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Ragga Muffins Festival 

Wednesday, Feb 17 2010

Now in its second installment in Oakland and its 29th year overall, Moss Jacobs' massive Ragga Muffins Festival has slimmed down, but isn't short on talent. Last year, the event touched down in Santa Cruz, Oakland, and San Diego in addition to two all-day affairs in Long Beach. This year, only the two port cities will see shows. Still, the lineup for the NorCal edition is solid with vets and new faces. You can imagine a Rasta musician exclaiming, "Time tough, but reggae tuffer!" The all-ages fest features roots crooner Gregory Isaacs of "Night Nurse" fame and '80s reggae sensation Cocoa Tea. Other highlights include diminutive, fiery DJ Capleton, one of dancehall's best live acts; and Jamaica's version of John Legend, singer Tarrus Riley, a masterful romantic talent.

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Tomas A. Palermo

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