwa Reggae Band will perform at the Utah Reggae Festival at Liberty Park, 600 East and 900 South in Salt Lake City, on Saturday, July 13. The festival will run from noon until 10 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $30 and are available at

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