A POPULAR reggae band is to play Ayr's Gaiety Theatre next month.

Ashara, which was created by award-winning musician Jason Wilson (Wilson & Swarbrick), will take to the Gaiety's stage on Thursday, January 26 with tracks that feature a mix of Scottish folk, global roots and reggae.

The group, who describe their sound as "where Scotland meets Jamaica in Canada", features Jason Wilson on vocals, acoustic guitar and piano, alongside Jamaican-Canadian guitarist Carl Harvey (Toots and The Maytals), and Wilson band members Marcus Ali (saxophone), Laurel Tubman (vocals), Vince Reel (drums) and bassist Michael Shapinko.

Jason Wilson is a two-time Juno Awards nominee, Canadian Reggae Music Award winner and bestselling Scottish-Canadian historian from Downsview, Ontario.

He is the protégé of Studio One keyboardist Jackie Mittoo and has performed and recorded with UB40, Alanis Morissette, Sly & Robbie, Ron Sexsmith, Ernest Ranglin, Pee Wee Ellis and Dick Gaughan.

Born to Scottish parents, Jason was also one half of the Wilson & Swarbrick project with the late English folk icon Dave Swarbrick.

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Ashara also comes with a rotating cast of award-winning Scottish trad musicians, including noted fiddler Jack Smedley (Rura), the great Highland piper Ali Hutton (Old Blind Dogs), feted accordionist John Somerville (Treacherous Orchestra), and the Scottish-based Jamaican songstress Subrina “iBrina” Ward, who has herself brought together the musical worlds of Scotland and Jamaica.

His music has been described as “Scottish-Reggae”, "Folk-Reggae" and even "Post-Reggae”. 

Jason said: “We’ve been working on putting together Ashara for a long time and I can’t wait to bring the project to Ayr this January.

“Showcasing our work for the first time in Scotland feels like a perfect fit because our sound is so heavily influenced by Scottish folk and we have a rotating cast of award-winning Scottish trad musicians.

"I always thoroughly enjoy returning to the country to play for Scottish audiences and this time will be extra special.”

For more information visit www.jasonwilsonmusic.com