Kingston Dub Club is the weekly high point of roots reggae revival sessions in Kingston. The venue is situated in the hills above Kingston and offers a breath taking view of the city. It is actually the home of its host, Gabre Selassie, owner and operator of Rockers Sound Station. It has an intimate yard where the wall of speakers and the DJ booth is situated and it has a spacious deck bar in the back.
In the DJ booth you will find Gabre Selassie playing 100% Roots / Rockers / Reggae & Dub from the Highest Regions, as the music is described on the Kingston Dub Club posters and Facebook page. Gabre regularly invites international guest selectors and artists. Even if they are not performing, there’s a good chance you will see some of your favorite reggae artists holding a vibes in a corner. The crowd is diverse and international. Here’s where you can meet up with visiting reggae fans from around the world. To actually talk with someone, you’d have to go to deck where you can still hear the music but can also engage in conversation. But there is of course no need to do this because you can just relax and enjoy the mesmirizing dub music.
Each and every sunday from 8 p.m. until 2 a.m.
Jack’s Hill, 7B Skyline Drive. That’s a 15 minute drive from Kingston on a steep, dark, potholed and winding road up the mountain.
Watch this interesting Dubspot video in which Gabre Selassie talks about Kingston Dub Club and the rising Roots movement in Kingston.
The ride to Dub Club along the dark and steep potholed roads is something of an experience by itself. You stop in the middle of nowhere where you see the sidewalks lined with cars and hear the music pounding. Still dark, you find your way to a winding rocky path descending towards the yard where the speakers are pounding and the party has begun.
If you don’t have your own car, getting to Dub Club requires some effort since there is no public transportation going to its location in the hills above Kingston. An hour long walk up a very steep hill from Papine Square or a pricey cab fare are the only options if you can’t catch a ride with a friend. A taxi to go up Jack’s Hill from Kingston town will charge you JMD 1500 at least. Going back to the city at 2 a.m. will probably cost you a bit more.
Consider bringing a jacket as it can get somewhat chilly up in the mountains.
Dub Club is a free session so no admission.
There is food available.
Kingston Dub Club: Why You Should Go
Founded in 2002, Kingston Dub Club is home to the Rockers Soundsystem and is dedicated to undiluted roots music and sound system culture. This unique club is operated by Karlyle ‘Gabre Selassie’ Lee, a committed Rastafarian who uses his sound system to ‘edutain’ and fire up the spirit of everyone fortunate enough to fall within earshot. Kingston Dub Club has achieved something of a legendary status; high above Kingstonon Skyline drive, the club opens its doors every Sunday evening for an immersive evening of matchless music. As they say ‘the only good system is a sound system’. If you find yourself in Kingston, Jamaica, then here’s five reasons why you should also find yourself at Kingston Dub Club.
Experience true roots reggae and dub from one of the sound system greats
There’s only one way to listen to dub, and that’s from a legendary sound system in the expert hands of one of Jamaica’s foremost practitioners. Head to Kingston Dub Club for a rare authentic musical experience. Gabre is dedicated to his art and has spent 25 years honing his skills. The sound system has toured the UK, Israel and Japan and is streamed live on Sunday nights 8pm to 2am.
Find yourself and lose yourself
There is an integrity and purity to Gabre’s craft that never fails catch hold of the inner spirit. An evening at the club can be a spiritual experience for some, or an opportunity to rock out for others. Raised by Rastafarians and mentored by musical legends such as Augustus Pablo, Gabre’s early influences are evident every Sunday night. If you have a soul, then give it some nourishment at Kingston Dub Club.
Meet fellow music lovers from around the world
This is a popular venue and often has an eclectic crowd – old and young, local and international. The one thing everyone has in common is the music. There are few experiences more rewarding than spending time with some like-minded people blissing out to some world class music. Throw in the well-stocked bar and the ital food that’s on offer, and this place is hard to beat. Remember: strictly rockers, no slackers!
See Kingston by night and breath the mountain air
Kingston Dub Club has commanding views from atop Jack’s Hill across Kingston and out into the Harbour. After sunset, the city is laid out before you in a sea of twinkling lights – in fact it’s worth the trip up the hill just for the view. The club sits just high enough to be a few degrees cooler than the city below, and the mountain air is notably cleaner. It is somewhat fitting that the natural environment in which the club sits should itself have a calming, uplifting effect.
Be introduced to Rastafarian culture
Operated by Rastafarians and firmly promoting the virtues of Rastafarianism, Kingston Dub Club is a great place to observe some of the key aspects of this global movement. The prominent rasta colors of red, black, green and gold, heavy with meaning, decorate the venue. Various depictions of Emperor Haile Selassie and the lion of Judah (one and the same) can be found on the walls. The club also serves ital food, the specific diet of the rastas, a wholesome and healthy way to increase your livity or life energy.