Jewish-Reggae Sensation Matisyahu to Visit WSU
OGDEN, Utah – Matisyahu, a Hasidic musician who blends reggae, rock and hip-hop with traditional Jewish themes, will speak at Weber State University on Sept. 22 at noon, in the Shepherd Union Ballrooms.
Matisyahu will discuss spirituality in music and may treat the audience to an impromptu performance of his best-known songs. WSU students, with valid Wildcat ID, can pick up a free admission wristband at the Shepherd Union information desk. General public admission wristbands are available for $5 each at the SUB information desk.
Matisyahu’s hit single “King Without a Crown,” from the Grammy-nominated album Youth, was a mega-hit in the U.S. helping earn him the title of Billboard’s Reggae Artiste of the Year in 2007. While touring in Israel in 2006, Matisyahu performed as the opening act for British rocker Sting. Matisyahu’s music is featured in the documentary film “Unsettled,” which took top honors at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Matisyahu’s musical collaboration with Senegalese-American R&B artist Akon became the official anthem of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. The song, “One Day,” was written the previous year as an anthem for hope and peace. “I don’t know exactly how it came about, but somebody heard it and thought it would be a good fit,” Matisyahu told MTV News.
Matisyahu was born Matthew Paul Miller in West Chester, Pa. and brought up as a Reconstructionist Jew in White Plains, N.Y. At 16, Miller attended an intensive, two month-long program in Israel during which he aggressively explored his Jewish heritage. His experiences greatly affected his feelings towards Judaism and eventually led to his decision to adopt Orthodox Judaism. His stage name, Matisyahu, comes from the biblical Hebrew pronunciation of Matthew. Claiming his music is influenced by spiritual teachings, Matisyahu said, “I want my music to have meaning, to be able to touch people and make them think.”
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