The relaxed reggae beat filled the garden at San Benito House on Sunday. Bubbles whirled through the air chased by giggling toddlers, as parents lounged on blankets, socializing and sipping margaritas.
Welcome to “Reggae in the Garden,” a free, laid-back, family-friendly reggae party put on by Half Moon Bay deejay Dominic “Silverback” Andreatta and his crew at Burial Ground Sound.
Andreatta said he got the idea for the event last year when he was eating at the San Benito Cantina with his wife, Kristen.
“The owner loved it, we booked the dates, and all of a sudden it was on,” he said.
After a successful summer in 2018, Reggae in the Garden is back. Sunday’s event was the first of the 2019 series, which will continue on the first Sunday of the month all summer long.
Andreatta said that he remembers hearing reggae when he was growing up in South San Francisco. Some of his father’s friends were bongo and conga drum players.
“They would be banging out, blasting some music. That changed the direction of my whole entire life,” said Andreatta. “I didn’t know what it was at first, but from the moment I heard it, I knew it was something I wanted.”
As he got older, he started digging deeper into the music and the Rastafarian philosophy behind it. By 14, he was spinning records with his friend Joe “Rebel Dub” Carlisi.
The pair were joined by Travis “True Verse” Jackson and Luke “LP” Chilen to fill out Burial Ground Sound.
For Andreatta, reggae is much more than just a gig. It is a way of life.
He wears long dreadlocks that he’s been growing for years.
He often tucks them into an oversized knitted Rasta-style cap.
Almost an entire room in his condo is devoted to his collection of thousands of vinyl records, from classic Bob Marley and Steel Pulse to rub-a-dub artists.
“It’s almost like Jamaican rapping,” said Andreatta. “That stuff really blew my mind.”
He feels it is so important for everyone, especially young children, to hear the positive messages in the music he loves.
“Music is one of the most powerful things on earth,” he said. “I want people to have the chance to not just get sucked into the mainstream stuff. There is so much negativity in the world; it can be overpowering.”
He has another reason to promote a family-friendly music event: his 3-year-old daughter, Ariella.
“I want to bring something to the table that nobody else is doing,” he said. “Reggae music is something that can give such a healing message that can literally be life changing.
“I want to be able to share that experience with little children, so they can have those memories of their mom and dad taking them to that reggae party in the garden,” he said.