An avid student of Jamaican Island Reggae will be featured at the Gorge Hall for the first time this weekend. Gisto and the Grateful Living have a special connection to the genre, offering a spirit of music specific to island culture.

Gisto, the band’s leader and songwriter, explains what makes his band’s delivery so appropriate for island culture.

“We do the improvisational interludes where we’ll be just jamming out for 20 minutes on one song…that freedom in the music that anything can happen type of feeling where you’re you want to get people dancing,” he says.

He describes the music’s effect on the audience as “a therapeutic moment where we explore the unknown…where the music inspires a freedom and potential.”

Gisto used to have a band based out of Victoria, but he never made it Cortes Island until now. He sees the performance as a ticket to connect to new places, especially islands like Jamaica and Cortes.

“Lucky that we have the music as our as our passport to travel and meet people,” Gisto says. 

Gisto connected with his band, the Grateful Living, during the pandemic. But his journey with reggae began back in Nelson, BC. No matter where his music “passport” takes him, he values the human connections he makes along the way.

“Whether it’s a Jamaica, or a Cortes, or wherever there’s a unique energy when it comes to these islands that I’m really excited to be able to share,” he says.

The Whaletown Community Club will welcome Gisto and The Grateful Living on Aug. 26 at the Gorge Hall.

To hear more about how reggae lead Gisto from BC to Jamaica and back, listen to the CKTZ News Update below: