Reggae legends the Itals will perform Friday, Aug. 12 at 8 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

In the patois of Jamaica’s Rastafarians, the word “ital” means pure, natural and unprocessed. These adjectives also describe the sound and message of the Itals, one of reggae music’s premier vocal groups who since the mid-1970s have been dedicated to keeping roots-reggae alive. Today, the legendary Itals, whose current lineup includes Keith Porter, Davis Isaacs and Suan Porter, still offers one of the hardest working groups in reggae and continues to reach new audiences.

Long before the Itals were a spark in their producer’s eye, Porter recorded his first hit single, “Hitey Titey,” with the Westmorelites in 1967. He eventually became a lead singer, first for Soul Hermit and then for Future Generation in 1971, performing all over Jamaica for many years. Tiring of the club scene around 1975, Porter ran into Ronnie Davis on Orange Street in Kingston and the Itals were born. In less than a week the duo had written “Ina Disa Time,” which become a big hit in Jamaica.  The song remains the Itals’ signature tune and has been described by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones as the perfect reggae track.

The Itals’ latest album, “Let Dem Talk” follows the release of their successful retrospective “Ina Dis Ya Time.” The Itals have come back strong with an all new set of uptempo tunes running the gamut from lovers’ rock to inspirational anthem. Over the years, the Itals have performed countless shows worldwide, and although the background harmonies sometimes change, they always sound as sweet as ever backing the original Itals lead vocalist, Porter.

General admission tickets are $20. For tickets and more information, call 594-0070 or visit

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to