Long Entertainment Biography

Ras Shaggai was born William Bunkley in a small town in Northeast Ohio in 1962. A natural entertainer, he was singing before he could talk and dancing before he could walk. Of African, Cherokee, and Irish descent, he sensed at a young age, his purpose in life to project his internal unification of different cultures outward and help to create a climate for unification and cooperation of different cultures worldwide.

At age 4 he made his first TV appearance on the "Romper Room" show. During his primary grade years he participated in dance classes, recitals and the church youth choir.

Age 9 found his family moving to the rapidly expanding Columbus, Ohio area. This move allowed Shaggai to become exposed to a greater variety of entertainment options. It spurned his songwriting interest and he wrote his first song at ten. He began playing the trumpet at 11 and appeared on a local children's TV show "Friendly Junction" to sing the song "If'n I was God" from the "Tom Sawyer" soundtrack. A year later he was invited to join the Youth Performance Company of the Columbus Player's Theatre, an ensemble previously reserved for 13-18 year olds. His stint in the YPC of CPT, included the lead role of "Wilfred M. Wolf" in "Aesop's Falables", a musical written and directed by Ed Graczyk, (who also wrote, "Come back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean" an Off Broadway play and Movie).

Shaggai continued to participate in church and school vocal and instrumental, dance and theatrical performances during his teen years. He earned many Ohio High School Music Association Superior ratings as a member of the Walnut Ridge music department. He was also a two-year member of his High School's 12 male and 12 female voice ensemble. Which consisted of a choreographed medley of show tunes with a 35 to 40 show a year schedule. He appeared in the scholastic production of "Fiddler on the Roof" as both; Mordcha the innkeeper, and a Russian dancer.

Attending Ashland College (Ashland, Ohio), for two years, he was elected Freshman class president, worked at the college radio station as a DJ and Sports Update co-host, cast in "Pippin", and became a member of Accordion Repair, an improvisational comedy troupe.

At age 20, he moved to the US Virgin Island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean where roots reggae captivated his heart and soul. After spending 3 years absorbing the Caribbean culture and music, he returned to the States and finished college, receiving a BA in Speech Communications from Youngstown State University in 1987. Four months later, he began writing, singing, and playing reggae music at many other clubs, college and community festivals and concerts.

In 1988, he appeared onstage in the Youngstown State University productions of "Working", and "West Side Story".

In 1989, he co-formed and fronted the reggae band, Liviration, with Nicole "Zerby" Williams. They toured 9 Midwest states for two years and re-located to the Island of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands after the release of "Liviration Posse" on the Conscious Vision label.

In 1992 Ras Shaggai recorded a theme song for the America's Paradise Triathlon, which became a huge Virgin Island's hit and was included in the ESPN's coverage of the event. In 1993, Ras Shaggai began his solo career on the Island of Puerto Rico and made a major impact on the emerging roots reggae scene there. He has graced the stage at the San Juan Hard Rock Cafe', opened for Third World, The Wailers Band, Burning Spear, Yellowman, and gave a show stealing performance at the 1994 Cool Runnings Summer Splash.

Ras Shaggai once again chose the State of his birth to base his operations in 1996, a year later his song "Peace Inna the World", was selected and included in a musical compilation CD of "20 of the best unsigned artists in the country" by STR Entertainment. He continues to appear throughout the US and the Caribbean, offering his positive life message to roots reggae and dancehall beats.

In 1998 and 2002 Ras was a headlining artist on the "Bob Marley Festival Tour", a series of concerts in the state of Texas by reggae musicians, in the spirit of the late Robert Nesta Marley.

Work began on his debut album "I Awake", in New York City at HC &F studios from September 4-8, 2001. The recording was finished at Anchor Recording, Music Works Studios in November and December 2001, in Kingston, Jamaica. Some of the many notable reggae musicians involved in the project are: Sly Dunbar, Dean Frasier, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Producer Sangie Davis and engineer Rudy Valentino.

From 2002-2006 Shaggai was seen at venues from Texas, to Massachusetts, as singer and guitarist with Ohio based reggae bands and Don Carlos (formerly of Black Uhuru).

The album "I Awake" was released in 2005 and has been getting airplay around the globe, in Africa, Europe and America. It was the number 1 reggae album on the Island of Guam in December 2005 and continues to chart and gain popularity in Hawaii.

In 2006 Shaggai relocated his home base to Maui, Hawaii where he regularly performs at Canoes Restaurant, and other Island nightclubs, resorts, and festivals.

In 2011 Shaggai appears as an extra in the Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston movie "Just Go With It"

Ras Shaggai is currently writing and recording songs to be released this year.   An intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic performer with a message that the world needs to hear, he is poised and prepared for continued success.

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