Rochester, N.Y., is not known as a hot-bed of political insurrection and/or the cultural expression formed in response to oppression. But that's exactly where reggae band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad calls home, and it is from their cold northern city that the six-person group creates their sunny sound.
Formed in 2001, the band is still considered an underground reggae group though that may change with the release of their debut album, Slow Down (which they released themselves). The band's combination of afro-beat, reggae, roots and dub music has landed them spots opening for the Toots and The Maytals, The Wailers, The Meditations, Mad Professor and more, and has garnered them the respect of bands like the Brazilian Girls, Umphrey's McGee and String Cheese Incident. Earlier this year, the band performed in Jamaica, sharing the stage with reggae legend Yellowman.
A loaded touring schedule in support of Slow Down takes James Searl, brothers (and founders) Matthew and Christopher O'Brian, Dylan Savage, Rachel Orke and Buddy Honeycutt across the country spreading good cheer and leaving smiles (and plenty of new fans) in their wake.
Oct. 12, 9:30 p.m., $5, Reef, 105 S. Sixth St., 208-287-9200.