JIS News

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has charged Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, (MICYS) Hon. Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, with the responsibility of developing activities to make Reggae Month an international phenomenon by next year. He wants Jamaica to become the showplace of reggae music for the world.
Delivering greetings at the premiere of the film ‘Africa Unite’, at the Carib Cinema yesterday, (Feb 6) Prime Minister Golding said the decision to make February ‘Reggae Month’ was strategically made to tie-in with the celebration of the birthday of Jamaica’s greatest exponent of reggae music, the Hon. Nesta Robert Marley. ‘No one has had that impact in his lifetime and today Bob’s music is more powerful than when he was on stage’, Mr. Golding said.
He said what makes Bob Marley so unique was the fact that he was not only a songwriter but also a philosopher. Mr. Golding noted that while the music of great entertainers like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Hendricks, Frank Sinatra and many others is recognised and celebrated internationally, Bob Marley’s music inspired people the world over through the messages which still remain relevant and powerful 27 years after his death.
The Prime Minister said Jamaica’s Reggae music evolved over time and was influenced by other forces such as jazz, rhythm and blues but it addresses national conditions of the struggles and hopes of the Jamaican people. ‘It drew on other music forms in its early years but today reggae music is influencing other music forms from Europe to Africa and is leading the world because of the impact of Bob Marley’.
Bob Marley’s birthday celebration climaxed last night with a staging of a party and concert at Strawberry Hill which saw a number of artistes including the I-Threes, Etana, Limey Murray and others paying tribute to the memory of Marley. Special guests, actor Danny Glover and singer Angelique Kidjo joined Rita Marley, Culture Minister Olivia Grange, the Prime Minister and Mrs Golding in the ceremonial cutting of Bob’s birthday cake while the audience rocked to the rhythms of the hits of Reggae’s greatest exponent, played by Lloyd Parkes and We the People Band.

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