Jabby (whose real name is Peyton Ritter) was born in Tallahassee, FL. He was a Jazz major in college for a while performing with a jazz band as a drummer but dropped out of the program after a year. Soon after he began to write and record his own reggae rhythms and started experimenting with dub mixing in his college apartment. "I was never really brilliant at playing any one particular instrument but at the same time, I was relentlessly drawn to all kinds of intruments. If it made noise I would try to play it. I guess I just didn't have the discipline to stick with one thing. However I think having a broad knowledge of different types of instruments and how they worked, helped me as a producer to understand how everything fits together."
He came up with the name "Solomon Jabby" as a screen name to post his music on a website dedicated to dub producers. "I initially just used it as an online alias, basically just a username. I didn't really intend on using it as a stage name at first. In 2000, I started recording a collection of songs that would eventually become my first album 'Rootical Revelations' that was released in 2001. I had been posting tracks under 'Solomon Jabby' for a while and was known by that name to a lot of people in the online dub reggae community so I just decided to stick with it. Now, most of my friends call me 'Jabby' as a nickname." Jabby writes, records, and produces all his own music in his backyard studio which he dubbed "The Altarsound." The name is a play on words. "Altar" (a place on which sacrifices are offered), and "alter," (to make different without changing into something else... as in a dub or a remix).
"One of the biggest reasons I was drawn to reggae is, it always seemed to have a deep spiritual element to it, a righteous cause, a bold statement, a bigger purpose. Being a believer in Jesus the Messiah, I naturally incorporated my personal beliefs into my art. Reggae fit me personally on all levels... musically, lyrically, spritually. It was a music that I felt I could incorporate my personal beliefs without it sounding too forced or contrived. "Although I am Christian, I don't really want to be considered just a 'Christian' artist for a Christian audience. I believe the message in my music is relevant to all people, all tribes, all tongues because that's who the Messiah came to reach out to. Messiah didn't come for the 'religious', He came to offer hope and salvation to all people."
Jabby's influences range from Alton Ellis, The Ethiopians, Desmond Dekker, Dennis Alcapone, King Tubby, Lee Perry and The Upsetters, Scientist, Prince Jammy, Lee Perry to Michael Prophet, The Wailing Souls, The Gladiators, Agustus Pablo, Junjo Lawes, Dennis Brown, the Roots Radics, and many others. "I've studied these guys every move. They were my professors so to speak. I listened to every instrument, how it was played, recorded and mixed. Then when it came time to write I just let whatever came out to come naturally. That's something one of my drum teachers (Mike Vosbein) used to tell me about studying drummers. He used to tell me to study the masters, then put it away and put my own spin on it. So I've kind of applied that philosophy to writing songs."
Jabby has performed in over 30 countries throughout the world as the opening act and rhythm guitarist for Christafari and has also performed with such artists as Dominic Balli, Avion Blackman, Nengo Vieira, and Jennifer Howland. (Review by Professor Sing Jay)