‘It’s mind blowing’: Homegrown band thrilled to open at Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Local band Lizano opened on Sunday for the Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival and said it was “mind blowing” to share the stage with top acts.

Rhythm guitarist and lead singer on the big screen; Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival at Hard Rock Casino
Provided / Jay Hatchett

Lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Jay Hatchett, South Lake Tahoe-born and raised, spent the past seven years traveling, gigging and finding the perfect collaboration of band members for the band that kicked off the third day of the three-day festival at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe. 

“I met Sal, the lead guitar player, in Nicaragua in 2012 where we started playing together. We toured Central America for three years,” Hatchett said. “We were getting a crowd of 400-500 people for shows that we were headlining so we felt like we could really do this, so we took our music back to the states.”

Casey Smith (trumpet), Andrew Wisher (trombone), Saxlerose (saxophone), Mitch McIntosh (Bass), Jordan Weiskoph (drums), Robin Calarese (lead guitar), Sal Greco (keys/guitar), Jay Hatchett (lead vocals/rhythm guitar)
Provided/Jay Hatchett

All the band members are from the Reno/Tahoe area, and have formed firm bonds that Hatchett feels will take them all the way to the top. Jordan Weihskoph, the drummer of Lizano and childhood friend of Hatchett, grew up in Gardnerville. Weihskoph has been with the band for the past year. 

“Over the past two years things have really begun to open up for us. We have been fortunate enough to play with so many great artists such as: Kyle Smith, Through The Roots, Likkle Jordee,” Hatchett said. “We got picked up by Naked Tiger Records, an indie label, and released our new album, Atlas.”

Lizano album cover; Atlas
Provided / Jay Hatchett

Just one month before their biggest show yet, Lizano released their first record June of 2022. Physical copies have not yet been made available but is available on major streaming platforms such as Pandora, Deezer, Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes.

“We have been playing covers of songs from SOJA, Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, Slightly Stoopid and others since we started this band,” Hatchett said. “To play our own music and share the same stage as these huge names is absolutely amazing. It’s mind blowing.”

Jackson Weatherbee of the Elevaters (left) and Jay Hatchett of Lizano (right) backstage at the Lake Tahoe Reggae festival
Provided / Jay Hatchett

While watching the band open Sunday afternoon, Ras Rebel, artist and MC of the festival said, “That’s a high energy band, that’s what we needed to open up the day.” 

Though the band does not completely call themselves a reggae band their diverse roots run deep.

Hatchett said, “You can tell we’re not exactly like the other bands in the lineup and that’s intentional. I grew up listening to Jimmy Hendrix, playing funk watching my dad play drums to Jazz.”

Hatchett was buzzing with excitement from the crowd’s response as he listed Lizano’s upcoming shows near the basin. Aug. 13, Palisades Jazz and Funk Fest from from 4-6 p.m.

“We’ll be playing all our originals and reggae favorites,” Hatchett said.

The Reggae on the Creek 2 on Sept. 10 in Winters, Lizano will co-headline the event with artists such as Mystic Roots, Tight Squeeze, and One Sharp Mind.

In the end, Hatchett remains humble and attributes his success to not only his dream but the dedication from everyone in the band.  

“If it weren’t for the exposure we’ve had playing in Tahoe we would not have the traction we do now,” he said.

To keep up to date on all upcoming shows and song releases follow Lizano on Instagram at @Lizanoband or online at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.