Reggae band to close out Hike Haliburton Festival
By Angelica Ingram
Published Aug. 28, 2018
The Sattalites have been performing reggae songs for nearly four decades and will be bringing their uptempo beats to Head Lake Park on Sept. 23 at the Biggest Picnic Ever, closing out the Hike Haliburton Festival.
One of the band’s founders, Fergus Hambleton, said the group started out as a music school in Toronto in 1980.
“It was my partner and I, his name is Jo Jo Bennett, he’s a flugelhorn player, the two of us started this school,” said Hambleton. “We would give kids lessons ... and we would force them to go out and play at different places.”
Over this time period, the early 1980s, reggae started to become more popular and Hambleton and Bennett began forming a musical group to play regularly on Queen Street.
Nowadays the band ranges from six to nine players, depending on the gig. It includes instruments such as a guitar, bass, saxophone, horn, trumpet, keyboard and drums.
“I like the reggae [sound] because the singing style appeals to me,” said Hambleton.
Each member of the group is a full-time musician. The band performs both original songs and some reggae covers.
The group has played across Canada and in Jamaica and won two Juno awards.
Those planning on attending the Biggest Picnic Ever can expect to hear some great singing and have some fun, said Hambleton.
“We did that event last year and we had a lot of fun,” he said. “It was very interesting to see all the hikers out. It was impressive to see the international component and that some of them were into their 70s and eager to partake in these hikes.”
The Sattalites will be playing at the third annual Biggest Picnic Ever, taking place in Head Lake Park on Sept. 23 from noon to 3 p.m. There will also be vendors, games, prizes and more. The picnic is open to all ages and dogs.