• JIS News

    It is now official. As of February first 2008, the month of February will be recognised annually in Jamaica as ‘Reggae Month’.
    Governor General, Professor Sir Kenneth Hall, this morning officially proclaimed February Reggae Month at a special ceremony held at King’s House, attended by many of the movers and shakers in the music and entertainment industry. The function was addressed by Prime Minister Bruce Golding who used the opportunity to call on all Jamaicans to use Reggae Music as a uniting force.
    Mr Golding said the power of reggae music was not just found in the beat and the rhythm but in the message. ‘It entertains as well as uplifts. It’s a profound commentary on life as people see it and feel it. Through its lyrics, it also shows a way and it shows hope that there can be a better way’, Mr Golding told the gathering.
    Over the years reggae had been influenced by other musical genres such as jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll but reggae music has developed so much and has taken on to itself all these elements of cultures that it is now influencing the music of the rest of the world, Mr Golding said.
    He said reggae music is a powerful medium to carry a message that is not just relevant to Jamaica, but the entire world. The Prime Minister said the power of the music could be used as a transformational tool to change how people relate to each other and how they treat each other.
    Mr Golding said these were some of the issues that went into the decision to declare February Reggae Month. He said that the month should not just be seen as a period for staging reggae shows and parties but should be used to look at ways of studying the music to see what is in it that has not yet been brought to the attention of the public and the reasons why the rest of the world has gravitated to our music, so that we can move it to a higher level.
    In commending the persons involved in pulling the activities for the month together, the Prime Minister said this year should be seen as a learning curve so that come next year, the month can be widely promoted to the rest of the world. He said he wanted agencies such as the Jamaica Tourist Board and Jamaica Trade and Invest to see reggae music as an area of investment that needs serious consideration.
    In expressing her appreciation in her vote of thanks, Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange acknowledged the contribution of entertainment lawyer Lloyd Stanbury who brought the idea of ‘Reggae Month’ to her. She expressed appreciation to all members of the industry who played their role in the development of reggae music, taking it from the corners of Trench Town to the halls of Kings House and now to the world.
    At the end of the presentation, the ‘Reggae Month’ logo was unveiled by Prime Minister Golding along with the pioneers of the music and those poised to take the music further in the future . The logo portrays the icons of reggae culture composed into an energetic empowering mark. This is complimented by the Star of David which is illuminated upwards, communicating the message ‘Imagine and Believe’. Bold types announce ‘Reggae Month’ with what the designers have described with pride and a gradient of Jamaican colours which spread the message.

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