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B Hill / Blog

Skank Festival

Brian’s interest in music began at an early age. At five, he learned to play the organ, followed by the piano and violin. In 1988, as a sophomore in high school, he formed a band with several mates called Regatta 69. The ska-reggae style band hit its peak in the 90’s as part of the increasingly popular third wave of ska-punk influenced music. The band promoted itself through Brian’s own record label, APB Records. As the lead singer and bassist for Regatta 69, Brian captained 15+ tours across the U.S. with his band in his 1957 vintage tour bus. The 1996 Moon Ska Records signing enabled further touring within the states and eventually throughout Europe. During US tours in the 90’s other ska and reggae influenced bands were invited by Brian to tour with Regatta 69 and presented as a tour package to venues by their agent. These partnerships gave birth to the Ska Mutiny Tour with six artists traveling throughout Europe in a double-decker coach with 14 beds, two lounges, and a trailer for the production’s gear. Brian facilitated contracts with sponsors such as Captain Morgan’s Rum, Washburn and Hofner Guitars, Randall Guitar Amps, David Eden, and various clothing companies to support the tour. In 2008, He returned stateside to Durham, North Carolina. After performing at over 1500 concerts in 42 U.S. states and in 17 countries, Brian has down-sized, as he emerges as a solo artist (B. Hill) and plays intimate venues such as house concerts or singer/songwriter shows where voice and lyric is the focus. In addition to the intimate solo billing, B Hill still attracts enough guest musicians on some concerts to rock out as a large band, complete with horn section, guitarist, keyboardist, etc. To inspire a community feeling and rejuvenate the reggae and ska music scene in North Carolina, Brian Hill has teamed up with Kelly Krepelka, a UNCG Music Dept. Grad. to create Skank Festival. They together are booking and promoting the free ska-reggae music festival which is featured at music venues throughout the state.