JIS News

A special musical evening to celebrate the 68th birthday of Robert Nestor (Bob) Marley was hosted by the Jamaican High Commission in London, on Wednesday, February 6.

The evening featured 18 acts, with all of them performing many of Marley’s songs in various musical styles, ranging from reggae to pop, rock and jazz.

The event was organised by John Downie, Chief Executive Officer of the London- based performing arts charity, SABA. He told JIS News that he was extremely honoured to have been able to put the event together.

“We got involved following a meeting with the High Commissioner to talk about my project, Song for Jamaica. She understood that I did a lot with young people and with music. She told me that there was an opportunity for the young people to express themselves through their interpretation of Bob Marley’s music,” he said.

According to Mr. Downie, the event took just over two weeks to put together and initially he was looking at 12 acts, but the respect was so overwhelming that it was increased to 18 acts.

“There is so much love for Bob Marley and the country. Everyone is performing for free. It was really an honour for me to do this,” Mr. Downie said.

Singer Teejah Preyze, who was the Master of Ceremonies and performed Marley’s Redemption Song, said the tribute was the event of the year for her.

Guitarist Ciyo Brown, who performed a jazz style version of Concrete Jungle and Natural Mystic, said the event made him proud to be Jamaican. He told the audience that the event was amazing, uplifting and magical, as music raised the spirit of everyone and gave them hope.