DJ Jah Yzer blesses up Milk Bar with Pablo 

click to enlarge DJ Jah Yzer
  • courtesy photo
  • DJ Jah Yzer is at the helm of Milk Bar’s Tuesday night reggae-dancehall parties.
Bay Area dancehall-reggae party and Milk Bar institution “Bless Up” continues its 10-year reign in Bob Marley and Peter Tosh’s old stomping grounds.

On Tuesday in the Haight, San Francisco DJ Jah Yzer and partner I-Vier will bring in Addis Pablo, son of one of the originators of dub and a melodica master, Augustus Pablo.

“It’s going to be real legendary,” says Yzer, who is also a producer, label head and Love Shack medical cannabis dispensary employee. “We got to back [Pablo] the other night, and I swear I was having a couple moments when I had to check myself. I thought I was in the ’70s.”

Born in Palestinian territories and raised in Miami, Yzer (pronounced “wiser”) started MCing as a kid and went to dancehall parties in high school. Visits to his sister brought him out to the Bay Area.

“The records they were getting out here were so much better than [what] we were getting in Miami. I just migrated slowly little by little and I ended up staying,” he says.

He moved to The City in 1996 at age 20. Yzer helped launched “Bless Up” at Milk almost 11 years ago, with little optimism, he says.

“I just didn’t think, ‘a Tuesday!’ [But] it just went off,” he says.

The reggae night has gone through periods “where it’s died down a little, but it’s picked up a lot over the last year. People have been listening to reggae a lot and dancehall in The City,” Yzer says.

Yzer and I-Vier run strictly the best reggae, dancehall, riddims and remixes — either on vinyl or Serato. Yzer is a quick-cut artist, slamming classics into each other.

“People tell me it’s almost like a workout for them on the dance floor,” he says.

The crowd? A multiethnic mix of out-of-towners, college kids and true originals, some of who met, married and had kids amid “Bless Up’s” extended reign, he says. “The crowd keeps renewing itself.”

This summer, Yzer will release a new compilation on his label Royal Order Music and tour California, from Humboldt to San Diego, with major stops at the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and Reggae on the River.

Along with radio stations KPOO (899.5 FM), KPFA (94.1 FM) and KMEL (106.1 FM), and Robert Rankin from KKUP (91.5 FM), “Bless Up” is “holding the torch for a lot of people here,” Yzer says.


Bless Up

With Jah Yzer, I-Vier, Addis Pablo

Where: Milk Bar, 1840 Haight St., S.F.

When: 10 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets: $5; free for women before 11 p.m.

Contact: (415) 387-6455,



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