Reggae great heads this way

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

International reggae icon Linton Kwesi Johnson is coming to South Africa for a series of shows later this month.

Known as LKJ, the Jamaican reggae star and poet was among the first artists to popularise the "dub" style.

Johnson begins his tour at Newtown Park in Johannesburg on April 24. He then moves to Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, on April 25.

On May 1 he will perform at Maynardville in Cape Town. He wraps up his tour in Durban on May 2.

Johnson will be supported by various acts - among them KgaFela Magogodi, Tidalwaves, Vibrafarians, Teba, The Meditators, and the David Vaso Band.

Now based in London, Johnson has recorded a string of albums over the past 25 years. Born in 1952 in Chapelton, Jamaica, he started writing poetry while still at school.

In 1974 his first collection of poetry, Voices of the Living and the Dead was published. His second collection, Dread Beat An' Blood, was published in 1975.

The same year, Johnson released a documentary of his work Dread Beat An' Blood.

In 1980 he published his third book, Inglan is a Bitch. From then on he focused on his music and in 1985, together with the Dub Band, he released LKJ Live in Concert that was nominated for a Grammy award.

In 2002 Johnson became the second living poet and the first black poet to have his work published in Penguin's Modern Classics series.