David Katz (author)

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David Katz is an author, music journalist, photographer, A&R consultant, disc jockey and reggae historian, raised in the US but long resident in Britain.

Katz is author of People Funny Boy: The Genius of Lee "Scratch" Perry, Solid Foundation: An Oral History of Reggae, and Caribbean Lives: Jimmy Cliff. He also contributed to the Rough Guide to Reggae, A Tapestry of Jamaica, I-Land Reggae: From Heartbeat to Revolution, Caribbean Popular Music: An Encyclopedia of Reggae, Mento, Ska, Rock Steady and Dancehall, Les Origins Du Reggae: Retour Aux Sources and Keep On Running: The Story of Island Records. His writing and photographs have appeared in many international publications, including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Independent, Mojo, Q, The Wire, XLR8R, Rhythm, Wax Poetics, Riddim, Sky Writings, Caribbean Beat and Murder Dog. Katz has co-ordinated and annotated over 100 retrospective collections of Jamaican music for labels such as Island, Universal, Trojan, Motion, Ariwa, Heartbeat, Wall of Sound, Nuphonic, Strut and Auralux, has released an original record in France, and has co-hosted reggae radio programmes on three continents for stations such as Kiss, Xfm, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, Mojo Radio, WBAI, and KUSF.

Katz has contributed to several radio and television documentaries, including Blood & Fire: Roots, Reggae, Rastafari (BBC Radio 2, 2007), Tighten Up: The Trojan Story (BBC Radio 2, 2006), Can’t Take It With You: Bob Marley (BBC Bristol, 2003), Pioneers: Lee Perry (Channel 4, 2002), and Choice World Clubbing (BBC Choice, 2000). He co-scripted the narration for Don Letts and Rick Elgood's documentary Return of the Super Ape (Channel 4, 1997) and contributed to the feature documentaries Dub Stories (UWE, France, 2006) and Dub Echoes (Brazil, 2007). Katz also worked as an Associate Producer on the feature documentary The Upsetter: The Music And Genius of Lee Scratch Perry (Upsetter Films, 2008) and was a music consultant on the feature film Dreaming Lhasa (White Crane Films, India/UK, 2005).

Katz holds a regular residency as a disc jockey, presenting his "Dub Me Always" nights at the Ritzy in Brixton. He has also deejayed at the Jazz Cafe with Aswad and Horace Andy, at the Hootenany with The Heptones at the Royal Festival Hall and Great Eastern Dining Room as part of the Lee Scratch Perry Meltdown, and at Momo with Mad Professor. He has also spun records at New York's NuBlu with Ras Kush and the Black Redemption Sound System, played in the Skaville Circus tent at Reggae Geel in Belgium, and was a guest DJ on the Bingi night held at Bar Clandestino in Rio, and with DJ War at Il Porticcolo in Salento, Italy, as well as at select functions in France for the I-Land Festival in 2004, for which he was also partly responsible for securing performances by King Jammy, Admiral Bailey, King Stitt, Jim Brown, the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and others. He has also been involved in the "Reggae University" at the annual Rototom Sunsplash Festival in Osoppo, Italy, conducting workshops with Bunny Wailer, Chris Blackwell, The Skatalites, Steel Pulse Horace Andy, Fully Fullwood, Junior Marvin, Dean Fraser, Etana, Alborosie, Jah Shaka, Beenie Man, David Rodigan and Zion Train, among others.

Katz has also given presentations about Jamaican music at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, and presented the final plenary, together with Sly Dunbar, at the second International Reggae Conference held at UWI in February 2010. He also chaired a special session with King Jammy, Bobby Digital and Bunny Lee at the third International Reggae Conference, held at UWI in February 2012, and participated in a panel discussion there with Earl Chinna Smith, Jah9, Dutty Boukman and Protoje. He also gave the closing plenary at the 6th symposium of the Centre for Caribbean Studies in Brazil (CECAB), held at the Federal University of Maranhao, Sao Luis, in November 2010, and addressed students at the University of Lecce in Italy in May 2011. He also lectured to students at Northern Kentucky University's Cooperative Center For Study Abroad (CCSA) programme, and at Community Music in Whitechapel, London.

Originally from San Francisco, he has been a London resident for many years.

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