Eighty-year-old jazz-reggae guitarist Ernest Ranglin is considered the father of ska — often regarded as the foundation to modern reggae. Ranglin has played and continues to play with some of the reggae greats — like Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Monty Alexander, Sly and Robbie. He is a brilliant guitarist with a recognizable style all his own. When you watch Ernest Ranglin play, you will have a sense that you are truly experiencing a living legend.
Ranglin shows no signs of slowing down and he continues to unselfishly give himself to his music, his fans and his collaborators, including the band he played and recorded with in the summer of 2011 named
Avila. Their music blends Ranglin’s beautiful ska reggae energy with an expansive new sound from this international supergroup of musicians. Avila’s debut album is an innovative album of jazz and reggae that includes original songs composed by each member in the band, including three original songs by Ernest Ranglin. This band includes drummer Inx Herman (Vusi Mahlasla, Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon, Sting, Hamsa Lila,) bassist Yossi Fine (Gil Evans, John Scofield, Kenny Kirkland, Lou Reed, Rubén Blades, Stanley Jordan, Me’shell Ndegeocello) and keyboard ace Jonathan Korty (Vinyl, Electric Apricot).
Producer Tony Mindel describes working with Ernest Ranglin on this new album; “Ernie came to California last summer with open energy, graciousness, and a collaborative spirit. He is a gentleman with very quick wit and his vibe and humor are infectious.”
Ranglin turns 81 this year and his fretwork is still marked by a playful sensibility that conceals his jaw- dropping virtuosity, qualities that are evident on every track by Avila. Ranglin’s guitar work is currently featured on the #1 hit “Sing,” written by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Weber to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.