Jamaican musicologist Dermott Hussey says that a study of the global penetration of Jamaica’s Reggae music into communities which have adopted it, could reveal that its internationalization was the country’s finest hour.
Addressing a Reggae Symposium and Art Exhibition at the Embassy of Jamaica in Washington DC on Monday (February 23), Mr. Hussey noted that Reggae enjoys international fame, like blues, funk, rock and jazz.
He said that advertisers were creating reggae jingles to promote a variety of products while, increasingly, film soundtracks feature the music, and Jamaican innovations, such as “dub” and “versions”, have been copied globally and expanded.
The music and persona of Bob Marley were key elements of Brand Jamaica, which continues to have a powerful resonance and persuasive affect on the world’s music landscape, he said.Tracing the history of Jamaican music, Mr. Hussey said Jamaica gave the world a new rhythm with melodic bass lines closest to a heartbeat.
Turning to Marley’s contribution, he noted that 28 years after his passing, his persona, his music, and message were as alive, globally, as when he lived. He also paid tribute to the pioneers of Reggae. He told the standing room only audience that the concept of celebrating Reggae Month was laudable and one, which should be embraced internationally.