“I was born on 4/20,” Bob Marley’s son Stephen declared with a smile Monday, embracing the unofficial marijuana holiday as he and brothers Julian and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley announced the first West Coast edition of their family’s Kaya Fest this April. It’s no coincidence that the two-day concert – featuring all five performing Marley brothers and guests Ms. Lauryn Hill, Cypress Hill and Tom Morello – will unfold in California, which last year voted to legalize pot for recreational use.
“Music will keep it together, of course, but we have a greater cause, which is cannabis and the various benefits of the plant,” Stephen Marley said in a press conference at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, a hotel used frequently by the reggae giant. “We’ve always been advocates of herb and the use of this plant for the benefit of mankind. Not all miracles come from the sky. Some miracles come from the earth.”
The all-ages festival is named for the elder Marley’s 1978 album Kaya, a word his sons say he used interchangeably with ganja. The April 28-29 concert in San Bernardino will also include Ziggy Marley and Ky-Mani Marley, plus sets by Action Bronson and rocksteady veterans Toots and the Maytals, among others. The first Kaya Fest was held last year in Miami.
After the press conference (and a stirring acoustic performance of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved”), Stephen tells Rolling Stone that his father was an ongoing influence on the wave of legalization and would still have been part of that effort. “He would be at the forefront of this movement for people to know the