The Time Has Come For A Marketing Plan For Reggae Music
Nobody can reasonably deny that this Bruce Golding-led government is not only cognisant of the importance of reggae music to the country, but is also willing to play a vital role in ensuring that Jamaica and Jamaicans benefit from this music that we have given the world. The proclamation earlier this year of February as Reggae Month – albeit there were those who said it was more like Marley Month – was a significant milestone in the history of reggae music and a turning point in the right direction.
We read with interest recent statements made by Prime Minister Bruce Golding on his visit to London while addressing a group of journalists. He noted that “the time has come for a comprehensive marketing plan for reggae music”. The PM was responding to questions posed about the image of the music internationally, specifically as it related to the whole issue of homophobia. According to a Jamaica House release, Mr Golding said, “I think we have left ourselves exposed for a while, to the extent that our music has never been promoted and marketed in the way that tourism is. For example, whenever there is negativity in the marketplace that affects tourism, we have a strategy to address that. Reggae music is too important for us to allow it to become victim of the actions of the minority of artistes who have allowed their own passions to overflow to the extent that they could damage an entire industry.
“Why should we allow a Luciano or Beres Hammond to suffer and end up with their shows being affected because some artiste was here a week before who went on stage and said something he shouldn’t have? We have to do some work to protect and preserve reggae as a medium and a genuine indigenous expression of Jamaican culture.”
Gary Greene’s Review Of UCLA Jazzreggae Fest In Los Angeles
The 22nd annual JazzReggae Festival at UCLA, CA, a weekend of PEACE – LOVE – and MUSIC, marks the beginning of the summer in So. California each year. This is the largest student run festival of ALL, and attracts up to 33,000 fun-loving reggae fans from all over California.
Sunday is noted as mainly Jazz day, however recently has crossed over to hip-hop artists, with the likes of the ROOTS, Immortal Tecnique, Goapele, and Dr Lonnie Smith, to The DOORS, John Densore and his Tribal JazzRoots Band.
Day 2, Memorial day, is REGGAE DAY: Folks fed at the international food market booths, and lots of arts and crafts, many sat out and basked in the warm L.A. sun, and simply escaped the troubles of the everyday politicalized pressures of daily life., This year’s event featured two stages, a second stage while the main was in change, had local bands.
On the main stage, Reggae day started with REBELUTION, a band from Santa Barbara, who backs many talents that travel thru California. They were followed by a UCLA, local showcase for some student talent. Then up came SELENA SERRANO, from Belize, who did a first of 2 (yes, so good called back for a second) sets. She did some dancehall, to mild hip hop…and some soca rythyms…a treat… She is based in Miami…Next came PANGEA COLLECTIVE, a 10 piece band, backed with the bass player from KING SUNNY ADE, and his Lead Guitarist too…wonderful African dance rythyms, and the crowd went wild.The dancers really put on a show, and one could just feel the spirit…Next came ALAINE, she was simply wonderful, a psychologist, a teacher, and actress/songstress..”Sacrifice” her biggest hit was great, then she did an array of all familiar songs, she was wonderful, from Jamaica..Then came Stephen Marley, I like him the best, he energized the crowd, did a few of his dad’s songs, No Woman, No Cry, Buffalo Soldier, Redemption…then the rest his, and he played for over an hour.. And Capleton, ended the day with Dancehall and live stage antics. A long day…ONE FINE DAY … Cept I forgot to mention mr Vegas… who was pretty vibrant, and enticing to say the least, teasing all the ladies..