Interview with RESTOKE Ambassador Jay Harris May 5, 2015 06:00
RESTOKE, a lifestyle apparel line created to inspire the pursuit of stoke, is thrilled to tell you about yet another inspiring individual, Brand Ambassador Jay Harris, guitarist for the Soul Rebel Project, a top-professional Reggae/Rock band hailing from Boston Massachusetts. The addition of Jay follows the earlier announcement of bringing together a diverse group of amazing people who embody the RESTOKE brand values: those who are intensely excited about what stokes them and they see no limit in what they can do; they pursue their passion and NEVER STOP.
RESTOKE recently sat down with Jay to talk about his cutting edge Caribbean guitar playing and to find out more of what ignites him and why he’s passionate to be a part of the RESTOKE family.
Jay, let me say again how happy we are to have you as a RESTOKE Brand Ambdassador! What were your initial thoughts about the RESTOKE brand?
Thanks. I am honored to be an Ambassador because of what the brand represents, the RESTOKE logo and message drew me in.
Tell us about your background, where are you from?
I was born in the fishing city of Gloucester MA raised in Magnolia, started playing guitar at 13. I spent two years in Berklee College of Music in Boston. There I met and became friends with so many talented music heavies, actually played with Blues guitar virtuoso, Monster Mike Welch, in a jazz combo, I'll never forget that experience. After college I left Gloucester, aka "East Coast Island" The inspiration for the title of SRP’s debut album. I took a three day train ride to Seattle to expand my mind and get exposed to the vibe that was exploding out there in the mid to late 90's. After a couple years it was back to the east coast. I landed back in Brattleboro, Vermont. After 27 years of playing and honing the craft I finally stepped out to play in the public eye. I was invited to be the guitarist of the Roots/Rock/Reggae band Soul Rebel Project around 2010 and haven't looked back.
Soul Rebel Project Live at the Church of Boston 420 Show. Video by Gregory Short.
When did you experience your first stoke?
Hard to pin point the exact time but I experienced the stoke after a life changing event. Ended up going from corporate America to playing roots reggae music and that was absolutely my first stoke. From positive vibes to the Jah positive lifestyle, it has changed my health and my mind.
What do you do now to RESTOKE?
Playing live shows. The top of the wave every week. I get lost in the music and the energy from the crowd that just engulfs the soul and I let the music take over. Coming up with the new sound delivering a new twist to the audience is what really fires me up and that’s how I RESTOKE.
Are there any other artists, individuals or organizations that inspire you or your work?
Guitarist, Al Anderson of the wailers blows my mind. He's always pushing forward for something new and creative. Mike Francis is another, his passion and commitment to the music and organizations that he supports is inspiring.
What’s your goal for your next big Restoke? Doing What?
That's an easy one, the big Wedding day! We're honored to have some of our favorite friends and musicians performing on our special day.
Best stoke to date?
So many great shows but I'd have to say the one that really stands out was the Newport Reggae fest. That's when it all clicked for me and the music took over.
Soul Rebel Project KING Official Video VPAL.