The sons of reggae legend Bob Marley, Ziggy and Stephen, will be welcomed to New Zealand at special honorary celebrations at Auckland Museum this Thursday, February 5.
The welcome, on the eve of Bob Marley’s birthday and Waitangi Day, will recall the historic visit of 1979 that established lasting links between New Zealand, Marley and reggae.
Musicians Ziggy and Stephen Marley, alongside Eddy Grant, Shaggy, Arrested Development, Inner Circle and artistes performing at the upcoming Raggamuffin Music Festival, will attend the “powhiri”. The event will be hosted by Nagati Whatua with invited guests and Dilworth Karaka of Herbs, who was involved in the influential welcome for Bob Marley and The Wailers 30 years ago. Marley’s 1979 concert, his only in this country, was a seminal event in the establishment of an indigenous reggae culture in New Zealand.
The powhiri he received left a lasting impression and strong connection with Maori. In his book Marley and Me, Don Taylor, who managed Marley’s career from 1974 to 1979, recalls the welcome. ‘If any one event was responsible for the rise of reggae in New Zealand, it was when the man himself, Bob Marley, played Western Springs in April 1979.
The Marley concert is remembered as one of the stadium’s most memorable occasions, with thousands of people of many persuasions singing, laughing and dancing. The first museum ‘Late’ event following the powhiri, called Late 01: Waitangi Eve, will explore progressive New Zealand identity in a discussion moderated by Finlay Macdonald. Music is provided by DJ Submariner.