Omar Higgins’ Legacy Continues with Return of Live Up Fest 

The music festival benefits Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

Local reggae fusion band Chinese Connection Dub Embassy (CCDE) recently lost a member and a brother, lead vocalist and bassist Omar Higgins, but his legacy continues.

The band, founded in 2010 by Omar and his brothers Joseph and David, has always been known to be philanthropically spirited, with performances benefiting organizations like Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

click to enlarge Chinese Connection Dub Embassy
  • Chinese Connection Dub Embassy

"It's always been important to us to remain active in our community," says Joseph, the band's keyboardist and vocalist.

For the last six years, the reggae-rooted group has raised funds for Le Bonheur through their annual Live Up Fest, and this year is no different.

In addition to hosting a raffle benefiting the children's hospital, this year's Live Up Fest will feature a performance by CCDE and special surprise guests. Others taking the stage include Darius Phatmak Clayton, Johnny Love, and The Irie Lions.

"All of the artists playing have roots in reggae, but each of them have their own unique styles," says Joseph.

click to enlarge werecbox_img_3519.jpg

Darius Phatmak Clayton (Memphis) exhibits hip-hop and spoken word styles, Johnny Love (Santa Anna, California) performs elements of Latin music, The Irie Lions (Fayetteville, Arkansas) combine jazz and funk sounds with reggae dub, and Flux (Florence, Alabama) plays experimental jam music.

"Ultimately, the goal of the festival really is just to bring people together, and, at least for a couple of hours, for everyone to forget about all the negativity in the world and have a good time," Joseph says. "Expect good vibes, and nothing but."

Live Up Fest, Railgarten, July 27th, 6 p.m.-1 a.m., $10.

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