Unity Concert at The Wiltern Combines Nature, Buddz and Healing Reggae




Nature - one of the hottest young reggae artists in the business - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
Nature is one of the hottest young reggae artists in the business - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
Nature opens the inaugural Unity Concert - Photo © Donna Balancia
Nature opens the inaugural Unity Concert – Photo © Donna Balancia

Roots, Art, Music, Steal the Show at Inaugural Unity Concert for Lovers of People and Reggae

By DONNA BALANCIA — The Unity Concert Series kicked off in grand style at the Wiltern theatre Thursday night, with Collie Buddz and Nature leading off a special night to benefit The Community Healing Gardens of Venice.

Julian Marley and David Hinds of Steel pulse were the headliners in an evening of love and peace. And Bob Marley would have been proud of this evening at the stately Wiltern, which is obviously well cared-for.

Leon with Sandy Simmons- © 2015 Donna Balancia
Leon and Sandy Simmons Photo 2015 Donna Balancia

There were representatives from Live Nation, Universal Music and the press, blogs and magazines.

But more importantly, reggae performer Rocky Dawuni and the fantastic Leon were in attendance.

You can see Dawuni’s latest CD, Branches Of The Same Tree, at the check out aisle of Whole Foods nationwide.  Leon was a fabulous stage presence and is, well of course … Leon.

“All the performers are great and it’s really amazing that everyone has come together like this,” said Lani who came from Northern California. “I hope they do this every year.”

The evening marked the first Unity Concert, and donations went to The Community Healing Gardens.

Nature Ellis, dynamic performer - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
Nature Ellis, dynamic performer – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

‘By growing a garden, you can grow community’

“We are so pleased and happy for the support,” said Anita Cymet of Healing Garden.

Cymet was supported on stage by actor Leon, who looked dapper in his stylish hat.  “We want the community to come together.”

The Healing Garden is only two months old and works to install confidence and kindness by putting together arts and hands-on garden work.

By growing a garden, it helps to grow the community, Anita said.

Many people came together in support of the organization.  Many donated their time.

Artists flanked either side of the stage putting together their work to the reggae beat of the music.  The Wiltern was in its glory as a respectful crowd and joyed the peace and good vibes.

Collie Buddz captured the audience at the inaugural Unity Concert at the Wiltern - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia
Collie Buddz captured the audience at the inaugural Unity Concert at the Wiltern – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The music of the dynamic Nature opened the evening.

There is innate talent here — Nature Ellis runs across the stage as his band plays and engages the audience with his playful, but thought-provoking songs.

Look for Nature to break out to lead the Reggae field in short time.

Collie Buddz, the hip-hop reggae artist, is something to see live.  Hailing from Bermuda, he rallies the crowd to enjoy his show, with audience members waving arms and cheering along with him.

He used an audience member’s cell phone to record the audience and brought another attendee, named Joe, to join him on stage.

Marley and Hinds always put on a nice show and lived up to their names, for the audience on hand.

A special finale marked the evening, as the group came together.